To Russia, with love


Dave Stubbs talks to Brent Sopel about the defenceman’s career virage to the KHL.

“I enjoyed the fans,” Sopel said of his time in Montreal. “They’re very passionate about hockey and their team, and I hope they appreciated that every night I worked as hard as I could to try to help the team win.”

• Pat Hickey on new Armada coach J.F. Houle (Réjean’s son)

• J.T. asked fans how they fell in love with the Canadiens

Voters say No to Islanders

Colin White, Trent Hunter on waivers

Remembering Ron Tugnutt

• What? Season previews already??

Mike Modano whines about Wings’ private plane

Malkin working hard

Hockey in the Emirates


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  3. JohnBellyful says:

    I cannot sit idly by and remain silent while the Canadiens’ reputation takes a beating over how it treats players who no longer fit into their plans. I have it on good authority the club acted honorably at all times and did its utmost to be open and transparent in its dealings.
    Sopel WAS informed he wouldn’t be asked back, in a Help Not Wanted ad taken out in his hometown paper.
    And the team went out of its way to try to woo Wisniewski back, going so far as to engage a sky writer to publicly declare its ardor for the defencemen’s return. Unfortunately, by the time the pilot got to the K he was so dizzy and running on fumes that he crashed his plane in a park near Wisniewski’s home. And no one answered the door bell when the pilot eventually showed up there with a contract in hand.
    So don’t tell me the Habs haven’t acted with class when it comes to player relations.
    (P.S. I understand their poutinegrams are to die for.)

  4. Mark C says:

    Elliotte Friedman tweets that Nashville offered $4.75M as their arbitration amount. I get the reasons for doing this, but this is Nashville’s franchise player. It is bad enough that the team couldn’t resolve this matter before arbitration, now they have presented an insulting offer.

    And people here complain when our GM doesn’t call a player who do not receive a NHL contract offer.!/FriedgeHNIC

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can’t remember if it was Dreger or who I heard it from, but there was rumours of them being 4million apart.

      Agree with you Mark, I can’t see how this guy isn’t getting traded this season as soon as this arbitration contract is signed.

      Edit: Here is tweet from Dreger
      Shea Weber asked for $8.5 and Preds submitted $4.75 million. Arbitrator has 48 hrs to decide on 1 year term.

      • Mark C says:

        Dreger reports that Weber’s camp was at $8.5M, which is just as crazy. That’s almost $1.5M more than any D makes on an AAV basis.

        Is Nashville so cash strapped they can’t get a one year deal done at around $6M, like Lou did with Parise? I just don’t understand Nashville’s end game.

        Just noticed this fun fact: Nashville is only offering Weber a 250K raise, his last contract was 3-years at $4.5M AAV.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I wonder if the negotiations have gone so poorly that both sides have basically dug in their heels. Weber is now looking for all he can get on his way outta town, and Nashville wants to pay as little as possible, knowing they are trading him this season.

          While Weber comes off a bit greedy, the Predators risk detroying credibility with their other two key RFA’s next season Suter and Rinne. As you said, what can their end game be?

          • Mark C says:

            I agree, negotiations must have gone south.

            The situation is worse than you make it out to be, both Suter and Rinne are UFA’s next year. These guys would be offered crazy money on the open market.

            Glad I’m not a Nashville fan…

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Firesale on its way potentially then. Yah, I didn’t realize Suter and Rinne were UFA next year. All the more reason not to let the Weber situation get like this. However, I have to believe Weber is a really competitive guy, and though he has said all the right things along the way, I suspect he wants to play on a team with a chance for the Cup.

            As Serious points out, Poile has a real difficult job. Makes you wonder about the longterm potential of this team in that market. If that team loses Weber, Suter, Rinne over next 2 seasons, and gets prospects, drafts etc.. back, product will suffer huge short term, fans there just started to enjoy a winning product.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Poile has one of the least enviable jobs in the league, he has done a great job of scouting and building his team but he has to watch all of that talent walk away on a consistent basis because he can’t afford to retain it and a contract like Lombardi forces him into a tough deal just to deal with bad luck.

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

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The two things are completely different. Nashville is offering $4.75M because it’s all they can afford.

      The Goat doesn’t call players because he’s a cold fish (apologies for the mixed metaphors).

      (Well, the Goat isn’t a metaphor.)

      • Malreg says:

        Apparently Nashville offered him a contract with an average salary of $7 million for as little as 3 years to as much as 7 years.

        It’s not about whether they can afford Weber, it’s about Weber wondering if they can afford him AND afford to build a contender around him.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    Canada has announced their team for the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, 18 of named are eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft.

    Names who were in the Top 60 in 2012 for Future Considerations: D Morgan Reilly, D Griffin Reinhart, C Matia Marcantuoni, C Brendan Gaunce, LW Charles Hudon, LW Andreas Athanasiou, D Derrick Pouliot, C Matthew Campagna

    Hometown boys on the roster: LW Charles Hudon, C Felix Girard, D Michael Matheson and G Domenic Graham.

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

  6. hansolo says:

    Re: Mr. Sopel and the Wiz not getting so much as a “by your leave” from Mr. Gauthier:

    One might say (not that I would — I think they’re both OK) that Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Martin are dull and lack imagination. I don’t think, however, one could say they are disrespectful. I remember a session Mr. Gauthier had last season with reporters where he talked of the team being a “family”, and how neither he nor Mr. Martin would ever consciously do anything to diminish a player’s ability to get a proper contract somewhere else, even if that player didn’t fit into Montreal’s plans.

    The only player I remember being bashed openly (and that was by Mr. Martin, not Mr. Gauthier) was SK74 and he must have done something egregious to deserve that. Ryan O’Byrne was described as a player with “character.” Max Lapierre was traded because he “wanted more playing time.” Benoit Pouliot, well, the silence was deafening, but it was silence, not derogatory comments, one got from the Habs brass. One musn’t forget last season Mr. Pouliot got a raise to 1.3 mil from the 875,000 he made the previous year. It was a vote of confidence in (and a show of respect for) a player who hadn’t done enough to deserve it just then. It was an opportunity for Mr. Pouliot to respond — but he didn’t. The Habs brass had plenty of cause to leak rumors they were dissatisfied with Mr. Gomez’ play last season (Ron Wilson and Brian Burke would have called it “motivating a player”) but you didn’t hear a peep from any reporter about that.

    I can’t believe the Wiz and Mr. Sopel were treated disrespectfully; that doesn’t seem to be in Mr. Gauthier’s public persona. He can be calculating, I’m sure, and probably ruthless (we got a glimpse of that in the negotiations with Josh Gorges). However, he wouldn’t openly show disrespect to a player. If Mssrs. Lapierre, Gomez and Pouliot didn’t cause him to be anything but his (rather bland) usual public self, the Wiz and Mr. Sopel wouldn’t.

    There’s more to this story than we know. I suspect those who think the communications were through agents (who have an axe to grind, obviously, and not necessarily in the team’s favor) are spot on. Erik Cole signed here partly because Brian Gionta vouchsafed the organization as being a classy one. I don’t think Mr. Gionta would sell his soul just to be a company man. He’s a good enough player not to have to kowtow to management — not that managment would ask that of him, anyway.

    • HardHabits says:

      I think it goes something like this.

      Reporter asks player if the team contacted him. Plays says, “no.” Reporter creates story.

      Nothing to see here people. Move along.

      • hansolo says:

        Bull’s eye HH, you said in 2 paragraphs what it took me considerably more to do.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I liked the eloquence of how you described it Solo, but yeah, HH got it in a nutshell. When I first read the story i was a bit concerned, but the more you think about it and read the stories in context I think you guys have it figured out.

      • Propwash says:

        Mountain out of molehill.

      • Old Bald Bird says:

        The reporter was Stubbs, not a nobody from Nunga Galla. If Stubbs, the direct interviewer, feels that Habs could have picked up the phone, then I’m with him.

        habsinsideout1 Dave Stubbs
        Costs a team nothing to call a player and say “Thanks for your effort, good luck elsewhere.” A courtesy.

        • HardHabits says:

          Stubbs is being a little bit haughty if you ask me.

          I am sure when Sopel picked up his last pay check they kicked his ass out the door too. “See you later sucker,” they said!!!

          Maybe the Habs should call Mara to see how he’s doing. You know. To console him in his time of hardship since he’s unsigned and all.


          • Old Bald Bird says:

            I know you’re being a bit facetious, but I think we also must agree to see things a little differently. It doesn’t take much effort to extend a simple courtesy. Such gestures cost little and are usually appreciated, and you never know when that little bit of goodwill will do you some good.

  7. Un Canadien errant says:

    Watching a feed of ESPN Sportscentre, and David Stern is on shilling for the owners and explaining why the players are bargaining in bad faith. He has this forced smile on his face and a sanctimonious tone. The anchor hit him straight with his quote from earlier in the summer when he apparently stated that litigation was not the way to a deal, and how had things changed now that the owners are filing a grievance. It was almost enjoyable to hear him pause then stammer his way through that minefield, until I realized I could turn off my speaker buttons and enjoy not hearing him even more.

    I can clearly see how Gary Bettman attained his Seventh Degree Black Belt in bettholery from this guy.

    For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

  8. Miltie01 says:


    Well hopefully the Predators are part of “Many” and choose to keep Suter and will dump Weber to us! Weber is far better in my opinion, and his father didn’t ruin the careers of Gretzky and Kariya!

    Neither did Suter’s father, you are thinking of Gary Suter….the guys uncle !!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Really, I thought that was his father?

      My mistake, thanks for the correction!

      • Miltie01 says:

        All them Suter’s look alike anyhow !!!


        Well hopefully the Predators are part of “Many” and choose to keep Suter and will dump Weber to us! Weber is far better in my opinion, and his father didn’t ruin the careers of Gretzky and Kariya!

        Neither did Suter’s father, you are thinking of Gary Suter….the guys uncle !!!

  9. HabFab says:

    The Canadiens web site is showing some slappers from Guy to PK.|MTL|home

  10. HabFab says:

    Eyes on the Prize have started their ratings and profiles of the Habs 25 and under players. There are 3 articles leading up to and then the first player rated… #25. Should give us daily reading for a few weeks.

  11. NDGhabsfan says:

    Anyone else think the old man in the mortgage rates ads on the right of the screen looks like Mike Boone? 🙂

    From failing hands…

  12. Jimmy9Toes says:

    My lucky day is Sunday as the WJCH team will play it’s final intersquad game in my town, (Fort McMurray) which is just up the highway from the main camp in Edmonton. I will get an up close look at all 3 Hab hopefulls.

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    Shea Weber is probably in the same league and is roughly the same age as Duncan Keith who will earn $8M next season. He’s from the same draft class as Brent Seabrook ($7M), Dion Phaneuf ($6.5M), Brent Burns ($5.76M).

    He’s at least as good as Seabrook, so should get about $7M.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Weber is way above Seabrook, he’s easily one of the five best in the league and more likely Top-3.

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

    • ed lopaz says:

      Serious – maybe you can cover Team Canada Summer camps??

      U18 in final day of try-outs today; essentially NHL 2012 1st round Canadian players.

      by the way, 2 local Montrealers – Mathesson and Ciampini.

      did SJ get Burns for 5 years at 5.76??

      I missed that.

      thats a great deal for SJ – I have always liked Burns, and thats a great salary!!

      Imagine, we paid Hamrlik 5.5 million last year!!


      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.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        It’s a decent deal, but at the same time Burns is much like Boyle or Wisniewski in the sense that his salary is based very much on his offensive and not his defensive acumen. SJS still need to shut the door on their back end with some guys to partner those two.

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

        • ed lopaz says:

          Burns is also a big man, 6.5 220 lbs, 17 goals, 46 points, 26 years old.

          I think Burns gets the nod ahead of The Wiz, and I believe the Wiz has his best years ahead of him.

          Vlassic is good defensive d-man; local kid again.

          They also have Demers, but he is another offensive type of d-man, also from Montreal.

          Sharks have a Montreal scout who has a lot of influence in the Org.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Burns is an excelletn Dman, and I think compared to other Dman contracts, that was a great contract for San Jose.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Burns is a big man but it doesn’t mean he’s going to play like Rob Blake, it’s kind of like what we have with AK, a power forward’s body but he doesn’t use it like we would like him to. I wasn’t comparing Wiz and Burns as being equals either, just that their style tends to be one that favours offence over defence and not being big on balancing the two.

            I credit SJS for making the move to get their back end in order, but they need a good shutdown tandem for the post-season.

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

          • Malreg says:

            They also have Torrey Mitchell, who is from Greenfield Park (south shore Montreal). Although he played his junior hockey at the University of Vermont, so a Quebec scout wouldnt have followed him…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Weber is in that top echelon of Dmen in the league. Find it hard to pick who is the best 3 or 5 as each have such unique characteristics.

      But Weber has the offence, the defence, he is tough as nails and appears to be a real good leader. It is hard to argue any Dman is truly better than him. But he still hasn’t played for a Cup or won a Norris so hard to annoint him just yet. To me he is the best young defenceman in the league.

  14. GuyDoon says:

    Still no deal with WEBER. Curious about that:
    Would you trade Markov for Shea Weber?
    OK, maybe they’re reluctant to get an elite D with bad knee history, so would you trade PK as part of a deal to get Weber?

    • G-Man says:

      No and No. Weber UFA next July. Patience.

      • cuzzie says:

        Rfa next year.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He won’t be UFA till 2013 due to his age and accrued time in league. Even after this 1 year contract still RFA

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Twitter from Gord Miller TSN
        Weber doesn’t turn 27 until August of 2012. He doesn’t have enough accrued seasons and won’t be 27 on July 1 2012 to qualify as a UFA.
        Just a reminder on Shea Weber, he is an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013, not 2012.

      • GuyDoon says:

        Will PK ever be as good a Weber? With every team making bids, it’s a tough task to reel a UFA stud like Weber. His playoff beard alone could sign a UFA contract!

    • coutNY says:

      Markov also has a No trade clause and loves Montreal, the drama would be a great distraction if he was asked to move to a team he probably would want to go to. I would make the PK for Weber deal if we could immediatly sign him to a long term extention. Of course they’d need to take some cap space also (Gomez or Spacek preferably) as part of the dealt to afford him. Weber is an elite Dman with more size and as of now more skill than PK. He also is a be less dramatic which better fits the Habs mold. I could only imagine Markov and Weber on the PP would unbelievable.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      In a heartbeat. He is a solid D man who is younger. Markov is great but if you could get weber for a few extra years he makes a big difference on your roster.

      Mind you Weber seems to injure his own players with his slapshot and that kind of sucks.

  15. mike3131 says:

    Hate to say this but…

    Benoit Pouliot WILL be much better with Boston. He won’t fall all over the place anymore.
    Now I know this because I train in Jonathan Chaimberg’s gym. He trains UFC fighters, including Georges St-Pierre and elite hockey players, including Kris Letang and Petr Svoboda’s clients (Jagr, Hudler, etc.). Believe me, the stuff we do in there is pretty grueling stuff! First-timers toss’em most of the time… I’ve been in there 3 times a week for the last 3 months and I’ve been getting some amazing results, myself.
    Anyway, I heard Jon on Team 990 this morning and he said that he is also working with Pouliot. He mentioned that he is at his heaviest, exceeding 200 lbs.
    I haven’t seen Pouliot train, but I’ve seen Letang train and man, he’s a tank! Imagine how much progress our ol’ PooPoo made!

    Mark my words: Pouliot WILL be better, if not, MUCH stronger! And with Boston… Yikes!

    • shiram says:

      If true, why couldn’t he train like that last summer??

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • G-Man says:

      He will fall on his face faster, stronger and higher.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am not sure how that training is going to change the big lip on the blue line he kept tripping on though.

    • mike3131 says:

      Joke all you want! Just don’t complain when you hear Jack Edwards wail and the GAHden crowd roar as BP crushes Spacek in the corner.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hear you Mike, I just would be extremely pissed that he wouldn’t have trained like this last summer. Guy had crappy finish to the year then, he should of busted his ass then. If getting picked up by Boston is what it took to motivate this guy and being a Hab didn’t motivate him, then perhaps I don’t want to see him do well.

        I always liked him, and thought of that potential, I took him in my office pool last year when all my buddies laughed at the pick.

      • G-Man says:

        Pouliot always has been and will always be a head case. I don’t listen to Jack (The Massachusettes Asshole) Edwards. Besides, Spacek will leap over the Pouliot and skewer him with his blades.

    • Pouliot’s problem was never physical, last year he had pretty much the exact same frame as Jeff Carter. His problems are in his head. And last I checked, gaining weight doesn’t improve your balance.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        gaining weight doesn’t improve your balance.

        Unless you gain it in your feet.

        • mike3131 says:

          Stronger legs = More stable on your feet = Better balance.
          Last time I checked, UFC fighters don’t go down very easily. Chaimberg trains them.
          I’m certain Pouliot got a lot stronger since working with Jon because I know I have. I’m not saying he’s going to be like Chara, but I can guarantee he won’t be falling around all over the place anymore.

  16. coutNY says:

    Trent Hunter as a gritty forward option to play with Moen and / or white. Heart and sole line that would ooze grit. To bad Carbo’s not around to teach white how to play center and win some faceoffs.

  17. What was the most satisfying Habs win of this past season?

  18. SeriousFan09 says:

    I have set a return date of October 15th for Season 2 of Habs Future after consulting the schedules, the AHL, NCAA and CHL will all be back in action by then, giving me enough material in my view to begun posting the weekly report again with Three Stars selections along with the Honorable Mentions and Question Marks.

    HAM Returnees: RW Alex Avtsin, C/RW Gabriel Dumont, C Andreas Engqvist (provided he stays in HAM), D Brendon Nash, RW Aaron Palushaj (same as Engqvist)
    Newcomers: LW Alain Berger, RW Mike Blunden, G Peter Delmas, C Louis Leblanc, D Mark Mitera, C Joonas Nattinen

    Returning: C Michael Bournival, D Morgan Ellis, RW Brendan Gallagher, D Jarred Tinordi
    Newcomers: LW Olivier Archambeault, D Nathan Beaulieu, D Darren Dietz

    Returning: D Mac Bennett, RW Danny Kristo, D Greg Pateryn, C Dustin Walsh
    Newcomer: LW Steve Quailer (Giving him a look to see if he can come back to something like his rookie form)

    New league coverage: D Magnus Nygren in the Elitserien (Swedish Elite League) and C Daniel Pribyl in the Czech Extraliga.

    KHL coverage: Just RW Maxim Trunev, Ramo’s 2-year deal with Omsk does not bode well for a return to the NHL.

    Anyone I missed or you think should be covered?

    Note: I did not include D Josiah Didier on this list from the 2011 group as looking at the University of Denver’s roster, he’s sitting somewhere between 7 and 9 on the depth chart and may only end up playing 20 games or so this year. I’ll adjust this listing as the season goes on as players earn their way in or out of a spot in the feature.

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

    • Talik Sanis says:

      I look forward to it. No doubt almost everyone here appreciates the effort you put in to assess our prospects and keep us up to date on their performance.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hey look forward to the updates, just don’t tell Hobie or me if you use any of the information from one Mr. Pronman! LOL

    • B says:

      I will monitor which ever one of Diaz or Yemelin starts in Hamilton.

      Brock Trotter’s return to Hamilton should be worth following and I will also be keeping an eye on Ian Schultz to see how he responds after a disappointing first year as a pro.

      I will be following Mark MacMillan to see how he does at the University of North Dakota this coming season (with Kristo).

      I hope to see Pribyl move the Q where he will be easier to follow.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I think Trotter will light it up this year. I just have a feeling.

        I am also curious to see if Schultz shows up in shape this season and plays hockey. If not he won’t be around long

      • FishOutOfWater says:

        my understanding of yemlins contract is that he has to play with the big club. obviously plz correct me if im wrong

        • B says:

          There are rumours of a clause that let’s him go back to the KHL if he does not make the NHL roster, I don’t know if they are true or not. He did sign a 2 way contract ($984,200 if he plays NHL, $70,300 if he plays AHL). I don’t believe they would just hand him a guaranteed spot on their NHL roster. If he can not make the NHL roster right away then he may choose to bolt back to the KHL (with or without the Habs blessing) or he may choose to stay, learn the NA game and earn his way onto the roster. We shall see.

          I do hope he is good enough to make the Habs right away, I just don’t think it is a given that it will happen. I am also concerned about his penchant for taking a lot of bad penalties. Diaz may end up being more NHL ready than Yemelin is out of camp. Then again perhaps neither will be ready to make the opening night Habs roster. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

          • HabFab says:

            Not sure at 25 if either one should have more to learn in Hamilton. By that I mean, if not ready this year, probably never will be.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    So the Weber arbitration hearing is taking some time. I am guessing it is taking Weber’s agents about 4 hours to list all the reasons Nashville needs to buck up and pay this guy. Can’t imagine how long of a case Poile can make why this guy doesn’t get near Max. money.

  20. Mattyleg says:

    Uhh… Shiram…
    I don’t understand why La Banquise isn’t on your list.
    I find that profoundly strange and confusing.
    It’s commonly known as the best poutine on the island of Montreal, and was in contention for the best poutine in the province of Quebec during a recent(ish) franco radio challenge.
    Mount-Royal Hot-Dog also does a pretty mean poutine too, and is very worthwhile for a look-in. I suggest the Mount-Royal Special.

    Also, as far as Italian Poutines go, I would recommend Mama’s on Pine.

    Then we’ll talk.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • shiram says:

      I’ve been there once, and was disappointed, and since then no one in my close circle of friends has recommended it.
      It is hyped as the best around, but I found them to be quite ordinary. They have variety, but the basics are not strong.

      It was mentionned on here last week, when we had the bagel debate that transformed into a poutine debate. The concensus, then, was that it’s overhyped.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  21. HardHabits says:

    The Engels Angle: Markov’s Health Should Push Canadiens up Playoff Ranks

    • DearyLeary says:

      Markov healthy: push deep into the playoffs.
      Markov hurt: expect another early exit.

      Not that difficult an equation. He’s one of the best defencemen in the league.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agreed 100%, can’t wait to watch him this year, finally a full proper reconditioning, not trying to rush back for playoffs or olympics etc….

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    So we currently have only 2 players on the WJHC summer development camp roster. I realize this list can change, was nice watching Leblanc last year at the WJHC. Would be nice to see both Beaulieu and Gallagher make the squad.

    Edit:Bournival is also on list, still listed as Colorado!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Three on a list of 43 skaters is not bad at all. Next WJC camp, no Canadiens players may make the list though.

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

    • DearyLeary says:

      I would bet on seeing Beaulieu, Gallagher, and Bournival make the team.

      Beaulieu is a highly regarded player, Gallagher’s production will be hard to ignore, and Bournival was among the last players cut on last year’s team, another year of development bodes well for him making the squad.

      Side note: I would probably put Tinordi in the bank on making the US squad, and Pribyl might make the Czech squad.

  23. HardHabits says:

    Habs World’s Tomas Plekanec points projections.

  24. huge_polar_bear says:

    Something has been nagging at me for a while now and it has resurfaced in the Sopel article. It is mentioned that he did not hear a word from the Canadiens since the end of the season. Is it just me or have the Canadiens lost some of the class of the organization. When is the last time that a player has said how classy the organisation was or how well he was treated. I am not sure if this is just an illusion or if there really is less of a respect from management… What do you guys think? Detroit is always talked about as a classy organisation as well as others yet less and less do we hear this in association with the Habs. This can only hurt while trying to sign free agents and negotiating new contracts in my opinion…. it just bugs me…

    • avatar_58 says:

      It bugs me too. Nevermind class, it feels cold. It’s like they are just swappable parts rather than people. How about a simple “Sorry dude, this is where you get off the buss” and a handshake? Just slamming the door shut and pretending they don’t exist is a terrible way to do business.

      What happens when these former habs come across future UFAs who ask about montreal?

    • habs03 says:

      I think the Habs are pretty much highly regarded by players and their agents, specially Bob Gainey and P.G. I remember Pleck talking about how professional and great Gainey was to him, and Price agent speaking highly of P.G. I bet P.G. at the end of the season, thanked Solep for his time and that they well contract him if needed, so I don’t see why they need to speak with him again unless its for an offer.

      • huge_polar_bear says:

        I really hope you are right, but it just seems to me that we hear about so little from ex-Montreal players saying how well they where treated by the Habs. They all say how much they loved the city and even the passionate fans, but the organisation is rarely mentioned unless they are current players (and what else will you say about your boss anyways).

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I had said yesterday it concerned me as well. However, reading that whole Sopel article, I am not sure perhaps there is a hint of sour grapes from him, because must be hard to accept when not 1 team in the whole league reaches out to you! And that your days in the NHL are effectively over just like that. He did play a very brief period of time here.

    • shiram says:

      It’s something that is very difficult to estimate, you only get what the players say in the media, and they don’t always tell the whole truth.
      Sopel seems like a nice guy, but he basically came here to weather out his injury, I guess the team could have called and said : thanx, but no thanx.

      I wonder though, outside of Little K, who has vented negative stuff on the habs?

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • huge_polar_bear says:

        Absolutely difficult to estimate since really all we get is short quotes from the Montreal media and occationally some stuff from the other media outlets. On the same token as I mentioned above it’s usually “great city, passionate fans”… not “world class organisation or PG is a class act”. I think it was better with Gainey but before him in the 80s and since he left, it is just the feeling I get. I could be obviously wrong….

        • shiram says:

          Seeing as places like Colorado don’t even a goalie coach, I think MTL is not one of the worst place for players.
          MTL has money to spend on the team and infrastructures, and medical and training staff are probably great as well.
          Player’s are usually extremely PC and it does not do well to rag on any organization when you can switch employer at any time.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Say Ash says:

        There’s a Minnesota fatty that comes to mind…

    • Timo says:

      I don’t know… personally I don’t care. I want a cup. You know that thing about nice guys finishing last? These millionaires can cry and whine all they want… if they need a tissue I have a couple of spare boxes from my last cold onslaught.

      I really would rather they won the cup, but I guess one can always dream.

      • punkster says:

        Wow, I agree with Timo. Critical mass has been achieved.
        This is not a popularity contest, big organizations do not tell a specific employee in advance that he/she is being laid off or fired, the amount of money these guys get paid pretty well insulates them from the harsh realities of most life decisions, it’s not as if they’re unemployable…jeez, where do I begin?

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Both Mr. Sopel and Mr. Wisniewski stated that they never heard from the Montreal organization for a contract offer. I think we need to temper this in two ways.

      First, when the guys clean out their lockers at the end of the season, they have a debrief with the coaches and at that point the pat on the backs and handshakes are proffered. Mr. Gauthier at the end of this season seemed very present in the dressing room and during the post-mortem interview with all the media he seemed very plugged in to how the players were feeling and had some anecdotes, so it seems management was not aloof or unavailable.

      Second, and some others can weigh in here, but agents sometimes insist on being the point of contact for their clients during free agency. It would be a little pointless for Mr. Gauthier to contact Mr. Sopel’s or Mr. Wisniewski’s agents and reaffirm that they would not be getting contract offers. If they were speaking with the players directly, then maybe there would be an opportunity to thank them again for their services.

      Mr. Sopel is a veteran at the end of his career and he probably understands the lack of interest a little better than Mr. Wisniewski, who did seem a little bit put off by the fact the Canadiens didn’t even make an offer. It’s too bad, since it seems he would have entertained the thought of staying here, but probably Mr. Gauthier plan/budget couldn’t accommodate him, and any offer might have seemed like a ‘F you’ bid.

      It’s also important to remember that these statements from players are often just answers to direct questions from reporters, not something they blurt out because it’s forefront in their minds. To use James Wisniewski as an example again, he came off bad when he was quoted as saying that the Canadiens used him while Markov was hurt, especially since there was a bit of a defensive tone in his voice. What actually happened however is that he was challenged by a reporter about being on his fifth team since the start of his career, with the subtext being that he might be difficult and unpopular and not worth the new contract he had signed. His response and tone taken in that context is completely different. His response was that of a guy under attack defending himself.

      As far as the organization goes, I think we can rest assured that players are being treated civilly and with respect, based on the demeanor of Mr. Martin and Mr. Gauthier, and based on the fact that players that are here want to stay here and tell other players that they should come and play here as well. There are no John Brophys or Bobby Clarkes or Ron Wilsons here to drive players away.

      For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

  25. Bugs says:

    Awright, enough jokes.
    Who’s winnin Masterchef?

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

    • Chrisadiens says:

      My money is on Adrien. Who you got bugs?

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Bugs says:

        Put me down for Ben.
        I think the judges want him to win. He’s a bit quirky but all-around wholesome. Judges settin’m up to succeed.
        Like last year’s winner.

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

        • Chrisadiens says:

          While we are on the topic of cooking or cooking shows…I have a nice pork roast ready for cooking. I figure its not hot enough in my apartment so I’m gonna turn the oven on to warm it up a bit. I seem to recall a few recipes you posted a while back. Got any for a pork roast?

          Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

          • Bugs says:

            Warm pork? Or do you mean thawing pork?
            Do NOT put it oven to “warm it up” or it’ll dry out. Leave on counter and wait for it to reach room temp.
            Roast pork is easy. Use oven pan (preferably with inter-locking rack so as to collect juices without soakin bottom of roast, but no big deal if you don’t have one).
            Season your pork. Massage olive oil in, slat pepper thyme parsley whatever. Cut up some legumes, rustic-style, dump’em in. Add some broth (enough so it doesn’t all evaporate), and either leave it uncovered in the oven for a small bit (just to crispify the the exterior of meat) or cover it up with aluminum from the get-go, get’er nice’n’juicy. I dunno, 300/1hr? Dependin on cut.
            If you wanna make a wine sauce though, you’ll have to cook some of your veggies (for example) on the stove to reduce the wine…then add broth in oven pan, etc, etc…
            Serve it over rice (dependin on veggies used) and maybe a nice watercress salad.
            Miam-miam; j’ai faim, là…

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

          • Chrisadiens says:

            My poor attempt at humor…(It’s hot outside/inside my apartment, and turning the oven on will make it hotter and…ya know what, nevermind. I suck.)

            Anyways, thx for the tips! I’ll send you some leftovers.

            Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • slamtherimtim says:

      adrien id the best , but i am going for suzy or the blond MILF

  26. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Is it just me (and my dictionary) that doesn’t know what “virage” is? Is it what happens when a defenceman takes too much vire?

    • shiram says:

      Virage :
      -a change of direction
      -the curbed part of of a road
      -a change of a thought, idea or opinion
      -a change of color on a photo develop process

      Hope that helps?

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Excusez moi pour ma ignorance profonde. Frenglish spoken here?
        Hope? Help? Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit.

        • shiram says:

          That was confusing.
          But I think virage is an anglicied french word? Meaning it’s a french word that is used in english.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            Well, it’s not used commonly enough to make the dictionary’s menu. So there’s that. The latin merely says that if one adds a little here and there soon you’ll get a big pile. So … your little bit of help and hope is appreciated. I see you speak Martian as well. You get to be class linguist! I’d buy you a beer but … you’ll have to take a rain cheque.

            Go Habs (take a virage towards the 25th cup!)

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      I *think* that virage is French for “turn”. I guess the headline wasn’t completely translated from French into English.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I used “Virage Vitesse” a few days ago to describe Bob Gainey’s decision to sign small, skilled and speedy forwards two years ago, as it described a radical shift in the organization. Nobody seemed stumped by it. Of course now I wonder if I came up with it or whether I copied it from someone else.
      For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    Dreger just tweeted interesting thing, Shea Weber is first ever “Team Elected Arbitration” to go through to Arbitration.

    Weber also recently changed Agents. So Weber clearly has tried different tactics. I think this whole, he wants to stay there is BS. Look for the King of Blowhards to try make a trade for this guy. I can see Burke dangling Schenn to try make it happen. Hopefully Poile doesn’t decide he needs to give Toronto anymore assets for free!

    • Malreg says:

      It would have to start at Schenn, Kadri, a 1st round pick, and then keep adding.

      Won’t happen.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I know it SHOULD cost that much at least, but look what Poile gave away Franson for! Just as I think Weber has every right to want out of town, How much longer can Poile and Trottz want to keep getting rug pulled out from under. I guess they do have long term employment, but you would think the thirst to want to win is worth something.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Nazem Kadri is more of a giveaway at this stage, not a frontline prospect who can help land a superstar like Shea Weber. He has been overhyped by being under the Toronto media microscope, and his psyche is being destroyed due to his treatment by the Leafs. He is not Matt Duchene or Logan Couture, he is not even Phil Kessel. He would be a throw-in in any trade with the Leafs, the Preds would probably prefer a #1 pick rather than him.

        For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

  28. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Poutine? Does that go well with “virage”?

  29. Ayan_SB says:

    Arcade Fire just announced that they’ll be playing a FREE outdoor concert in Montreal on September 22nd.

    • Bugs says:

      Yeah, but they probably intend to play their music anyway.
      (boy, that was mean for no reason…)
      Happy summer, y’all!

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

    • Malreg says:

      I don’t understand all the hype about this band… Granted, I haven’t heard much of their music outside of what gets played on the radio, but they just don’t do it for me.

      • HardHabits says:

        I saw them on Saturday Night Live and was like whatever at first and then they kinda grew on me. They played another song and I was duly impressed. Very interesting stuff musically. Strange but interesting. I am going to that show on September 22nd for sure.

  30. shiram says:

    So I went to Chez Claudette to sample what is supposed to be one of the best poutine on the island.
    I tried the bocco or was it bacco? Anyways, the poutine with bacon and onions.
    Results are in, and while this is a good poutine, it does not compare with off-island poutine I have tasted.

    The fries we’re great, no complaints there, good potato, freshly fried, good stuff.
    The sauce was fine, I’d give it a good+, on the verge of great.
    Cheese was a mess though, and gets an ok rating.
    Bacon was plentiful and good, and onions added a nice taste.

    Overall a good poutine, and I’d have it again for sure, but not great.
    Also saw Captain America afterwards, and it was an ok action summer blockbuster movie. The first 40 minutes are the best the movie has to offer, for me anyways.

    I’ll try another poutine place hopefully between now and next wednesday!

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “Cheese was a mess though”

      Isn’t that the point?

      In any case, thanks for the review. Keep up the good work.

      • shiram says:

        Ah let me go in a bit of details.
        The cheese was non squishy, barely tasteable and lacking in quantity.

        I feel like on a dish with only 3 ingredients, you have to be harsh on each ingredients, so while it’s one of the best I have tasted in Montreal, it does not get top honors.
        Interesting variety of poutine offered there, though I would not say the pictures they have are appetizing.

        If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          The habs pictures lining the wall there always get me so anxious for the season to start.

          • shiram says:

            Yup that’s one great thing about that place for sure.
            Convenient location (for me anyways) close to Laurier métro.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            They have all the players from last year’s roster up, I wonder if they keep it up to date and change every season.

          • shiram says:

            Yea they still had Pouliot, Halpern, Hamr and Pyatt up there.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

        • Haligonian-Hab says:

          OK so best poutine in on the island is where?

          • shiram says:

            That’s what I’m trying to find out, and I can’t give an opinion untill I have tried the 3 other suggested places.
            Pattati-Pattata and Madame Bolduc are left to be tried.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            You might have to try Rapido too, corner St.Denis and Mt.Royal.

          • shiram says:

            Think I tried that one, but it was a few years back, a buddy of mine had a video rental store on Mont-Royal.
            You are the first to recommend it as a best poutine place though.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Malreg says:

      I agree about Captain America. I enjoyed Cowboys and Aliens much more.

    • mrhabby says:

      you arteries thank you for the poutine.

  31. Psycho29 says:

    From Bill Brownstein in the Gazette about the Just For Laugh festival:

    The honour for best (and cleanest) joke goes to Craig Ferguson: “Canadians are the nicest, most peaceful people in the world – except when handed hockey sticks. Forget about giving Canadian soldiers weapons. Just give them hockey sticks. Then tell them that the Taliban have the puck.”

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Too Rich!

      Speaking of Canadians and soldiers, makes me think to Don Cherry and his criticism of Montreal and his despisement of all things French. Yet he is the single largest cheerleader of our Armed Forces. Does he not realize that Quebec is one of the largest contributors of any province to our Armed Forces.

      Not that anyone here will argue Cherry isn’t an idiot, just another example of his hypocritic stance on things.

      • Psycho29 says:

        That’s about the only positive thing I can say about Cherry, is his love and support of our troops.
        But I cringe when he cannot properly pronounce the name of a Francophone fallen soldier, or when he referred to Max Pacioretty as “What’s his name again?” after the Chara incident.

        Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          I know him well, and he is discuss ting every time he opens his mouth. As far as the troops are concerned, well I hope your right, but he is a user and an abuser of people in general for his own gain.

      • cuzzie says:

        Time wounds all heels!

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  32. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Has there ever been a stadium/arena built anywhere in North America with public money that has turned a profit for the municipality/county long-term?

    It seems to me that the only new stadia/arenas that stay filled once the novelty wears off are the teams that were drawing good numbers in their old barns.

    In other words, it always comes down to product – and the Islanders have been delivering a brutal product for 20 years.

  33. The Dude says:

    Weber,Hunter and Malkin…then we have a winner.

  34. Ian Cobb says:


    Hotel regular rates are $139 and $149. BUT!

    Our HIO special rates are as follows.
    Hotel rates.single $119, Double $119, Triple $144, Quad $$169

    Be sure to tell them you are with HIO.
    Mrs. Xich-Vê HÔ (pronounced “sik-vay”)
    Sales Manager- Leisure Groups and Catering
    1180 de la Montagne
    Montréal, Qc H3G 1Z1
    Tel : +001 514 871 2145
    Fax : +001 514 861 2295

  35. Thomas Le Fan says:

    May I just ask, “What the heck is virage?” It sounds bad and possibly contagious and if Sopel has it, I for one am glad he’ll be in Siberia with it, whatever it is.

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Dreamers and wishful players posters, 0, Reality 2011 winning roster, 10.

    Yes, we have now arrived as an elite NHL club. We have spent many years acquiring, drafting and developing our kids that are now NHL ready to compete.

    Along with a few free agent signings, this roster is ready to climb to the top of the standings and battle for a championship. We are in for a great ride this year folks.

    Now! can we win a few face offs?

  37. Malreg says:

    So, any guesses on what Weber gets in arbitration? My guess is 1-2 years for $6.5 million/year

    • G-Man says:

      Arbitration cases are for 1 season only. Weber forcing UFA early on the Preds so he can leave and get the team and the pay he wants next season.

      • Malreg says:

        I thought arbitration could award 1 or 2 year contracts, depending on what the player requests?

        • G-Man says:

          Have a look at this:

          I didn’t see a mention of term or length, but then again, I am at work…

          • Malreg says:

            Just read somewhere that Weber decided to go for 1 year, and not 2, and I remember reading last year that a player can request 2 years, it’s just very rarely done.

            A 1 year deal would mean Weber is still an RFA come next summer. Of course that would also mean that Weber, Suter(who many think is better than Weber), and Rinne would all be up for new contracts next summer.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well hopefully the Predators are part of “Many” and choose to keep Suter and will dump Weber to us! Weber is far better in my opinion, and his father didn’t ruin the careers of Gretzky and Kariya!

          • G-Man says:

            @Malreg- Thanks for the info! 🙂

  38. Hobie Hansen says:

    J.T. asked fans how they fell in love with the Canadiens:

    The night the Montreal Canadiens won their 23rd cup in 1986 was the night I became a diehard Habs fan and never looked back.

    I was a 10-year-old kid living in Toronto but was attending a huge gathering with my parents and all of their friends and their friend’s children in Yarmouth Nova Scotia.

    There must have been 50-60 people crowded around the television. The fathers were yelling and screaming and the kids were jumping all over the place.

    I was so happy that we moved back to Montreal from Toronto a few years later and got to go to my first game in Montreal against the Whalers during the 1989/90 season. Ryan Walter scored the game winner and the Habs won 3-2.

    I asked my dad many times as a kid to take me to a hockey game in Toronto but he refused. I now understand why, thanks dad!

    It was also amazing being a 17-year-old kid with a fake ID in a pub beside the Forum when they won the cup in 1993. The doors of the building actually were open before the on-ice celebration finished and we were able to rush up the stairs of the Forum and see the Habs carry the cup off the ice!

    • G-Man says:

      My family has always been Habs fans, as far back as I can remember. My older brother was/is such a fan he wrote Lions in Winter and many biographies on the hockey greats like le gros bill and the Rocket.

      The game that clinched it for me was The Comeback, and no, not that pathetic regular season game against the Rangers that ended with a shootout. The game I speak of was a playoff in 1971 against the Bucking Fruins. Late in the 2nd period, they led Montreal 5-1. By the end of the 3rd, it was 7-5 for the Habs. That victory was the catalyst for that surprise Cup against Chicago and sold me forever on the bleu-blanc-rouge.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I have baby pics of me in a habs shirt, so there’s your answer 😉 Although I was all over Patrick Roy so that could be when I “officially” fell in love.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Growing up in the Peg, my first hockey memories were the Habs with Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur playing the best hockey around.

      My family cheered for Toronto and Philadelphia, they couldn’t believe I preferred to cheer for a “French” team. My love for the team was cemented with watching Montreal play Red Army in the greatest game I remember. My mom stopped cheering for the Flyers when we watched them play Red Army and the disgusting antics the Flyers were pulling.

      The Jets we becoming a big thing with Hull, Hedberg and Nilsson but nothing compared to the Habs. Even with the Jets joining the NHL my allegiance stayed with the Habs, while the Jets were my 2nd favourite.

      I think the key for me as a kid, was watching games on the French CBC, listening in a language I didn’t speak, but hearing the crowd chant Guy Guy Guy evertime he touched the puck. Oh there it goes again, goosebumps on the arm as I type! The guy was simply The Best!

      • G-Man says:

        Lafleur is #2 on my idol list after Beliveau. You are so right about those goose bumps.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I saw Beliveau on TV, but am too young to remember specifics, just that I heard his name all the time on the broadcasts. I always keep my eyes peeled to the TSN classic channel, and everytime there is a classic Montreal game I watch. Unfortunately they seem to have a loop going with some black and white footage of some team called the Leafs that apparantly were good in the 60’s!

  39. G-Man says:

    3 teams in the NY area doom 2- the Devils and the Islanders are royally screwed. New Yorkers like the Rangers when it comes to hockey. The other 2 can be super successful but it doesn’t matter. Only the Rangers matter.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Sad but true. Even when the Devils were winning cups their attendance still sucked. On another note, The Prudential Center is a very cool arena. Wide open concourse and a cool view of the NYC skyline.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Best part of your post is the first quote, can’t help but think of that great Metallica song, Sad but True! LOL, not sure if you like their music, but that is a great song.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    So it’s the middle of summer, no hockey in sight.

    How’s this for a fantasy…

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a Canadian Provincial Championship??

    True, there would be some provinces with fewer players, but I think it’d be cool!!

    Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Sask, BC, Manitoba, then Territories, and Maritimes.

    A bit unbalanced, for sure, but I think it’d be awesome. Generate a bit of provincial pride! When I lived in Ireland, the biggest sport there by far is the Gaelic Games (hurling and Gaelic Football), and each county has a team. It’s incredible.

    Whadda yez think??

    (and I know it’d never happen because of injury worries and long seasons, etc… but think about how it COULD work!)

    This link gives some percentages of Canadian players per province:

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Malreg says:

      I think it would be really cool, and it’s been discussed quite a bit on HFBoards with people posting potential lineups.

      Pretty sure A.B. would win it hands down though. Ontario would be pretty good too.

    • G-Man says:

      Wouldn’t mind seeing a 18 and under tourney during the summer to show off up and comers. Any hockey is better that boreball (either soccer or baseball).

  41. 123456 says:

    Adding to JT’s story.
    I grew up a sabres fan in western NY. At age 14 I went to a sabres game (it was my second game I had gone to) and the Montreal Canadiens were the opposition. Much to my pleasure the starting goalie for the “Habs” had the same last name as me. “Wow dad look at that!” I said. What a dream it would have been to be a close relative of this goalie guy I had never heard of before. Long story short, St. Patrick went on to what some would call one of the best careers ever. My allegiance to the Sabres never waivered – rather I had a second favorite team now. Over the next few years I followed both. In time I was more hooked on the Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres will always remain close to my heart, but not closer than Les Canadiens de Montréal.

  42. Frank Labarbotte says:


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  43. PrimeTime says:

    Ever try to think how the world would be without the US?

    • Psycho29 says:

      I know what you mean…..we’d be watching 24-hours of Beachcomber and Tommy Hunter re-runs. 🙂

      Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    • HardHabits says:

      It’d be British.

    • Frank Labarbotte says:

      As a matter of fact, I went to the Decline of the American Empire?! show at the comedy fest. It was pure gold

    • Everlasting1 says:

      You mean without the Federal Reserve. Ask Ron Paul and Edward Griffin.

      “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Psalms 82:1-2

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • Rugger says:

      Lots and lots of Beach Front property in Alberta etc. and Eastern Quebec and the Maritimes would be a seperate Island.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The way things are headed down there we might find out soon enough.

      (Rugger’s answer is better.)

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    No deal for Weber. In arbitration now.

  45. Chris F says:

    It would be something to have Weber eventually leave the Preds and for Montreal to find a way to land him, but there is no chance. Montreal seems to be satisfied with developing their middle of the road draft picks and settling for middle of the road results.
    I am excited this year to see the following:
    1) Patches play again.
    2) How AK responds to his 1 year deal.
    3) Eric Cole in a Habs jersey going hard to the net.
    4) Emelin- is he really 6’2″, 225lbs, I don’t think he is. But looking forward to seeing what he “can” do.
    5) Gorges back, and what effect he has.
    6) How the team handles physical abuse during play and after the whistle of bums from Boston and Toronto.
    7) If PG really thinks this team is tough enough to contend. I don’t think it is, he addressed the scoring issue. In part due to picking up Cole, in part due to Patches returning, in part due to giving AK a one year prove yourself deal. But, once again, nobody on the team on the back end can really punish anyone, and nobody up front can pummel the oppositions D. Nobody, White throws his body around and I love him, but he’s 190 lbs.
    8) How good will Price be?
    9) Will Eller and DD continue to improve?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Your post is full of contradictions.
      You say that we have ‘middle of the road picks’ is that really what you would call Pacioretty and Subban? Really?


      You mention Patches, AK and Cole, then go on to say that nobody up front can hit. AK led the team in hits last season, Cole is a big hitter, and Pacioretty has put on bulk and throws it around too.

      Gill, Gorges, PK… nobody in the D can hit?!

      Actually, I don’t even know why I’m responding to this post…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • G-Man says:

        Yup- I think the poster needed coffee first, then posting.

      • Chris F says:

        So soooorry I wasn’t clear!
        Ak led the team in hits, yes, but I don’t expect him to do a damn thing when times get rough in Boston. I also don’t expect Patches to be too physical coming off a serious neck injury, one in which the kid almost died on the ice!
        Cole can hit, no doubt.
        Gill, Gorges, hitters?? What hockey have you been watching?? C’mon get serious.
        And for the most part, the Habs have been picking middle of the pack, everyone gets diamonds in the rough, ie: Patches, PK. Weber is in this group as well, my apologies for not stating that he was a second rounder. I”m just stating it would be nice to have a game changing physical presence like Weber on the team. I’m one of the guys whose played enough hockey to realise the Habs are still missing a quality tough guy. They have a solid team, no doubt deeper and stronger than in years past, but….we do not have a player who can stand up to the toughest in the league.

        Chill out Matty.

    • RGM says:

      It’s funny you talk about “middle of the road draft picks” in the same paragraph as how awesome it would be for the Habs to land Shea Weber. Guy was taken in the 2nd round, 49th overall – he was a diamond in the rough much like PK Subban has turned out to be for the Habs. It would be a dream for me to see the 2004 Memorial Cup Champ cornerstones reunited on the blue line, but I think it will remain exactly that unless Poile he really owes us one for Sergei.

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

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay, so getting back on the Hockey Theme, here is an article on Shea Weber and the Predators dilemna as his arbitration date approaches.

    My question to you is, Why would Shea Weber ever want to stay in Nashville. Despite their first taste of success in the Playoffs (and some playoff revenue) the team has slashed salaries such that with the resigning of Weber they will be at or just above the minimum cap floor.

    Sure he has some loyalties, atmosphere down there is apparantly great yadda yadda yadda, but he strikes me as a competitive guy. End of day you want to win in the playoffs. I see no chance for this team to ever win, given each year they can’t afford to keep key depth players, and give away (Franson) other potential core players in order to stay at cap floor.–cox-nhl-watches-as-preds-try-to-do-deal-with-weber

  47. Neutral says:

    For 2.5 mil I think Zherdev would look pretty good on the 3rd line with DD and AK46. he has speed and can handle the puck

    Moen, White, Darche not a bad 4th line.

    as for Eller I think you’re expecting more than you’re ever gonna see I see him at best a 3rd line player, with time he may prove me wrong….

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Eller is fine on the third line IMO. He works a lot harder than Zherdev who is inconsistent.

      I think Eller might get 40 points this year. He looked more comfortable near the end of the season and in the playoffs

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    In case you’re feeling sorry for Charles Wang …

    * Made his fortune by taking over companies, firing management, and forcing employees of the company to sign new contracts on-the-spot at a company meeting without prior warning – employees who refused to sign at the meeting or wished to have the contracts reviewed by a third party prior to signing were immediately fired.

    * In 2000, a class-action lawsuit accused Wang, then president Sanjay Kumar and co-founder Russell Artzt of wrongly reporting more than $2.5 billion in revenue in its 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 fiscal years, in order to artificially inflate the stock price. The inflated stock price triggered a $700 million bonus to Wang. Kumar was convicted of fraud.

    * After buying the Islanders Wang kept Mike Milbury as GM for another 6 years, in spite of Milbury’s notoriously poor management decisions.

    * Wang hired Neil Smith as the general manager for the New York Islanders during the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, but 40 days later Smith was fired due to his unwillingness to adhere to the “management by committee” style of Wang. According to Smith, every decision he made had to be passed before a committee which included Wang and certain other non-hockey executives.

    * He then gave the GM job to then backup goalie, Garth Snow. Presumably Snow has no problem doing as he’s told.

    * Wang is personally responsible for the Yashin and Di Pietro contracts.

    * In August 2011 Wang tried to boondoggle citizens of Nassau County into paying for his new arena. He did this in part by holding a referendum on the issue on August 1, when most people are on holidays. Voter turnout was 5% but he still lost.


    • centre hice says:

      AND……………as one of the richest Americans, will continue to be exempt from paying taxes because the Republican house refused to comprise, and the Dems conceded.

      As always, the poor will be ones to pay to fix the problem, while the wealthy contribute nothing.

      • adam76 says:

        Myth No. 5 — The Rich Don’t Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes

        We’ve all heard this one during the presidential campaign. When it comes to income taxes, the Democratic presidential candidates keep telling us, the rich don’t pay enough. That’s a widespread belief, but do the politicians even know how much of the income tax burden the rich pay now?

        According to presidential candidate Al Sharpton, “The top one percent in this country pays very much less than ten percent, very much less than five percent.”

        Sharpton said he thinks the wealthy should pay “somewhere around 15 percent.”

        But that’s so silly because — and I bet most of you don’t know this — the IRS says the richest 1 percent of taxpayers already pay 34 percent of all income taxes. Twice what Sharpton wanted them to pay.

        Still you may feel the rich should pay even more. It’s a tempting thought, since they have so much.

        But let’s remember the facts: the top 1 percent of Americans — those who earn more than about $300,000 a year — pay 34 percent, more than a third of all income taxes, and the top 5 percent, those making over $125,000, pay more than half.

        • adamkennelly says:

          ridiculous statement….you are misquoting the numbers. The percentage a person pays in tax has nothing to do with the percentage of total taxes collected that a group (rich people) contribute. your Myth #5 is embarrassing….but republicans are good at using arguments like the one you made to convince certain segments of the population (poor people, rural, uneducated) that voting for them is in their best interest – when its completely the opposite. I live in the states and according to your stats am in the top 5% of money earners, yet every year my effective tax rate is around 18% or 19%…and if I hired an accountant to do my taxes, I bet I could get it down under 15%..facts are rich people get huge tax breaks and if they paid higher taxes, which they can afford the country would be better off. Ask anyone in Canada making 100K or more how much they pay in tax.

          • MikeMcLaren says:

            Hockey. Message. Board.

            GO HABS GO!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            It is a simpleton’s theory, but I have always thought a Flat Tax would be nice. I am no economist (did take it during my business degree) but am curious to see how it would play out. Of course a flat tax only works when you clearly establish an individuals or corporations income. This is so often blurred by the many creative accounting options available.

            My issues with taxation in Canada, is that when I have a good income year my tax rate is huge and as an employee of a company I have very limited write off abilities. I watch friends who own their own company and I am amazed at how much income they can legally hide for lack of a better term. I also know that my former employer managed to keep his company at break even and/or limited profits while his personal wealth skyrocketed.

            Not sure in my lifetime I will ever see a balanced approach from the politicians as partisanship has taken over.

          • The Dude says:

            As long as you have creative accounting for the rich they will never pay their share! It’s how the rich get rich…they hoard.

    • The Cat says:

      Again proving,, that to the NHL, its not the owner that matters, but where the team he owns is located.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I always knew he was a slimeball but wow.

      I was reading a NYI blog late last night and the comment section really made me feel for the fans. Many comments included tearful goodbyes. I know management deserves this but the fans dont.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You have to wonder if it would make a difference if they were selling the building out. Wang would still argue for new arena and still ask gov’t to foot the bill I think.

        His payday is coming potentially as he may end up selling this franchise and the timing could be such that it ends up in Southern Ontario.

        Still believe the biggest reason Ont. Teachers Pension Plan is trying to sell Leafs/Raptors/Marlies/Toronto FC is because the Leafs have almost reached their peak valuation. I think Bettman is soon ready to drop another franchise in the market thus changing the competitive landscape in Toronto.

        Buffalo now has stupid rich owner, and the immediate death of the Sabres with more competition in Toronto is far less likely.

        • G-Man says:

          Buffalo relies on Ontarians to survive. That’s a recipe for disaster as their core population (in the Buffalo area) keeps shrinking. Deep pockets, but a little stupid to buy them.

    • Chester says:

      You know, the guy could write a check for 400M tomorrow.
      The Habs spooled up and built their own building, good for hockey good for that rock and roll, good for me good for you. But this guy wants to spend other peoples’ money. I would have voted no to it given the chance. He feels greasy from here.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Well, Molson’s had to sell the Habs and the Bell Ctr for next to nothing to George Gillett 5 years after it opened.

        And Gillett used taxpayer funds to buy the team (an amount he later repaid I think).

  49. centre hice says:

    Does anyone know of a site that has last season’s games archived? I’m going through withdrawal.

    I know it’s summer and I have been taking advantage, but you can’t be outside 24 hrs, there is at least some time spent in front of TV.

    Problem is television sucks, Hollywood usually disappoints. I’m seriously considering watching some of last years games.

    Anyone know where I can see them? Next season I’m going to digitally record games in preparation for summer.

    • secretdragonfly says:

      Unless your cable/satellite package includes the NHL Network or you’re willing to pay $4.95/month for access to the NHL vault of archived games through NHL Centre Ice, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Fortunately, I received the 10-DVD set of classic Habs games as a Christmas gift two years ago and they get me through some of the dog days of summer.

    • Zenhabs93 says: sports under Hockey night in Canada select games on demand.A little jerky but you’ll get the full game. And soon it will be preseason! Cheers.

    • 24moreCups says:

      Yeah I seemed to enjoy summers a lot more before I fell in love with the Habs haha

  50. Psycho29 says:

    The Sopel article doesn’t seem to work…(Error 404)

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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