Audio: Hamrlik comments on new life with Capitals

roman

Former Canadiens defenceman Roman Hamrlik’s face is projected on the ice during a game vs. the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre.
Shaun Best, Reuters

Veteran defenceman Roman Hamrlik will be pulling on a Washington Capitals jersey next season and the season after that, having on Friday signed a two-year, $7-million contract with the Caps.

Hamrlik, for four years a Canadien, spoke for about 12 minutes on a teleconference Saturday early afternoon, discussing his move from Montreal to Washington.

AUDIO: Roman Hamrlik teleconference

746 Comments

  1. habsgod says:

    i know some of you guys want knopka and some don’t as a habs fan i do1 yes he’ll take penatlies but he’s big ohysical and can beat up big nose lucic ,and marchand in boston plus he’ll keep colton orr and jay rosehill on the laffs from taking liberties on pleks,cammy and pk ! plus knopka is a good 4th line center and a good penalty killer so if we can get him at a good deal then do it! also with a guy like this in our lineup max pacioretty will feel safer too because teams(i.e.) boton and chara wil try and hurt him again ……..so with knopka on our team it will curb the goonery !

    • Mark C says:

      But he isn’t that big (6ft and 210lbs), he won’t beat up or scare players like Lucic, Orr, and Rosehill etc., and lastly Konopka is an embarrassment to PK’er everywhere. He is a horrid penalty killer, this cannot be stated strongly enough.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        Neither was Domi, but he handled shite out on the ice pretty good. He’s an enforcer that can actually contribute in some facet of the game. Horton, ference, lucheese, chara, mcquaid and marchand won’t play so fearless vs the boys. And trust me, he won’t be coming here to kill penalties, the club has enough guys to do that! pleks, moen, gomer, gio, cammy, darche…….he’ll be a 3rd pairing on the pk if it ever got to him.

        Shaker

        • Mark C says:

          Tie Domi could play, Domi’s average season for stats is about what Konopka has done in his entire 195 game NHL carrer. Also, Konopka is nowhere near Domi is terms on intimidation, if there is such a thing.

          Here’s some video of Mcquaid doing just fine against Zenon, I don’t by for one second that those guys worry about him: http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/99693

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Tie Domi?

          We want a Tie Domi on our team?

        • habstrinifan says:

          Dont try to convince those who get upset when we say that we need a Konopka type to handle exactly the players you mentioned. They didnt hear the scorn in the voices of some of those players when they were asked about retribution from US for Cara’s hit on Pacioretty. I still get efffing mad when i think about it.

          I am not a Konopka booster but I totally get your point and will be HAPPY if PG gets anyone to fill the bill. I think he started by getting Cole and pursuing Yemelin but he needs one more piece. We cant have Cole being off the ice because he had to take matters into his own hands. He will help but he cannot be the main agitator.

          And before anyone responds by saying no one can take Chara out.. that is not the point. Mario Tremblay and Riseborough and Henri Richard wouldnt have been able to take a Chara out. But it wouldnt have gone as easily for them with players like that in the line-up. The likes of Ference, Marchand will shut up the minute they know there’s pay-back on the ice.

          So before you respond note what I said and dont come back with accusations of anti PG this or that. I have been praising PG for last few days now. He has done ok with Cole and Yemelin. Steps in the right direction. It would make those moves more sure-fire effective if he makes ONE more for a Konopka or O’Brien type… in my opinion.

          We can teach face-offs.. we cant teach a ‘take no sh****T attitude… which I think Pacioretty has but you dont want your Pacioretty or your Cole anwering the bel… on their own..

      • habsgod says:

        he’s big enough and tough enough to handle those guys1 lucic is a gutless coward that fights little guys or skilled guys he won’t fit guys like this1 marchand won’t either! that’s why we a guy like this

        • Mark C says:

          If those guys won’t fight then what’s the point of having him? Is Konopka gonna jump these guys?

          • habsgod says:

            the point of having them if those uys won’t fight is to make sure that we don’t have those guys injuring and taking liberties with our star players! the last thing we need is another pacioretty incident like last season! that’s why a guy like this will help! just the sight of him and knowing that the minute things start getting out of hand and he’ll be out there will keep those teams honest and they’ll try and play our game the speed and transition game,they won’t be able to do it and we’ll beat them handly!! that’s why if the management of our team would’ve used their heads and kept laraque around just for this purpose pacioretty would’nt have had that terrible incident happen to him(laraque would ‘ve handed chara his ass for some of the stuff that was going on earlier in the season! and it wouldn’t have got to that point! plus marchand would’ve been sacred to death bgl and ran and hid just like the big nosed hunck back lucic did!

          • Mark C says:

            There is no proof that having tough guys prevents star players from being hurt. Pittsburgh has tough guys and Crosby was hurt two games in a row. Boston has as many tough guys as any team, yet Savard, Horton and Bergeron have all been hurt. There are way too many examples of star players on teams that have tough guys being the target of attempts to injury, to believe that getting a few goons will protect anyone.

  2. Mad Habber says:

    sorry dp

  3. Lokee says:

    The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenceman Cody Franson and centre Matthew Lombardi from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenceman Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slaney.

    • Lokee says:

      What a joke ! Nashville is crazy as posted below

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Ya it kind of sucks when another team gives the Leafs a good player for free.

    • habsgod says:

      the point of having them if those uys won’t fight is to make sure that we don’t have those guys injuring and taking liberties with our star players! the last thing we need is another pacioretty incident like last season! that’s why a guy like this will help! just the sight of him and knowing that the minute things start getting out of hand and he’ll be out there will keep those teams honest and they’ll try and play our game the speed and transition game,they won’t be able to do it and we’ll beat them handly!! that’s why if the management of our team would’ve used their heads and kept laraque around just for this purpose pacioretty would’nt have had that terrible incident happen to him(laraque would ‘ve handed chara his ass for some of the stuff that was going on earlier in the season! and it wouldn’t have got to that point! plus marchand would’ve been sacred to death bgl and ran and hid just like the big nosed hunck back lucic did!

  4. JayBee says:

    If this is true….very interesting

    incarceratedbob incarcerated bob
    **FA NEWS**Source: Canadiens where the mystery team in on Richards they offered a huge deal Friday night & had a Trade for Gomez worked out

    incarcerated bob
    incarceratedbob incarcerated bob
    **FA NHL NEWS**Source: Canadiens had a major offer for Richards but Gomez not accepting trade made #Habs pull back offer early Sat morning
    4 minutes ago

    incarceratedbob incarcerated bob
    **FA NHL NEWS**Source: Richards would have choose Rangers Friday night but #Habs offer made him sleep on it – Gomez killed it 11hours later
    3 minutes ago

  5. jimmy shaker says:

    Hey PG did you sign o’brien and konopka yet? Let’s go……what are you waiting for?

    Shaker

    • coldness81 says:

      what is this love affair with konoka? is he the key to winning? i doubt it.

      • jimmy shaker says:

        No. The key to winning is that the superstars on the team have to be the best players on the ice night after night, more often than the opposing teams best players. That is the key to the habs winning. Konopka is just an intangible asset that every team needs. A third or fourth line, hard nosed player that won’t be a liability out there and can actually add to the game or maybe change the momentum if need be. Plus, he’ll help out in the face off circle and keep the cubs on a tight leash whenever the two clubs meet!

        Shaker

        • SyntaxLove says:

          “that won’t be a liability out there”

          We were already the most penalized team in the league. We don’t need to add the most penalized player to match. I’d rather we didn’t spend the entire game on the PK.

          • Mark C says:

            Konopka took 31 minors in a little over 10 minutes per game last year! Only Subban and Hammer took more than 31 minors in Montreal. His guy kills his own team.

          • jimmy shaker says:

            And we were top five on the pk, so i’m not worried about it…..plus the islanders were one of the worst teams in the league yet again…….and when a team is losing on a consistant basis, a coach gives the green light for his players to go out and “send a message”. I’m sure with him here and playing on a better team, he won’t have to play that way or send too many messages to opposing teams. A different team, different system, different coach = different approach for konopka!

            shaker

          • jimmy shaker says:

            A bad, usually out matched out of the playoff islander team, vs a legit playoff bound hab team……i’m pretty sure his job description will change on this team!

            Shaker

          • habstrinifan says:

            One reason why we were so penalized was because of the chintzy retaliatory penalties that we were taking… a by product of both our size and our ‘lay back’ style.

            Our smalle rplayers were always trying to ‘thwart’ the play because they couldnt move the body off the puck. Increased size means increased body on body aggression.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I would not expect any signings soon. The closer we get to training camp, the better deals can be had for remaining UFAs. See Turco 2010. The guys left are 2nd tier UFAs and if a team doesn’t get one they can just sign another. Mid-August before anything else significant happens

  6. Tharsis says:

    This is how I picture any negotiations with Burkie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNuEBNyydQo

  7. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    what about kovalev ? hehe

  8. JayBee says:

    Lebda got traded….that leaves me to believe Spacek can, too.

  9. mike3131 says:

    Nashville just got ripped off.

  10. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    does Niclas Bergfors have much upside?

  11. HardHabits says:

    OK. Seriously. How many here really thought we’d be seeing Erik Cole as a Hab? However dull and frustrating it seems at times, well at least to me, the slow approach does have it’s merits.

    Adding Cole upgrades the Habs. His addition puts the Habs in a realistic position to hit top 15 at the very least and possibly top 10 in goals scored per game. Last season they were 23th over-all and 26th 5-on-5.

    Defence wins championships they say but you don’t win without offence either.

    Habs last season had the 8th best goals against, the 7th best power play and 7th best penalty kill. Not top 5 but at least amongst the leaders in those 3 categories. Habs were also the most penalized team in the league. This area even more than goals scored must improve considerably for the Habs to have a hope of going deep in the play-offs.

    Here is my argument.

    The Habs play Le Systeme™. A demanding back-checking intensive, middle of the ice clogging up, shot blocking style that for all its merits has a wear and tear on this team while implementing it. The injuries and penalties are not flukes. They are not part of a conspiracy. They are a result of factors on the ice. The size and grit argument stipulates that the abundance of either small players who are gritty or bigger players who are old, soft, or both puts the Habs in a situation where they lack a collective team height+weight/grit ratio versus their opponents and therefore are at a disadvantage to take more of those lazy penalties the Habs take; hooking, tripping, holding, interference. Couple that with Le Systeme™ and you have a recipe for penalties and to a lesser extent injuries.

    That is why the Habs need to beef up, and I will admit they are. Slowly and methodically. Yemelin and Cole add size and grit but they also bring with them two other factors. Speed and skill. There you have it.

    Size and grit are meaningless on the Habs in a player if that player does not also bring speed and skill to the table.

    ————————————————

    How all this applies to the Konopka debate.

    It basically means that because Konopka has neither skill nor speed, along with him being a lefty, works against his being a fit on the Habs.

    This page here should put to rest the Konopka debate. If Isles fans don’t want him back should we take him? Yikes!!!!!!

    Konopka on the Habs. The debate is over. The anti-Konopka’s win. Congratulations guys on a valiantly fought debate that was only really won because I flipped sides. :-)

    • Bugs says:

      I thought we’d get Cole.
      Fit very bill and knew he would fit in perfectly with the system.
      Target numero dos in my mind after Richards.
      What do I get, a toaster? Matching set of aprons? Transistor radio? Talk to me, baby!

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • SyntaxLove says:

      “that was only really won because I flipped sides.”

      Better late than never. ;)

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Nobly done, HH! And your analysis is very persuasive. On Le Systeme and injuries, have you examples, ie where players were susceptible to injury as a result of the system? Yours is a scary thesis.
      Konopka=Rick Chartraw?! [is what I meant!]

      • HardHabits says:

        I believe the remedy may be found in increased offence.

        If the Habs can transition faster and counter attack more opportunistically this would enable them to take leads earlier in games and position them to catch up if they fall behind.

        If not, the penalty and injury parade will be the only one we Habs fans experience.

        That is another reason why IMO the final components, the face-off winning centre and stay at home defence-man, should have goals and assists on their resumes, along with grit, size, skill, and speed of course.

    • adamkennelly says:

      Does Darche have speed and skill? Does Moen have speed and skill? Nope – so this proves there is room for someone who may not have speed and skill but can kick someone’s ass if necessary. Kenopka would be a great 4th line center for this team – I’d take him in a second but I would also bring in Cam Janssen. Not sure how anyone can argue that bringing in these guys would hurt when they likely play less than 4 mins a game anyways..more ice time for the skilled guys and a better playing environment.

      • t1tan5 says:

        And that is exactly why it would hurt. We can’t afford to play guys who only play 4-5 min per game as it puts too much stress on the other nine forwards.

  12. habs001 says:

    lebda with the leafs was bashed all year even by leaf fans…franson 6-5 d second year with 8 goals…and lombardi when healthy has speed scored 19 goals couple of years ago…slaney has shown very little…would nashville not been better off to get draft picks than these two players… did the leafs give under the table money? lol…leafs have the potential to be really improved from last year…the leafs d will have more potential offense than people realize ..overall they may out score ours

  13. HFX-HabFan says:

    Let’s find a taker for Spacek…how about the Isles?

    I’d gladly take back Trent Hunter- another bigger winger who has had some bad luck with injuries the last couple of years. When healthy, he plays a physical game and has popped 20+ goals a couple of times. He’d look great on the third line and wouldn’t look out of place taking top-six minutes in a pinch (unlike Moen). He has a pretty sweet cap hit and might not be part of the long-term plans on Long Island.

    Moving Spacek would allow us to give Emelin/Weber more minutes and more cap space to add veteran depth later on in the summer (like we did with Halpern last year). Getting Hunter back would solidify that third line even more. Thoughts?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      No team wants Spacek. Why would they take garbage for a decent player like Hunter.

      Hey Islanders, do you want to make your team worse by giving us Hunter and spending almost $4 million on a 37-year-old defenseman who can’t compete at the NHL level anymore?

      Then again, it is the Islanders we’re talking about :-)

    • saskhabfan says:

      I’d love to move spacek. Problem is trying to get him to waive his NMC.

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      heres a tip guys… if spacek is on long term diability, we dont pay his salery, so kan somone break this guys arms and rip his head off before we start the season., 50$ is my starting offer

    • samTHEman says:

      Hopefully diminishing his role to the 3rd D pairing should limit his minutes, also facing lesser talented forwards will hurt the team less. Like Hamrlik, when he plays too much he gets burned.

  14. Bigdawg says:

    we should also look at;

    Drury cause he may be an affordable plug on the third line and can move up if needed

    Scott Nichol cause he’d come in at around the minimum. Yes he is small and yes he is old. But he is one tough little SOB and great in the faceoff dot.

    Prospal – injuries and his up and down career make him a gamble. they also make him cheap. If he has a good year, could be a steal. Oh and he hits, a lot.

    Morrison – service-able center and possible winger. Fast and can keep with our speedsters. An insurance policy.

    Langenbrunner – tough, a winner and can play 3rd or 4th line. Just don’t expect many points out of him. Could be even better when stakes are high.

    Zenon – enough said of him already. He should be looked at.

    • Bugs says:

      With respect, there’s not ONE player in your list I would even CONTEMPLATE looking at, let alone incorporate on our club.
      Got all the door-stops we need at the moment, thank you very much.

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • Bigdawg says:

        Sorry Bubbles but we are missing at least one or two doorstops. The list contains some of the better doorstops available, Arnott as a winger on the third being the other.

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m thinking one year deal not 10yr 20M or anything crazy.

        • Bugs says:

          Well, there’s the problem right there, Dawg. If you think in door-stop terms, you’ll forever be left with a door-stop team. There is NOTHING those players bring that we don’t already have.
          We want skill and speed and defensive reliability. So talk to me of someone can come up to our top lines. Someone who will have an impact.
          The bath-plugs, we can make our own dang selves.
          Especially since Ryan White fits almost EVERY description you gave above for those players.

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

          • Bigdawg says:

            If White will let me clone him great, cause we need a minimum one more player. Especially with Eller out and our luck with injuries.

            ALSO – Each one of those guys (except, Z, Nichol and maybe Langen…) will outscore White next year (if they play in the NHL) and bring veteran leadership. some of them can take faceoffs as well and jump up to top 6…I would cringe if White were slotted top 6.

            We got the cap room to throw around a 3M 1yr deal to someone like Arnott or 1.5M to Prospal or Morrison. Some of these guys may want to play in a hockey crazy city before retirement and take a budget deal. OK maybe not Arnott but I can hope :P

            -love your posts btw

    • t1tan5 says:

      I made a case for Drury earlier this week. I think we should take a serious look at him if the price is right. I would also like Langenbrunner since he would fit in very nicely within the JM system.

  15. SmartDog says:

    With so many UFAs still floating around and a good amount of Cap room, PG should be able to assemble whatever 4th line help he wants. Guys that may cost a little more but are not just 1-dimensional. Guys with some toughness, some experience, who can piss off the other team and stuff a few goals in here and there. If we end up with Pyatt 2.0 I’m gonna protest.

  16. Hobie Hansen says:

    If Crosby and Malkin are back for the start of the season I think the entire Eastern Conference comes down to the play of Marc-Andre Fleury.

    A lot of teams, including Montreal, are neck and neck in terms of their chances of coming out of the conference but I think Pittsburgh is the only super power when healthy and when Fleury is at the top of his game.

    I say the Habs have a 50/50 shot at beating any team in the conference except the Pens. If we face the Pens again in the postseason we’d have to have a little luck and catch fire like we did a couple years ago. It could happen but we’ll be the underdogs for sure.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      WSH having Vokoun also puts them in the conversation though. One can’t imagine Backstrom and Ovechkin would both have ‘down years’ again as well.

      A MTL-PIT playoff series would come down to a couple things, JM’s ability to design matchups to shut down Crosby and Malkin, plus the health of Penguins-Killer Mike Cammalleri.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Cammalleri has been healthy the last two years in the playoffs…

        But yeah we’d need another repeat of Gill, Gorges and Plekanec smothering Crosby and Malkin. PK yapping in Crosby’s ear is always good too :-).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think the health of Crosby supercedes all other teams injury issues. Gotta wonder why Pitt acquired another pure offensive centre in Sullivan and were so after Jagr. Very quiet on the Crosby front regarding his off ice workouts. I have a very sick feeling about this kids future. Of course Bettman is still unaware that Crosby was injured.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Washington is looking very good. The best thing that could happen to them is a slow start leading to the bobblehead behind the bench getting fired.

        Vokoun has had a .920 save % every year for the past 5!

        I agree that the Pens are also going to be good, but let’s not forget Boston, Philly, Rangers and Tampa. And a dark horse in New Jersey. You never know – Lemaire might change his mind about retirement again.

        It is going to be very tough going i the East this year. Thank God Toronto, Ottawa, Florida, NYI, Winnipeg all suck.

    • Mike D says:

      Pittsburgh could be a real threal if Fleury plays well, especially since they at least have one good winger for Sid now (Neal).

      I think WAS could be real good too with the addition of Vokoun, but it will be interesting to see who they trade away to make room for signing Alzner and Brouwer. Ward, Halpern, and Hamr were also good signings for them IMO.

      – Honestly yours

  17. Bigdawg says:

    having issues posting…Anyho

    Arnott would be great on the third but as a winger. AK-ELLER-ARNOTT is both tough and a scoring threat.

  18. Bigdawg says:

    Arnott would be great but as a Winger on the third line.
    Go – AK-ELLER-ARNOTT and you have the s-a-n-d-p-a-p-e-r line and capable scoring threat.

  19. thehabsfan29 says:

    Leafs get franson and lombardi for lebda and slaney

    WDF are the preds thinking?!!!!

    only way this makes sense is if they are freeing cap space for weber but wow what a steal for the leafs

    they are still gonna miss the playoffs tho

    • Neutral says:

      help on their 3rd line Lombardi and defence, franson is a big body on defence.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Leafs do look like they’ll be able to through two solid scoring lines out on the ice this year but I believe there’s still too many ifs and buts for them to make the playoffs.

      James Reimer in goal isn’t close to being a sure thing yet and it will also be interesting to see if Connolly stays healthy for once.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Lombardi is out with a concussion and the thinking is he won’t play this year. Essentially the Preds will save his $3.5M salary this year and next, and gave up a good looking prospect to do so. They got two players who cannot play in the NHL in return.

  20. Mike D says:

    Second random thought of the day:

    Reasonable UFA contract signings. Yup, I said it. Despite the many, many outrageous contracs handed out on/since July 1st, there were a couple of reasonable ones and some that were, oddly, better than reasonable. Of note: Ian White, Simon Gagne, to a lesser extent Anthony Stewart, and the topper of all toppers Tomas Vokoun.

    Ian White got 2 years @ 2.875mil per from Detroit. While not a great defensman, he should easily bank 30 points playing with the Red Wings considering he’s done that with less talented teams. He’s only 27 so not even in his prime yet and is a RH shot. Not big, physical, or anything special defensively, but was a plus player in all his years with a lousy Toronto team except for one. A good value considering Wiz got 4 more years @ approx. 3mil more per year than White. Wiz is the better player, but White is the better value and lower risk considering term length and injury history.

    Simon Gagne. Signed with LA for 2 years at 3.5mil per. His injury history makes him a tough player to peg in terms of value, but ther’s no doubt about his offensive abilities. Given the crazy contracts given out and relative lack of talented players in this years FA pool, I think this was a great signing for LA. He’s only 31 so still in his prime though nearing the end. I’m surprised he signed for such little term and dollars, but perhaps he’s thinking cup run with a very deep LA team. I’m sure he could have got (and would have sought) a longer term deal at the same or more money given the market.

    Anthony Stewart. Signed by CAR for 2 years @ 900K per. He might have been built up to be better than he is by some on HIO (I’m kinda guilty of this too) but he’s a useful player for sure and 900k is good value and not much commitment on only 2 years. I wonder if the Canes are thinking he’ll be a cheap man’s version of Erik Cole? If not, he’s at least a serviceable big body who got 40 points on a crap Thrashers team last year and is only 26.

    Tomas Vokoun. Signed by WAS for 1 year @ 1.5mil. I don’t know how they pulled off this steal. I think the best goalie (pretty equal to Bryz in quality IMO) on the FA market who just turned 35 yesterday. I was convinced he would get at least a 3 year deal at bare minimum 3.5mil per, and 4-5 years at over 4mil per on a front-loaded contract was not out of the question given the market. He is a good goalie and he signed for basically a pinch more than back-up goalie money. I’m assuming he’s thinking cup run, but at his age, that’s not a wise move as it was likely his last chance to get a real significant contract. Don’t know if he will start (though I expect him to), but at the very least, he will mentor Neuvirth and Holtby which Varamov couldn’t do since they are all youngsters. On that note, I have no idea how WAS completely fleeced COL out of a 1st (possible lottery) and 2nd pick for Varly. Wish we were in on some of that as the benefactor.

    – Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How much better off would Philly have been to sign Vokoun even at 2mill per instead of that obscene contract to Ilya Brysgalov. They could have kept Richards, I guess they really wanted to change the culture. But your right McPhee looks to be a genius. Of course people have thought that for 3 years now and still nothing to show in the playoffs.

      • SyntaxLove says:

        Vokoun must be thinking cup run.

        Ever since the Stewart/Johnson trade last season, Greg Sherman’s just been destroying the club. I expect them to be near the bottom again this season.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Well assuming Sherman is still feeling the effects of whatever he is smoking (as per SF09) lets strike while the iron is hot and offer gomez for Stastny, we will also accept their following years 1st round pick.

          • SyntaxLove says:

            Hahahaha, I suggested EXACTLY THAT last week. I’d prefer Duchene though. Franchise player right thurrrr.

      • Mike D says:

        I thought the very same thing regarding the Vokoun/Philly thing, Burly. I think the Caps will be a better team this year with Vokoun in net and Hamr as the vet Dman helping their youngsters along. Halpy will be good for them too as a PKer and 3rd/4th line center to win them draws.
        McPhee knows how to find steals, that’s for sure. They’ve got nothing to show for it cuz for all their talented players, they seem to lack heart and reliable goaltending. They’ve got the latter taken care of now. They also didn’t know how to play playoff hockey but last year showed a move in that direction.

        – Honestly yours

        • HabinBurlington says:

          May have something to do with their coach Humpty Dumpty, I can’t believe they are bringing him back again. Short of trading Ovechkin and Semin (one could argue they should trade Semin) they have changed that roster over to no avail.

        • SyntaxLove says:

          And they’ll have valuable assets to move out in order to fit under the cap, so you know they’ll be amassing more picks. I’m terrified of everyone but Ottawa now. The division will be highly contested I think.

          • Mike D says:

            I think Wideman will be the piece they move. With Green and Carlson they don’t really need another offensive Dman, plus his 4.5mil for 1 remaining year contract is reasonable/attractive enough for another team to take on, but big enough for WAS to lose that it will help them clear cap space to re-sign their RFA’s Alzner and Brouwer.

            Plus they would have 8 NHL Dmen with Alzner signed so one of them has to go for sure. They might move a forward too.

            – Honestly yours

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Nashville’s GM got a taste of whatever Colorado’s GM was smoking.

    Nashville sends Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi (Who has a serious concussion and recovery is questionable) for TOR’s Robert Slaney (a 5.0, AKA Fringe choice for any NHL time) and Brett Lebda.

    PG needs to get on the phone and find a GM in the West with a serious drug problem, they seem to be multiplying.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • Mark C says:

      How did Sherman get another NHL job so quick. I thought Polie was considered a good GM, no?

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Some people think this is clearing salary b/c of the vagaries of Lombardi’s post-concussion syndrome but when you think about it, why the hell do you give away one of your best defencemen in the process? Offer up a draft pick or something.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • habs_r_us says:

          burke seems to do this to another gm at least once per year its almost as if he hypnotizes them with words like truculent and such and till they pull the trigger on the deal that allows them to be robbed

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Perhaps Burke described Franson and Lombardi as Hostile, this would have scared Poile into thinking I can’t have hostility in my dressing room.

        • Mark C says:

          Yeah, I undstand the money factor at play with Lombardi (LTIR him and let insurance foot the bill?). However, like you note, who cares right now? Nashville have all summer to get ride of him. Pure crazyness to trade Franson for nothing outside of some cap savings.

          And to think people whine about losing Benny for nothing.

    • habs_r_us says:

      im not sure why nashville made this move other than opening a clear path for ryan ellis to make the team and become the star h is destined to become.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        If they wanted to make room, lose their 5’8″ D Bouillon, not the 6’5″ Franson. If MTL had two Ds on their roster at 5’8″ and 5’9″ Hockey I/O and Twitter would crash.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • habs_r_us says:

          the only other possibility is that they needed to clear lombardi’s salary to make room for weber or another player even though he’d be on injured reserve next year and not count towards the cap they still have to pay him i believe the actuall salary, nashville is on an internal budget and maybe they were pushing the limit of that budget. although since they made the second round of the playoffs last year and with all the players they recently lost to free agency this shouldnt be an issue.. especially not enough of an issue to lose a top end talented dman

    • ed lopaz says:

      I saw Cody Franson play last season, I was very impressed.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  22. habs_r_us says:

    toronto robs nashville of cody franson..

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’ve liked this Stalberg kid ever since he donned a Leafs uni. Didn’t see much of him last year but he didn’t look bad in Blackhawk colours in the couple of playoff games I saw. Big kid. Good skater. A bit of grit with an offensive upside. I wouldn’t be upset to see him in bleu/blanc/rouge. Konopka is a bit more of a gamble but might be nice too. Like Moen, he’s gritty but doesn’t score much. He may be a better or at least a more willing fighter. 8 goals in 195 NHL games, however? In the “new” NHL, other than a name that sounds as if he should be a European, is he actually an improvement over Moen? Frolik doesn’t much impress me.

  24. mike3131 says:

    It has been brought up and I’ll bring it up again. We should go after Jason Arnott. I mentioned he should be in our top-6 but imagine if he was our THIRD line centre?

    Cammy – Plex – Cole
    Max – Gomez – Gio
    DD – Arnott – AK

    He shouldn’t get more than $4 M, and would likely accept a short term deal. He’ll also be our 2nd PP centre and PK guy.
    He is big (and uses his size), experienced, great at faceoffs, great defensively… with Eller possibly out to start the season, Arnott would allow Eller to fully rehab. Maybe Eller can even play in the AHL for this year, gain several pounds in the offseason, and come back in “Pacioretty” form in 2011-12.

  25. Neutral says:

    no matter how you look at moen he’s a 4th liner and nothing more
    comes to play but very little production. a more productive 4th line is needed in Montreal comes in handy in the playoffs, it helped Boston. when the Habs were winning cups they always had a decent 4th line….

  26. HalifaxHabs says:

    Despite the fact that two days have passed, there are still a few intriguing directions PG could go with his remaining 4ish in cap space(after White and Gorges get their deals, and leaving about a million in wiggle, room going into the season)…

    Konopka seems to be the hot button topic… at the very least he is an interesting possibility, it’s looking like we are going to be short 1 center to start the season(Eller could be out until November), and he’s a good face off man. He definitely brings toughness. His terrible +/- can be partially attributed to the overall shityness of the Islanders, and his PIM’s, well I guess it depends on what PG & JM think of him, and how they can work with him.

    With only 12 forward signed, and Eller out, they could conceivably sign 2 forwards, or sign one and let someone from the Bulldogs start the season with the big club. There are a few other interesting name out there after Konopka.

    Langenbrunner & Stillman were both mentioned by Kempie below. I like those guys, both tough players, vets with playoff experience and cup rings. And both would fit nicely with Eller and AK on our 3rd line come playoff time.

    There’s also a few talented Russian wingers out there, that bring could bring more size and skill to the wing. Both are still young, and have been close to a point/game a few years ago(yeah I know, just like Gomez), but both have seen a decline in production last year. Frolov and Zherdev. Both big boys with mad skills, but it would be a project of sorts for the Habs to get the most out of them.

    Then there’s also the fact that we have 7 d-men under contract, and 2 of them are coming off major knee surgeries, and two of them are getting long in the tooth. So an argument could be made that we might enter the season carrying 8 d-men. One more could be brought up from Hamilton, but you’d think PG would want our best d-prospects to get much more ice time in Hamilton then they would in the press box in Montreal. That tells me we might still grab one more veteran d-man on the cheap. I think we can all agree we would want a tough d-man for that spot, we don’t need a puck mover in the 8th d-man. Some names could be O’Brien, Babchuk, and there’s always Paul Mara with his gritty over-sized play-off beard. (forgive me, if O’Brien or Babchuk already found a home, and I missed it)

    So, hopefully today, or at least over the next few days, we’ll see what PG’s final few steps will be with his remaining caps space, and what direction he will go.

    Thoughts?

    • ed lopaz says:

      if Langenbrunner wants to play here I would grab him in a second.

      he is a natural leader, hard nosed, tough as nails type of player.

      never takes a shift off, never plays a soft shift.

      absolutely langenbrunner.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • SyntaxLove says:

        Agreed. Both Frolov & Zherdev are coming off all around horrible seasons & share similar profiles. Frolov was very consistent with the Kings so it’s more likely that if he can stay healthy he’ll pick it back up & could be signed to a 2 year/6mil contract. any of the 3 would be good signings in my opinion. Of course there’s still Miettinen & Arnott, even though it’s speculated that Arnott has no interest.

        Any of those players would be marked improvements to the bottom 6 and should be sought after for depth & stability.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        All PG has to do is ask our Captain about Langenbrunner, would appear to be a solid guy to pickup. Doesn’t help our faceoffs at all but certainly is a guy one would think should fit into the dressing room culture. Mr. Gainey would have pretty good insights on him as well from time in the Big D.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The few Islanders game I saw last year, I have to admit I wasn’t focused on Z Konopka, okay i didn’t notice him till he fought. I am a big proponent of adding more sandpaper to this lineup. I know that Rona had their big Tax Exempt sale a couple weeks ago so not sure PG is going there. But if there is any left somewhere else I hope he gets it. I am thinking he too may be leaning towards adding that last bit of toughness (if at all) from the D position. I think Babchuk could provide that.

      Konopka does have good faceoff skills but as 1 or 2 others have pointed out the rest of the shift could be a nightmare. Perhaps he just needs to experience “The System” it can cure many ailments. Certainly coaching stability has not been a strength of the Islanders in recent years.

      I am out of new names to add so I guess I am stuck waiting to see if PG is indeed going to pay more at Rona now or wait until the next sale during the season.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      ok genius… let’s say they pay Ryan White $700 000, and they pay Gorges 2.5 mil.

      that’s 3.2 mil, and an extra 1 mil in room going into the season… that’s 4.2… and we have roughly 8 million left… so 8 – 4.2 = 3.8 mil

      and I said they have roughly 4 mil in space to work with… care to correct me?? where did I miss a few million? oh I didn’t?

      either you’re incapable of doing grade 6 math, or you are just spouting off without actually thinking about the numbers.

      ps: please prove your genius to all of us by suggesting that gorges can be signed for 1.5 million or something stupid like that.

    • JF says:

      Either Langenbrunner or Stillman would be good, especially Langenbrunner, whom I’ve always really liked. I’d stay away from Zherdev. Talented as he is, he hasn’t had as much success as you would expect, and the Habs haven’t exactly excelled recently at getting the most out of players like that.

      As for an extra defenceman, I like Babchuk, but I’d be happy enough with Paul Mara. He played well for us at the end of last year, he was obviously very glad to come back to Montreal, and he fitted in well, something whose importance cannot be over-estimated. Gauthier has to be careful that, in adding the necessary pieces, he doesn’t upset the chemistry of a team which really seemed to be a tight group last year. Perhaps that’s why he seemed to show little or no interest in Jagr.

  27. arcosenate says:

    Spector has a link to a story that the Habs and Blachawks are talking trade, and identifies Moen as one of the players involved.

    Don’t see the need for us to get any smaller, any guesses as to what they might be offering?

    • Mike D says:

      The rumour, which people on here were talking about yesterday, was for one of their RFA’s. If there’s any truth to that, CHI’s only 3 RFA’s are D Chris Campoli, LW Viktor Stalberg, and RW/C Michael Frolik.

      – Honestly yours

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        Interesting… not overly interested in Campoli, decent player, but he would be to expensive to lock up based on the d-men we already have.

        Frolik and Stalbeg are both very interesting. They both would be an upgrade in offense over Moen. Both young and decent size, Stalberg especially (6’3 210). We would sacrifice a bit in toughness, but they aren’t small guys, and it’s not like Moen is going around knocking people out for us.

        As long as there isn’t anything else of note we have to kick in, and we can get either Stalberg or Frolik singed for a couple of years at a fair price, I would consider turning Moen into either of those guys, an upgrade.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think the biggest problem last year for Moen was with MaxPac injured and before he was even called up, JM was using him on lines he had no business being on. If we can keep Moen limited to 4th and maybe some 3rd line minutes with PK as well he should be much better in that role. Stalberg is a guy with speed, skill and size. However more like a 240 grit sandpaper used on for general purpose around the workshop. I would think Moen is more a 120 grit which can even help out with the drwall patching. Neither is extremely coarse, but losing Moen’s grit for more skill may not be wear I would be leaning. Chicago was very keen on him when they first traded Versteeg to Toronto as he was the key piece coming back to the Blackhawks.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            And it’s not like I’m advocating dumping Moen, I do like the guy. However, this is his last year under contract, and I doubt he is part of the long-term plans.

            But if he is being penciled in on the 3rd line with Eller & AK, it’s tempting to question what that line would look like with Stalberg or Frolik, playing along side those guys instead.

            I think the answer is, much much more offensive upside… but as Hobie mentions below, at the cost of some grit & character… and some valuable pk minutes.

            edit: and then there always getting something out of an asset(Moen) before it walks away for nothing next year.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          If Moen’s name was truly floating around in that reported conversation between the Habs and Hawks I’d be very surprised.

          Martin has a lot of trust in Moen, enough to play him on the top lines when somebody is injured or they’re looking for a spark. Moen has a cup ring and is still a good 3rd or 4th line player and is probably the toughest player the Habs have.

          I think our bottom six would suffer with the loss of Moen and his rock solid play. He kills penalties and he’s known for scoring the occasional big goal in the playoffs.

          I’d be shocked and disappointed if he were traded and we didn’t receive back more toughness, grit and experience in return.

        • SyntaxLove says:

          There’s no monetary/performance reason for the Hawks to not sign Frolik back. So if these rumours are at all true, it is probably for Stalberg. He’s younger than Moen & it looks like he’ll be a more offensively productive player but I highly doubt it would be a straight trade. Something else would be required from us, and I don’t want to relinquish anything but Moen & cash for Stalberg.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            maybe a 3rd or 4th rounder… but I wouldn’t want to give a 1st or a 2nd.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’d have to agree that Gorges is slightly overrated but he’s still a top four defenseman by an eyelash.

      I’d like to see what Gorges can do this year before I crown him an amazing stay at home defenseman like people are saying.

      He’s got heart, he plays well but I wouldn’t pay huge money for him.

      Personally I think he’s worth $2.5 mill tops.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is it just his steady defensive play or the fact he gives everything he’s got that you feel he is not of value to this team. I am guessing 2 years ago on our playoff run you didn’t watch any games.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I didn’t say he wasn’t of value. I said he was a top four defenseman that is slightly overrated…

      • SyntaxLove says:

        His plus/minus with Gill last year was pretty bad. I’m still undecided on him.

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        actually I barely missed a habs game since Ive been alive. hahaah

        dotn get all angry now because I feel georges is over rated its my opionon, I like the guy alot!

        youre right about all you say, but I just dont see it, he blocks shot, plays hard….dosnt hit, always had really good defensive partners, he dosnt score, at all,

        If hes trying to strike the bank, Id rather see him walk thats all I’m saying, k I’ll go to 2.5 mil tops, and thats really only kause him and carey are so close, gotta keep price happy after all he is our franchise

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        put it this way georges would be missed, but easily replaced by a guy making 2- 2.5 mil, maybe even upgraded

    • habitual says:

      I read Spector and the Chicago Daily, and didn’t see a reference to Moen.

      Of course it depends on who we would get back, but as everyone and their hampster has noted, we need more not less size so I don’t see the case for a trade for the Chicago guys referred to.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We’ve already let go two PK forwards: Halpern and Pyatt. If we also get rid of Moen that will mean way more time on the PK for Pleks, Gionta and Cammi, which is the wrong direction to go in. One reason I would have liked Talbot is to reduce those other guys’ PK time.

      Stalberg is already 25 and hasn’t managed to impress in the NHL. I don’t see how this helps us. Campoli might be a good one though; especially if we can ditch the Spatch.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Although i wouldn’t suggest trading Moen for Stallberg I think that he still has a chance to become a decent offensive player.

        Last year was Stallberg’s first full season in the NHL and he scored 12 goals in a secondary role. He COULD hit the 20-goal mark with some increased responsibilities.

  28. kevin m says:

    Check out this Nathan Beaulieu fight in Sea Dogs game this past January.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTqwV8haUcs&feature=related

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Either Joe Sakic is not on his way to becoming a GM or he has zero influence in that Colorado team’s decision making. A first and 2nd round pick for Varlomov when Vokoun was available. That is a ridiculous amount to pay for a goalie who couldn’t get the job done on a team oozing with talent.

    Mcphee on the other hand has given the bumbling mouthpiece Boudreau all the pieces again this year. Can’t see him holding that job another year if this team doesn’t at least get to SC final.

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      yeah we got a first and 3rd for halak

      • saskhabfan says:

        Doug Armstrong would probably like a do over in that trade considering how poorly halak played this year. Besides,colorado had no interest in the halak summer considering they already had anderson who is miles better then halak. Just ask ottawa. There were only 4 teams who wanted halak last year. That alone is telling about how much value he really had.

    • SyntaxLove says:

      This is consistent with my theory that Greg Sherman loathes Colorado & is trying to destroy the team.

  30. kempie says:

    Alright, slow in here today, so I’m going to toss out two names: Stillman, Langenbrunner. Both are upgrades on Moen for the 3rd line. Both would be fairly cheap and might be had short-term. I watched them both play their junior in Peterborough – very similar players. JM would love them. I’d be happy with either one for $2-3M for one year.

  31. 24 Cups says:

    JT’s pros and cons of the past few days.

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer.html

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Brian Burke says if one doesn’t like the violence in hockey one can always watch tennis.

    That’s just what I am doing. Nadal – Djoko is a great match.

  33. Mike D says:

    First random thought of the day:

    Gonna miss Hammer. Yes, I was one of the posters opposed to bringing him back, and I still stand by that since we already have 2 older Dmen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the guy. He should be applauded for his efforts and especially for stepping up to cover for Markov’s injuries the past couple years (but keep in mind he was paid well enough to be a top pairing guy). I hope he gets the applause/recognition he deserves when the Caps come to play in our barn. If we didn’t have Spacek on contract for this season, I would have been okay with bringing him back for one more year.

    In listening to Hamr’s press conference attached to this thread, I caught him saying ‘we’ (referring to the Habs) in present tense and that made me smile. I know it was just a slip of the tongue, but it indicates he still feels like a part of our team. Hard not to like a guy for that, especially since he made it clear he wanted to stay. I’m happy he got the contract he did both in dollars and years.

    Thank you, Roman, for everything. Congrats and best wishes to you. We’ll miss ya.

    – Honestly yours

    • habitual says:

      Well said. Character guy.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Speaking of Hamrlik, Washington has some major cap problems after this week’s moves. Someone will be hitting the road by Oct 1st and it won’t by Roman.

    • ed lopaz says:

      for 5.5 million per season, how many 37 year old NHL defenceman would have trouble giving everything they had?

      If you look around the league, you will not find too many contracts like that were given out more than 4 years ago!

      The Habs gave up a lot of dirty, garbage goals over the last 4 seasons,
      because our defence did not protect the crease, did not protect Price,

      for a guy over 6″2 (edited) and well over 200 lbs, Hamrlik was very soft.

      I dont like soft in defencemen. It encourages the other team to charge our net, to battle for rebounds, to dominate us physically.

      Other posters and moderators write a lot of posts about the Habs need to play tougher, but they rave about Hamrlik and how much ice time he gets. Even though Hamrlik has not played a hard nosed shift in 15 years.

      ever think why a 37 year old, with so much experience, making 5.5 million was never even considered to be Captain, and rarely, if ever assistant Captain on this team?

      PK Subban, the best and most talented d-man to arrive in this town since Andre Markov, was shunned by Hamrlik, not spoken to, and if you watched carefully, rarely received a pass from Hamrlik when they were on the ice together.

      there were rumors that Hamrlik refused to play with Subban, and I am convinced to this day that it was Hamrlik that led that movement against Subban in the Habs dressing room at the beginning of last season.

      Even SF 09, who is without a doubt one of the most respected posters here, has stated several times that he agrees that Hamrlik was in conflict with Subban.

      Remember when Subban was benched?

      That was about Subban making mistakes on the ice, for sure, and then something also happened in the dressing room between Subban and a few of the so called experienced players.

      Hamrlik was an average d-man, average defensively and offensively.

      He got paid about 2 million per season more than what he was worth.

      for the purposes of intellectual honestly on this site lets tell the whole story.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • Mike D says:

        Whoa Ed. No need to get upset or whatever about my post. I respect you as a member of HIO and very much enjoy reading your posts. I consider you one of the better posters on here in fact. To your points:

        A lot of players get big salaries (by NHL standards) and don’t give it 100%. Hamr isn’t one of them. And I did address the fact that he was VERY well paid while wearing the CH. I also stated that I did not want to bring him back.

        Hamr is 6’2″ and 207lbs, not “6’4″ and well over 200lbs.” as you stated. I agree he’s not overly physical, but I wouldn’t call him soft. He was on the ice for garbage goals at times, but in my view that was more often due to him being out of position, not because he didn’t flatten someone. Both are problems, just different.

        Think back to the 2010 playoffs. Hamr and Spacek (as well as Gill and Gorges) were absolutely wonderful in the Washington and Pittsburgh series’ and shut down many great offensive talents from our opposition.

        For Hamr’s first 2 years here, Saku was Captain, and nobody was taking the C off of Saku’s jersey as long as he was a Hab. The Next year there was no Captain. The last year, why would we give the C to someone who has only one year left on his contract and is nearing the end of his career and/or tenure with the club?

        Mr. Rice (SF09) is a valuable and respected member of HIO and knows what he’s talking about – no argument there.

        Dave Stubbs, who has a lot of exposure (obviously) to the actual team, their practices, and the room, commented yesterday in response to another poster who said Hamr wasn’t good with the younger guys. In essence, Stubbs stated that Hamr spends a lot of time at practice working with and talking with “the kids” and helping them. If Stubbs says that, I believe it since he obviously has seen this with his own eyes.

        I was not aware of any conflict between Hamr and PK – my apologies for my own ignorance on that if that was the case. FWIW, in Hamr’s audio clip, he talks about how he thinks PK is a talented player.

        – Honestly yours

        • ed lopaz says:

          it had nothing to do with your post. nothing personal at all.

          sorry if you took it that way.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  34. Old Bald Bird says:

    Perception is a funny thing. After reading about how Richards would provide us with the big centre that we’ve been needing for ever so long, I was stunned to read in the paper this morning that he is 6’0″, 195lbs. Gomez, our beloved smurf, is listed at 5’11”, 200lbs. Apparently the extra inch is very important — much more so than 5lbs.

  35. punkster says:

    What, no Konopka thread this morning? Boone, Stubbs…boys, crank out an in-depth article with full analysis and interviews on this powerhouse. The Habs nation awaits!

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HabFab says:

      Trolling for hardass on a sunny morning with a konopoka spinner! Very interesting! What weight are you using for your line?

      • punkster says:

        Ha. By the way you had the correct Youtube video. She was awesome on a hot and humid night. Quite a voice and she travels with an exceptional quintet from central and south america. Great night.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Given it is for a gritty fighting 4th line player, I am guessing minimum 50lb test line, something that can be used to pull out a big carp from the bottom of the river.

    • Bugs says:

      I pointed out a beautiful one for you in the older comments of this page yesterday.
      Did you not see it?

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • punkster says:

        Bugs…I can’t find it? The closest I come is a comment addressed to “Brewster” at 8:15pm but no link attached? What did I miss?

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • Bugs says:

          Link? One of your posts said you wanted to lay into Knoppy-lovers. Skrudie fit the bill. Didn’t know attaching links had anything to do with it.
          Yes. “Brewster”. That was it. That’s you, ain’t it? Well, then.
          Whatacha waitin for? Skrudie said gettin Knoppy is pure brilliance and that anyone thinks different was oxygen-deprived as a child.
          Surely you have some form of retort lined up? Or are you just gonna let that pass?

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  36. Hobie Hansen says:

    As much as we like to believe we’re all great judges of talent and think that Pouliot has another gear in him that is just waiting to be utilized, I think we saw his best.

    There’s a reason Kirk Muller and Jack Martin put him on the 4th line by season’s end. He wasn’t contributing enough after being given a sold chance on one of the top lines and he also began to take dumb penalties. And we don’t know what his attitude was like, only the coaches and players do.

    He’s on his third team now after being drafted early in the first round so I really don’t think you can say Montreal and Minnesota didn’t utilize his talents properly. He just plainly doesn’t have the will to succeed at the NHL level is what I think.

    • zak says:

      From what I saw if you were a 7.5 mil player, non productive and taking dumb penalties it was OK but if you weren’t making the big buck it was a different story. Gomez should have been benched more than Benny. I hope he has a career year with the Bruins. We’ll see if it’e the player or the coaching.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think you right Hobie. I don’t think PG was actually looking to get rid of high skilled high drafted french named forward. Reality set in that this kid just couldn’t get it together to help the Habs. Perhaps the pressure cooker of Montreal was not the place that was able to help him. In fact it could turn out that with less pressure in Boston this will help him.

      However, in the less pressure filled environment of Minnesota he couldn’t make it. This was also under the watchful eye of Jaques Lemaire. This would then remove the excuse that proper coaching was what was needed.

      End of day, we tried for a few years and it wasn’t working out. We all wanted it too, but it just didn’t happen. Is there a chance we sign him that we could have traded him for a draft pick perhaps, but no way Boston was going to pick him up for a cost. He may have some spite towards Montreal, or perhaps Boston’s thirst to beat Montreal at all costs drove them to want him just as an attempt to throw egg in our face.

      I trust PG’s assesment , all the while still hoping it doesn’t bite us in the ass. But we cannot say the organization didn’t try.

      Okay done rambling.

    • Marcusman says:

      He’ll figure it out eventually. He’s Dad/coach died 3-4 years ago….so it’s hard times for him. Just wait till he figures it out, meets some hot chickata to calm him down and bam 50 goal scorer. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen when he’s still playing with Bruins.

      “”Do not throw the arrow which will return against you.”
      – Kurdish Proverb

    • boing007 says:

      Richard R
      Maybe Benny didn’t like the way his name was pronounced. I certainly didn’t.

    • Number31 says:

      And Jack Edwards called him the greatest failure of all time. Now he’ll be kissing his feet.

      They probably signed him so he won’t punch out Krejci again.

  37. HabFanSince72 says:

    Interesting article by Larry Brooks on Brad Richards:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/way_brad_yZEviQDz1HgTzBq8l4CVSP

    1. The Leafs offered $10M more, and the Flames $4M more, than the Rangers. (Hard to conclude that Richards doesn’t like Canada – neither franchise is going anywhere.)

    2. Richards was able to squeeze an extra $9M out of the Rangers by playing hard to get. They initially offered $51M (he got $60M).

    3. The Rangers are a much better team, and they are still comfortably under the cap. It’s not only Richards that will improve the team next year. A lot of their best players are young and some should continue to improve.

    4. Brooks lists Toronto, Calgary and LA’s offers, but no mention of the Habs. I suspect we never spoke to him.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Bottle half-full assessment:

      1. Richards will be the highest paid player in the league next year and the year after.

      2. He has only been invited to one all-star game in his NHL career (2011).

      3. He has never scored 30 goals in a season.

      4. He is a career -72 but was a +1 last year.

      5. As team leader in Dallas for the last three years he failed to take the team to the playoffs.

      6. He is 31.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He is a good player who had a great playoffs the year TBay won the cup. Arguably the best hockey he has ever played. His regular season are nice. Not worth the contract he got, but then again doesn’t almost every team in the league have a contract like that?

      • boing007 says:

        Richard R
        He’d better score at least 60 goals and lead the Rangers to a Stanley Cup next season for that kind of money.

    • RGM says:

      Habs did speak to him but never made an offer.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  38. Stuck_in_To. says:

    After reading poster’s line combinations, I could not remember if Cammalleri actually plays off-wing (right). I know he takes PP shifts but does he take regular shifts?

    LW
    Max Pacioretty (shoots left)
    Michael Cammalleri (shoots left)
    Andrei Kostitsyn (shoots left)

    RW
    Brian Gionta (shoots right)
    Erik Cole (shoots left)

    In any case, I hope we eventually see the line of Pacioretty+Eller+Cole somewhere down the line. Two big wingers with speed and an improving centerman who can dig stuff out and fight for loose pucks in front of the net.

    Gomez needs to be turned into a checking center and dropped to the third line. : )

  39. G-Man says:

    The Habs are improved on paper. I can’t wait for the early August prospect evaluations and tryouts, but for now it’s time to enjoy summer. :)

  40. rhino514 says:

    Though I think cole is a good player, and a good character guy, which is pretty much a prerequisite for a MTL UFA signing, the quote about the habs being improved, though technically true, is not true in relative terms. With the cap up by over 4 million, that means that every club that can spend that amount will improve by that amount, on average. That is to say a good scorer´s worth, or a combination of signings providing an equal value.
    The habs will be a drastically imrpoved team because they should have Markov, Pacioretty, and Gorges for the full year.
    They will be a better team than the one which came to within one shot of beating the Stanley Cup champions this year…as long as they are healthy come playoff time. Unfortunately, this is always a big IF with this team.
    The fact that they are an even better team than the one which would have won the Cup this year if relatively healthy does not preclude that they will win it next year, even if healthy. A team may rise out of the ashes to have a truly dominant year.
    But I like their chances. If they are healthy they are going to finish probably in the top three in the league, and more importantly they have a team which come playoff time, totally believes in itself to the last drop of the puck.
    I don´t agree with the posters who say they are two or three years away. I see decent, but not great nor surefire prospects in the system.
    The team was already a great team this year, beset by injuries. It´s funny how some people can´t seem to believe that we have a real good hockey team.

    P.S. Neither Desharnais nor Eller are fourth line centres. I am curious to see how that situation is resolved by the end of the year-especially if there are no takers for Gomez.

    • G-Man says:

      I do not think other teams have improved by that cap figure. I see them overpaying by a lot. Do you believe Richards is a $12 mil player? The Rangers are idiots that have too many players not on Tortorella’s game plan, like Gaborik and his whipping boy Dubinsky.
      The Habs added character and scoring and a decent backup for Price. There will be gem available later in the summer at relatively lower salaries. More depth is always a good thing.

      • gauver says:

        we still need a top-end centre to go with Plekanec. we can’t expect too much of Eller or Desharnais this season; they’ll contribute but they won’t lead us.

        until we get that centre, i don’t think that we are a legitimate contender for the Cup.

    • BobDobbs says:

      “the quote about the habs being improved, though technically true, is not true in relative terms. With the cap up by over 4 million, that means that every club that can spend that amount will improve by that amount, on average. That is to say a good scorer´s worth, or a combination of signings providing an equal value.”

      I don’t think that’s the way to look at it. The cap was raised for *all* teams, yet the same players remain in the NHL. So to gauge our team we need to look at what players we have compared to other teams, out of the pool of players which did not rise by $5m.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Although I agree with most of your post, I don’t think that it logically follows that every team improved because of the increase in the cap. The amount of talent in the league didn’t increase just because the cap did. Some players will simply earn more money to perform at the same level. Many teams also did not take advantage of the increase in cap space, and the Habs may be one of them. Just because you can spend $64M doesn’t mean you will. Then there is the Gomez Effect; sometimes when you give a good player too much money he simply becomes complacent and is no longer a good player. So some of these teams may actually be worse for having spent more.

  41. 24 Cups says:

    It would appear that the only decent UFAs left are Miettinen, Kaberle and McCabe.

    I’m still not sure why we didn’t bring back Pouliot, we certainly have the cap space and an open roster spot. I guess the Martin factor won out. Chalk up another 2nd round pick out the window. Having said that, I wonder if we could sign Nicklas Bergfors to a two-way contract. He’s only 24 and still is a project. Not much to lose the way I see it.

    We should also take a look (at the end of the month) to signing Pyatt and a ‘hulk like’ Dman to two-way contracts to act as insurance.

    I know I’m repeating myself, but what was Colorado thinking when they gave up a 1st rounder (lottery?) for Varlomov? They could have had Vokoun for nothing or taken a run at Schneider or Bernier. All the other moves this weekend have just been a waste of money, this one is a major waste of prime assets. Not to mention that Varlomov now has Colorado over the barrel when it comes to contract negotiations.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I am disappointed about Pouliot too but not ready to accuse the organization of being unable or unwilling to develop a player. I thought Lars Eller was a work in progress all of last year and, ultimately, brought along in a satisfactory manner. He ended his season a much better player than he began it.

      So the unanswerable question is just what was wrong with both Pouliot and Latendresse? I doubt we’ll ever know and if they are successful elsewhere, it will be all the more frustrating. But if they are merely third line competent on another team, then there is your answer. Neither were in this organization to do anything but grab a top 6 spot.

      • RGM says:

        I don’t envision Latendresse becoming an elite player that is worth lamenting. The fascination that some at this site still have with him baffles me. But to each their own.

        During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • twocents says:

      Steve the Pouliot situation is confounding. But, considering some of the things said about him from people involved in Minnesota and the fact that the Habs have obviously squandered an asset, it begs questions about Pouliot’s impact on his teammates. You know, the effect of a talented guy who doesn’t seem to consistently care and apply himself in the atmosphere of a hard working tight bunch. I think it’s a little too easy to just pin this on Martin alone.

      Pouliot’s exit comments are eerily similar to Daigle’s back in the day. How did that work out?

      • HabFab says:

        Benny had his chance for almost two years and didn’t cut it. Hate to get nothing for assets but that seems to be the new NHL.

        Took a look through the remaining free agents for a defensive center, nothing caught my fancy which probably explains the Konopka rave here.

        Did notice a lot of unsigned RFA’s, with some on teams that will get Cap challenged when they do sign them. Maybe that is the way to go if not too costly on our side.

        • twocents says:

          Sometimes, at certain ages, two years isn’t enough. It’s all a matter of assessing whether the potential pay off warrants extraordinary patience. His flashes suggest to me that it just might. But, I don’t get to observe the day to day, so who knows.

          It’s just a shame to hear him say things like, the things I heard from the coaches here are things I’ve heard before. SO ADDRESS THEM BUDDY!… or hang ‘em up.

          • HabFab says:

            True that on the first part. However it just wasn’t our two years but Minnie had the same issues during his time there.

            We set in our “armchairs”, talk trash etc BUT we are not with the team day to day seeing for ourselves and making these decisions based on professional experienced observations.

            Again, I hate to lose out on a potential but I’m sure the other GM’s weren’t beating down PG’s door offering deals.

    • Propwash says:

      Pouliot had all the tools and came up constantly on his arse.
      It sucks that it didn’t work out with him and the team, but blaming management is the easy way out. Development is a two way street.

    • nick says:

      Pouliot was picked 4th overall in 2005. One spot above Carey Price.
      For 1 million, being 6’3 – 200 pounds, having put up 30 points last season while being in JM’s dog house… Without a doubt worth it.

      The kid is going to get much better before he gets worse.

  42. habstrinifan says:

    Read Eklund late last night ( dont worry I am under doctor’s care) and saw his article under Newport Folk Festival. What was that all about, did Ricahrds’ agent’s agency try to do LeBron? It seems that they had a sort of ‘showing’ where teams had to fly in and make presentations. WOW!

    Not saying this in hindsight or because of above… just glad we didnt sign Richards. I remember sometime during the season, I said just that… and was almost run out of town. Dont think he would have been an answer here.

  43. Habmyster says:

    Still need some size upfront.Have to do a trade for that.Some more depth on defense.

  44. solomio says:

    Konopka ad infinitum
    ok my last about the Z. Look at his stats in the OHL,ECHL and AHL.
    The guy has had impressive point totals. Its not really until he joins Tampa Bay that his PIM’s start going thru the roof.Coaching at TB must have done that. Ya ya we know that points in the minors does not always translate into NHL poiints.
    My point is that his stats show that he HAS played some very good hockey.
    Que sera sera.
    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  45. Habs_4_ever says:

    How long till training camp???

  46. Peter Young says:

    Delighted that Cole has joined the Canadiens. Horrified that the Canadiens gave up so readily on Pouliot, a great talent, the kind that comes to a club only rarely, without really trying to help him overcome his problems. And of all the clubs in the NHL, he’s gone to the Bruins, too! It’s not water under the bridge because this weakness in player management will come back to haunt the Canadiens and it still remains in place ready to wreak damage the next time a troubled talent comes along (albeit a talent like Pouliot comes along infrequently).

    Normally, because of my support, since 1953, for the Canadiens, I would say I hope I’m wrong about this, but I liked Pouliot so much that I’m going to wish him all the best as he tries to find his way in the NHL. Perhaps he’ll find a club that will truly help him, and perhaps it will be the Bruins. And perhaps Canadiens management will learn a lesson.

    I’m just dumbfounded about this. I know a lot of you will say I’m just dumb. So be it. Let us see what happens this coming season. All the best, Benny.

    • G-Man says:

      Pouliot fell on his own with and without the puck. He is nothing but a head case. Habs need players, not a psychiatric ward filled with players that have “inner demons.” The lesson management learned was this: “don’t waste your time.”

    • SmartDog says:

      Well put. I agree with you. 100%

    • harpman says:

      Pouliot needs to apply himself…he has had numerous chances already. I dont think management needs to baby him or any other pro player. These guys make big bucks and I, for one, am tired of guys that won`t show up every night and play hard. Remember Kovalev….Pouliot needs to dig deep into himself.

    • BJ says:

      Peter. I fully agree with you. Like yourself I’ve been a Habs fan since 1952-53 and have seen a few guys go by on the roster. Pouliot is an excellent player and its a huge mistake on management’s part to let him go. The problem is not so much on the ice as in the administration and coaching. I think Martin is a decent coach but “his system” or non system is ruining some decent talent. If he can’t handle younger players he should simply retire. I was amazed at the way he handled the PK thing last year. It took PK a good 15 games to really get back in the confidence groove and had it been that he is a lot more resilient than Pouliot it could have cost perhaps another talent. Our problem on offense, especially 5 on 5 is simply Martin and “the system”.

      • SmartDog says:

        Music to my ears. You guys speak from more experience than I have, it’s great to know you see the same thing. My background is psychology and I had a strong interest in performance psychology. Martin always seems to come up short in defending his players. This plays with their heads. Look at Julien, he’s always on the side of his guys – it’s his JOB to be.

        We’ve lost a lot of young talent under Martin because he gave up on them. I’ve never seen a coach turf so many good young players. For whatever good he does, he’s hurting the habs too.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Peter Young, you state that the Canadiens “gave up so readily on Pouliot…without really trying to help him overcome his problems.”

      Please justify this statement. I don’t think you can. I think you are overstating an opinion that you hold, but don’t have any real facts to back it up.

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  47. Biggest_Greek_HABSfun says:

    What about this.. cammy-pleky-paciorrety
    gionta-gomez-cole
    AK46-darche-eller
    white-DD-moen ?

    looks really good to me :) i cant wait to see them all !go habs GOOOO

    • Shmitzy says:

      I like this but with Eller at centre and White on that line. I think his energy with AK and Eller would be insanity. Plus, Darche, Moen and DD would be among the better fourth lines in hockey all around, IMO. But I do like your idea of Pac with Pleks and Cammy.

    • Stev.R says:

      Cammy – Pleks – Cole
      (Cole forchecks then gets to the front of the net)

      Pacioretty – Gomez – Gio
      (Two shooters for a smart playmaker)

      Kostitsyn – Eller/DD – Darche
      (I really liked Eller in the playoffs; If KOs starts banging bodies he’ll be a nasty third liner)

      White – Eller/DD – Darche
      (Some size, some skill, some speed)

      That’s our offence with the guys we have signed right now. I still think we are going to get one more right handed depth center and maybe DD will play the wing on the third line.

  48. deuce6 says:

    Call me stupid, but if we can somehow dump Gomez, I can see PG picking up Corey Stillman..Just a hunch..

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  49. deuce6 says:

    *Double

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  50. habs001 says:

    if we sign white we will have 12 forwards once eller comes back…while we all like darche not sure if he is a good fit as a fourth liner…if we sign another forward from the ufa field than does that mean that even if one of our prospects has a great training camp there is no chance he makes the team?

  51. t1tan5 says:

    All I hear about Konopka is that he’s a great faceoff guy that fights, but is horrible defensively. Love him or hate him, JM won’t have him on the team, which makes all these arguments (some ridiculously long for a prospective FOURTH line plugger) moot.

    • showey47 says:

      Pretty much every player on the islanders were considered horrible defensively. Look at the wiz who was a -18 when we traded for him and was a +4 afterwards.

      • Mark C says:

        Plus/minus isn’t a defensively stat. Half of the output is solely based on offense (i.e. +1 for being on the ice for a goal scored). Konopka isn’t good defensively, and he was easily the NYI’s worst PKer, in fact he was one of the worst in the league.

  52. Un Canadien errant says:

    From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

    “There had been considerable talk recent years about retiring Jagr’s sweater No. 68 after he gave up the game. The way things stand now, that might not happen until sometime after the Steelers unveil a Ray Lewis statue on the 50 at Heinz Field.”

    ———————————
    Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  53. Un Canadien errant says:

    Link below to a great article on the reaction in Pittsburgh on International Man of Mystery Jaromir Jagr up and signing with the Philadelphia Flyers, their hated in-state rival.

    Mr. Gauthier said all along that he had no interest, yet there were ‘rumours’ that the Canadiens were in the race to sign him. Of course, this process once again taught us to not believe anything coming from Mr. Jagr, and that his agent Petr Svoboda is a carny barker. The interest from the Canadiens might have been a smokescreen by Mr. Svoboda, or just Mr. Gauthier doing his due diligence, but once again he garners points by stating right off the bat by stating we were not interested, and not letting himself get distracted by the sideshow.

    Once again, well done Mr. Gauthier.

    Now please go sign Shane O’Brien, and fast forward the calendar to September for us. Summer is overrated.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11183/1157826-61.stm

    ———————————
    Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  54. frozengolf says:

    I know there are a lot of you who want Konopka, but JM will never have him on the team. I would like to see Andreas Engqvist given a shot at the 4th centre role. Big body, good checker, rookie enthusiasm. Could be a good fit.

  55. Trisomy 21 says:

    What do you guys think of instead of Konopka, Scott Nichol. I heard on TV his FO % was around 60, shoots right and is a UFA. He’ll be 37 in Dec but fits the bill to be a cheap rental for the temp position at centre. He also throws his weight around a bit with over 100 hits.

    Also some wingers I wouldn’t mind signing for small change is Frolov, who came off a bad season, and Bergfors who I still see potential in. I’m not sure where they would fit right away in our depth but it might be interesting to see what could become of them.

  56. dtoight says:

    Anton Babchuk

  57. dtoight says:

    If I was PG I’d go after Jamie Langenbruner. He could come on the cheaper side around $2M,has won a few cups, is a natural leader with some speed left in him that can play well in all 3 zones. He would fit right in with our team and could really play on any of our top 3 lines.
    Gionta Pleks Max
    Cole Gomez Cammy
    AK Desharnais/Eller Langenbruner

  58. Castor says:

    One thing I’d like to say after reading all of the posts since Cole.
    Everyone who complains…what exactly do you want?
    You want PG to go out and sign a superstar? WHY? WE HAVE TWO! PK and Price…actually and Cammalleri who, aside from his sophomore slump last year, is pretty much a top player. (Playoffs anyone?)
    So when PG goes and gets Cole to fill out the roster we complain?

    It was basically get Richards for a reasonable price or complaints.

    Now we have Cammy 20+ goals
    Gio 20+ goals
    Cole at least 20 goals
    Pleks at least 20 goals
    Markov is back. Max Pac will probably pot 25+
    Pk, Price…
    What the hell are we complaining about?

    We finished 6th last year. Probably 4th, 5th this year.

    And the lack of ‘grit’?
    Now we have White, Cole, and a new Russian D-Man who hits like a tank.

    What the hell are we complaining about?

    • Propwash says:

      Nothin’ better to do?

    • habsnyc says:

      As a group, the top two lines are too old to win and their skill will decline each year. We want the team to invest in developing their young forwards instead of letting them succeed eleswhere. This will save the team considerable money and young players ride an improvement curve each year instead of deteriorating.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        I don’t agree. Gomez, Gionta and Cole are over 30, but they are not OLD yet. Cammy and Pleks are approaching 30, which is generally considered an athlete’s prime. Pacioretty is young. Also, the 3rd line of Desharnais, Eller and AK46 is young and has a chance to be just as effective as the other two lines.

        I like the way this team is built right now. One more guy with some size and grit for the 4th line, and we’re good.

  59. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has posted this video yet, but this is a great compilation of Erik Cole’s highlights over the years (albeit a little long):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-Lf8QXxt-k

    What I didn’t remember about Cole’s play is that he is seriously fast as well. I’m really excited to see what he can do with Pleks and Cammy. This also makes me excited to see how Desharnais, Eller and AK46 will play together. I think that can be a dynamite line.

  60. clubdehockey says:

    So since we’re tossing out names to play as our 4th line centre, I wanna hear what people think about Jerred Smithson. 6’3″, 206 pounds, plays with some grit, 57.5% on faceoffs last season, had the highest SHTOI of any forward in a defensively-minded team in Nashville, is a right-handed shot. Sounds like a fit, no? Seems like he can adequately replace Halpern?

  61. Propwash says:

    Man, I miss hockey already.

  62. JD_ says:

    “It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

    Good ol’ Oscar, bit of a whack job, but he understood the human condition.

    Lookin’ forward to October.

  63. Mattyleg says:

    NYC, if Guimauve outscores anyone (unless it’s a ‘put-the-Twinkie-in-the-mouth’ competition, I’ll eat my house.

    • Of those players I think Lats might be the most likely to outscore Cole, but that’s only in goal totals. He’ll probably stay in the 10 assists range like always, even if he hits 30.

      Grabo has a chance, but it’s unlikely he has back to back career years.

      D’ags, no way.

      Ryder, he usually does well in his first year with teams, but Dallas is going to suuuuuck.

      Kostitsyn had the highest shooting percentage in the entire NHL last year at 10% more than his career average to that date. He MIGHT score 15 next year, but hitting 20 again is near impossible unless he shoots way more.

  64. habsnyc says:

    Canadiens’ draft picks no longer with the organization that are younger and cheaper than Cole who will likely outscore him in 2011-2012:

    Grabovski
    Latendresse
    Kostitsyn
    D’Agostini
    Ryder

  65. ... says:

    Best line from Shoalts’ Globe’s story on the Connolly signing:

    “Connolly said he compared joining the Maple Leafs to playing for the New York Yankees, which would indicate he has some work to do on studying the championship history of the Leafs.”

  66. habstrinifan says:

    Read Apron Basu’s article on the signing of Erik Cole. One of Cole’s criteria for coming to Canadiens, over remaining with Hurricanes or going to another team was that he wanted to go to a team that could WIN NOW.

    I repeat, Cole said that one of the reason he came to HABS was because he thought that they were a team that could WIN NOW.

    I agree with Cole. But more importantly does PG agree with Cole. And did Cole discuss this criterion with PG through his agent.

    I hope he did. Because it should have given PG the impetus to go out and complete the job. Sign the necessary player(s) that would add the needed grit factor to this team.

    If Cole believes that HABS can win NOW. Then PG should respond by doing everything to make that come true. Every serious analysis of the team identifies lack of grit as a problem.

    Solve it PG. There are players available who would help tremendously and at relatively inexpensive costs.

    • habsnyc says:

      If the Habs were going to win now, then Cole only needed a one year contract. Cole was just being nice in saying the Habs can win now.

      • Usually when you have a contender as a team, you have a window where you can win. Most times it’s not one year. A player like Cole isn’t going to sign a 1 year contract at 32.

      • Castor says:

        A silly comment. Would you take a one year job if you had two kids and had to move to an entirely new city and country? Of course not.

        Cole wanted a few years because he has a life outside hockey for goodness sake.

        The Habs stay healthy and they’ll make noise in the playoffs.

    • habstrinifan, what do you think Gauthier has been doing since the year started? I’m continually confounded by this constant call for more grit. In the last calendar year the Montreal Canadiens have added Pacioretty, White, Cole and Emelin. Those are 4 hard nosed players. Meanwhile we’ve lost Pouliot and Pyatt, both pretty soft even though Pyatt tries hard, as well as O’Byrne. O’Byrne hit a lot here but even though we could have used him last year over Sopel, the right side is stacked right now with Subban, Gorges, Emelin and Weber. He’s not better than any of those guys so even if we lost his “grit”, Emelin more than makes up for it because he’s a lot more vicious than Byrner is.

      Now it’s very rare a team thinks “this is the year” and goes for broke on one year deals. Philadelphia risked a lot last year and it blew up in their faces. Vancouver did the same and got close but ultimately failed. Meanwhile the team that won the cup aspired to be competitive for the next several years, added players during the season that contributed at key times, and are probably in a better position than either Vancouver of Philadelphia to win the cup this year.

      In all likelihood the Habs are thinking in the same way the Bruins are, they want to have a legitimatize shot at the cup for the next few years with this specific group. At least that’s what I got out of Gauthier’s press conference when he stressed the team needing to be experienced with each other. In that situation, you just don’t risk upsetting the next few years to be slightly better in one year.

      Also remember that the team in training camp is rarely the one to enter the playoffs. The Habs can wheel and deal if necessary.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “Meanwhile the team that won the cup …”

        lucked out and got a lot of help from the league.

        • gloveside says:

          I am so tired of the “our rival didn’t deserve to win” crap. How old are you? The Bruins won because their goalie stood on his head and they had 4 centers that played amazingly [and were a combined +50 in the playoffs].

  67. HardHabits says:

    1) Brad Richards

    Brad Richards. 60 million over 9 years. Is anybody surprised?

    Wade Redden. Scott Gomez. Chris Drury. Michal Rozsival. Marian Gaborik.

    We are talking Glen Sather here. Mr. Money Bags himself. Could you imagine if there was no salary cap?

    Richards cap hit is 6.667M on paper but the last three years (1,1,1) are sure to be bought out or he retires, so it’s really 60 million over 6 years meaning it’s an actual cap hit of 10 million per year (or is it 9.4M per, 57M over 6 years?).

    Doesn’t this break the Kovalchuck clause?

    6.667M is still less than 7.357M.

    —————————–

    2) Zenon Konopka and HIO factions

    What I don’t get is this. Why are the anti-Konopka crowd so abusive? I’ll admit that the pro-Konopka crowd has retaliated in kind but it was the anti-Konopka crowd that fired the first antagonistic salvo. The idea was kicking around for a while and nobody said boo until the self appointed HIO thought police started attacking those that suggested it. A few posters have made very good arguments against Konopka but for the most part it’s been another scratch your eyes out bitch-fest.

    The Konopka debate has become the new size and grit, another dividing line at HIO.

    The funny thing is that those on team anti-Konopka are the same ones who said the Bruins wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup. Many of whom in their own imaginations have rescinded the Cup from Boston as it was obviously awarded to them solely on the basis of corruption at the highest level in the league all the way down to the officiating on the ice.

    If that were true that there was collusion, one would imagine that it must be investigated and dealt with. But the truth is this. There was no collusion. The people who believe that the Bruins won the Cup any other way than the way it’s been done since before the dawn of the NHL are out of touch with reality.

    This is not a Salé & Pelletier incident. What should the NHL do? Award the Cup to Vancouver too! Maybe the Habs should get there names on the Cup for taking the Bruins to 7 games and OT in round 1.

    The Konopka issue has become a new line in the sand between those who are looking for the Habs to beef up a bit and those who think the Habs have enough in them to make it through an 82 game grind and still be in shape for a deep play-off run.

    Is Konopka the guy? I am not sure. But to lambaste or berate those who suggest that he could be a useful addition is the epitome of childishness.

    I see it as divide between free thinkers on one hand, those who debate varying and divergent points of view intelligently and respectfully amongst each other, and a kind of indoctrinated cliquish clan here, those who are mostly capable of attacking the character of the poster when that person’s point of view is different than theirs as opposed to rebutting the content of the argument presented before them.

    • solomio says:

      Hey HH. It’s no big deal really. We’re all talking Habs and what we think is best for the team . Yes there are a few jerks around here but what ya gonna do? They’re everywhere.
      Most of us are just having fun and like to keep talking Habs while waiting for training camp. What’s it about 60/65 days away?
      God, Konopka’s gonna look good in the the bleu blanc rouge !!!

    • habsfan0 says:

      Excellent observations and very eloquently put.

      It is becoming rather obvious that the owners cannot control themselves as far as their ridiculous spending ways are concerned.

      When the current collective bargaining agreement expires, there doesn’t seem to be much doubt that another work stoppage will be upon us via a players’ strike or an owners’ lockout.

      North American pro sports leagues appear to be in a mess..and it all comes back to the abolishment of the reserve clause.

      Curt Flood will long be remembered for this.

    • Strawmen and ad hominems abound. It’s always SO much easier to make yourself look smart when you make up what the other people stand for, eh HH?

      • HardHabits says:

        You could argue on for hours
        cuz it makes you feel empowered
        Confronting once again.
        But your head is so inflated that
        your thoughts become aerated
        And you haven’t got a brain.

        I marvel how you scribble
        such useless mindless drivel
        So fuddled its insane
        It smells like you been drinkin’
        cuz your posts are usually stinkin’
        And you haven’t got a brain.

        Oh, why don’t just proceed to cry that The Habs’s are near once more.
        You attack when others post what you abhor
        And like a twit, start a flame war.

        The people you’re rebuffing are merely saying something
        That causes you some pain
        You may want to be contary but you’re acting like a fairy
        And you haven’t got a brain.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Can the Konopka non grata faction still favor acquiring more grit and toughness? Is that allowed?

      Maybe team anti-Konopka isn’t the same as team anti-grit.

    • Propwash says:

      You admitted yourself that you constantly bring him up to stir the hornets nest.

      “The biggest reason I want to see Konopka a Hab, not that I think it’ll happen, is because of all the people here who are against it.

      If Arpon Basu goes out and says the Habs could use Konopka you know it can’t be all wrong.

      Arpon Basu is more esteemed than any of the pseudo bloggers and Twitter junkies, not to mention the entourage of Internet groupies, who frequent this place.”

      Your first statement is akin to trolling.

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Your piece on the Konopka debate is just terrible. I knew all year Boston had a strong chance at being champs, but I don’t think we need Konopka. So that’s a strawman fallacy. Secondly you said the ‘Anti-Konopka’ side of the argument resorts to insulting the opposition, but you go ahead and insult their intelligence. Smooth. Do you ever listen to yourself? You sound so full of yourself.

    • punkster says:

      Great. I go out for 6 or 7 hours and you’re still going on about a two-bit plug named Konopka? Give it a rest man. He’s just not worth it.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  68. bob says:

    SAY GOODBYE TO THE HAMMER AND SAY HELLO TO THE AXE.

    I CAN’T WAIT

    RClavel

  69. habs_r_us says:

    anyone know what the status is on brock trotter. i know hes in the khl right now but how long is the term there and once the stint is over with the khl club is he still restricted

  70. b_whalen13 says:

    I was just browsing around the net checking to see what the hurricanes fans thought of losing Cole to the Habs, and though there were mixed feelings regarding the money and length of contract, this post by one fan really has me pumped to see him play in a Habs jersey.

    “I was not happy with some of yhe thoughtless comments and decisions that the team made regarding Cole. His signing in Montreal was the culmination of hurt feelings and management not paying enough attention to player’s feelings.

    Let’s just think this through…

    Cole is a Hurricanes drafted player….
    Developed into a monster power forward…
    Breaks his neck taking one for the team.
    Rehabs and comes back for a cup finish in less than a year for an injury that should take two years(to feel right).

    Plays the next season in constant pain. Gets shipped off to Edmonton for his troubles…

    Gets traded back here once Management sees what effect his loss had on the team.

    Cole came into last season on a mission. He played all 82 games and had his speed back. He is a role model to Skins… Leads all practices. Took over for Brindy with summer workouts… For this he doesn’t get an “A” on his sweater …. Instead he sees a 20 year old get one. This action is accompanied with … We wanted Brandon to have it be cause he is a player that will be in the Canes plans into the future…

    Slap in the face… While JR and everyone else was saying Cole signing was a slam dunk,I thought it was less than 50-50 from the end of last season.

    Make no mistake, I am a Canes fan but, Erik Cole had a right to be pissed off with how he was handled. He is an elite talent. He does things on the ice that do not show up in points produced. Those little chip passes or the subtle instruction in the face-off circle or the blow-by move in the last ten minutes of a game. That is what was missed when he was gone to Edmonton. That is what will have to be filled. Cole was the glue… Not Chad LaRose. Cole is a great fit in Montreal. He will thrive in that atmosphere because he is a big time player.

    Good luck to you Erik. You were one of the players that I pay to see. You put your health on the line for this team and I will always think of you as the heart of Canes Hockey.”

  71. Neutral says:

    some people want to sign konopka, this means Eller or DD is gonna become a spare and no chance of anyone out of training camp making the big club, we got our man in cole and the four lines is looking good whether they can win a cup only time will tell.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Umm, Eller and Desharnais will be playing together on the 3rd line…no spare pal.

      • Neutral says:

        my math must be wrong, I count 12 forwards with eller back, if we bring in Konopka that’s 13 someone is gonna be a spare only 12 forwards can play in a game…

        • Well you should always have a spare forward, but I would rather have it be someone who can play hockey instead of Konopka.

        • clubdehockey says:

          Like Hobie said, Desharnais can be switched to the wing, so he is not necessarily a healthy scratch upon Eller’s return (though he could very well be, depending on how he produces until then). The scratched healthy forward (assuming we don’t face even more injuries before Eller comes back) could be, for example, Darche, White, or whoever we sign as the 13th forward to play until Eller gets back. It doesn’t have to be Eller or Desharnais.

          Also, it’s better for our organizational depth if we keep the AHLers as potential callups in case of injuries rather than leaving a spot open for them right out of training camp and risking having too many AHLers in our lineup if injuries do occur. Therefore, it would probably be best to sign a veteran centre to play on the 4th line until Eller gets back (though, not necessarily Konopka).

          • frozengolf says:

            I would like to see Andreas Engqvist as the 4th line centre. Big body, great skater, good checker.

  72. RetroMikey says:

    Budaj is a solid back up we signed, as for Cole, he will give you 100% but we still need an offensive CMan. Quite surprised we signed Cole to 4 years!
    By the way, our DMen are still very, very soft and we did not address this major flaw we have.
    Panthers signed a very talented CMan in Marcel Goc in a heartbeat and can’t understand why Gauthier did not snag him.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • coldness81 says:

      Budaj solid? i don’t know about that. but i’ll say it won’t matter too much unless price gets hurt.

    • 24 Cups says:

      RM – Budaj is solid? He hasn’t been able to ever win a starting job in his entire career. I’m not knocking him but let’s stay real. Garon/Hedberg/Auld would have been exactly the same.

      My first reaction on Cole was the same as yours – too much coin and term. But that seems to be the new norm.

      You’ve been in love with Goc ever since you have joined the site. He has really improved the past few years but there’s still a lot of fish in the sea when it comes to his type of role.

      • habs03 says:

        Budaj has the ability to play 20-25, won’t be needed to here but is for sure an upgrade on Auld imo, look at their career numbers, Garon and Budaj are almost the same. Before you talk about how bad of a year Budaj had last year, remember he played on an Avs team that made Anderson look like an AHL backup.

    • ooder says:

      agreed about Budaj..this was broken by the pathetic avalanche D
      but all in all he is a good goalie.
      as for the d being soft… i think emelin can really change that
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  73. 24 Cups says:

    Vokoun in Washington has to be really bad news for the Habs (and other teams).

    Ian White to Detroit.

  74. adamkennelly says:

    Jets sign Rypien and Anthony Stewart for peanuts – two players who would make our Habs way better…nice going PG..embarrassing.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Ummmmmmm Stewart replaced Cole in Carolina dude.

    • ooder says:

      lol ur kidding right? you make it sound as if players are begging to come play here for cheap and PG tells them to go away
      maybe.. just maybe.. those 2 wanted nothing to do with the habs
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  75. adamkennelly says:

    double post


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