UPDATE: Games canned through Nov. 1; fundraising dinner with Armstrong, Darche


The photo tweeted Oct. 11 from the players’ bench at Le Colisée Pepsi in Quebec that launched the charity auction: Colby Armstrong (left) and Mathieu Darche.
Courtesy Colby Armstrong

NEWS UPDATE: NHL cancels games through Nov. 1

On Oct. 11 on Twitter, I pretty much dared Canadiens’ Colby Armstrong to take a photo of himself on the bench of Quebec’s Le Colisée Pepsi, and tweet it, during a Tournée des joueurs exhibition game. When it appeared unlikely that Armstrong might do so, I sweetened the pot with another tweet: I’d buy him dinner at Moishes, arguably Montreal’s best steakhouse, if he did.

Long story short (the full story linked here): Armstrong tweeted the photo above, with the help of former Habs forward Mathieu Darche. I’m good for the dinner, also picking up the tab of Darche for his role in getting the photo shot.

But the story gets better:

Next Thursday, Oct. 25, The Gazette will begin a five-day online auction for two seats at our table – one for the highest bidder, a second for that person’s guest – with proceeds of the auction going to The Gazette Christmas Fund, our annual fundraising effort to aid Montrealers in need during the holiday season.

The Gazette is picking up the cost of the high bidder’s seat; Armstrong was so delighted with the charity angle that he’s chipping in to buy the seat of the high bidder’s guest. The dinner is expected to be held in early November, at the mutual convenience of all.

This is guaranteed to be a night of exquisite dining and some fantastic story-telling. Keep an eye on Hockey Inside/Out for more details. The auction begins Oct. 25 and will run online through Monday, Oct. 29.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      The writer is correct about making an impact on the town. The buzz on the street outside arena was great. Numerous times I heard people say things like, hasnt been this much excitement for hockey at Copps since Canada Cup. Scalpers were out and about, and my buddy had to pay for parking!!!! 10bucks mind you to be a block away isn’t bad.

      Lets hope the team continues its good start, I for one will definitely be at many more Dogs game this winter. Thanks for the link Frank.

      Gardner was clearly the best player on the ice for the Marlies.

      • HabFab says:

        I joined you in spirit and to make sure I was feeling Hamiltonion enjoyed Chuck’s radio show until game time 😉

        This webby thing sure makes the world smaller or perhaps humans bigger.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        It was nice to go to a dogs game with some atmosphere. I would say the last dogs game I was at like that was for the Calder cup. The arena is in dire need of updates though

        Was a good game but being early in the season the play was quite sloppy. Will be even better after 20 games or so. I really liked Holland and LeBlanc. Tinordi and Beaulieu they are going to be on the habs within a year or so.

        Was shocked to see Blake as the captain.

  1. JohnBellyful says:

    With Punkster, Bripro and then Cal yesterday so wonderfully answering the challenge I had issued to HIO’s resident composers – composters? They were asked to recycle long dead material – I thought it remiss if I didn’t try my hand as well in paying homage to one on the great pieces in musical history. (Before linking, can you guess what it is?)

    Bettman’s a master
    Of courting disaster
    As oily as castor is he
    Flashing wan smiles
    He uses his wiles
    In a way that’s quite ornery, or-ne-ry!
    He’s jeered across the land, ‘A bad man!’ say the fans
    They yearn for his good-bye, from on high, effin’ G!

    Bettman’s a meister
    At being a shyster
    He’s a man without mystery
    He’s smarmy but able
    To sign deals with cable
    The biggest in league history

    Bettman’s a phoney
    Rear end of a pony
    Has no love of the game, plain to see
    To him it’s a sport
    To treat fans as an ort
    Chew ‘em up, spit ‘em out, merrily, mer-ri-ly
    The players are cogs in the wheel, make ‘em squeal: ‘Please, sir, a deal’
    Their season will come to an end, if they don’t bend, despairingly

    Bettman’s a tyrant
    A dog to a hydrant
    Gypsy moth to leaves on a tree
    To a mouth he’s a canker
    To all fans, he’s a wanker
    He’s famous for being prick-leeeeeeee!

    [It’s all yours, piano man!]

    — “A little song, it’s called a waltz, no, not Disney, this one’s schmaltz.” —

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    About Last Night

    On a night when Hamilton scalpers were selling 26buck tickets for 75 bucks and it seemed like the hottest ticket in southern Ontario was a Bulldog game who knew a goalie pegged to be second string for the dogs would play hero.

    Robert Mayer single handedly held the Dogs in this game, particularly in the first period where the shots on net were at least 14-6 in favor of those pesky blue and white shirts.

    The game opened with the Dogs controlling the play but lacking any finish or real drive to the net. Penalties ensued by both teams, but Hamilton took more and soon the Marlies controlled all momentum but could not find a way to beat Mayer.

    At the end of the first period after a smart shift from Tinordi the Dogs created a rush which lead to a nice dirty goal from Leblanc as he stayed around the crease as Marlies seemed slow on the back check.

    This goal in the dying seconds of the 1st period clearly was a momentum shift. However as the second period started the Marlies again assumed control of the play while Mayer continued to look like a starting goalie.

    Then the Dogs scored another goal from the crease area and suddenly momentum began to shift. My Leaf fans were none to impressed that Boyce was a key part of this 2nd goal.

    To me throughout the game Tinordi continued to stand out. He shows great discipline with puck and seems to have great puck sense in not getting caught out of positon. He and Pateryn sem well suited together. Beaulieu on the other hand while smooth on the rush seems to not have that same awareness when the puck was not on his stick and seemed at times undecided on committing to a play in the centre ice zone.

    I thought Quailer looked very comfortable on the ice and seems to have adjusted quickly to the AHL speed and contact.

    Both teams lacked an effective forechecking early, but hitting picked up. I was especially Impressed with one shift from Tinordi where he seemed to make 3 good hard checks establishing his presence.

    The Dogs finished the game well but truly this game was won early by Mayer. I stiill think this team lacks offensive creativity in the offensive zone and Gallagher has a learning curve to adjust to as his speed alone isn’t springing him clear.

    Keep in mind the above post is after 3 buck beers and I took full advantage. Great game to watch, good crowd though not a Montreal Canadien crowd as there could have been more passion.

    Enjoyed watching the sullen faces on the blue and white shirts as I found my way to Stonehouse up the street for a great band covering the Doors, Hip and some other bands.


    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …next time, send it to Cowan before posting to catch the spellin n grammr errors …but, for a Guy writing while plotzed, Boone should be quaking in His boots, …’cause You’ve got ‘promise’ Sir Gerald of Burlington 🙂

      What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

      Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

      Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

      …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I also typed that on my Ipad which is beyond challenging, you have no idea how many times I did try fix spelling, but me and my Mac toy don’t play well together. I type on it like that bird Homer Simpson had to do his job pressing the button when he worked from home. Got tired of typing and kind of forgot to mention details from the 2nd/3rd period, granted my recollection of that part of the game was slightly foggier.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Well done, ScribeInBurlington! Your report made me feel like I was right there at the game. (Although you might have included a few hiccups to give it added effect.)
      I’m looking forward to your next dispatch: About My Hangover.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A regular feature on HIO perhaps? Great job Burly. Your night was a lot better then mine. Ugh. CHeers.


    • punkster says:

      Great review Ger. I look forward to more.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Great work G! especially before midnight.

      Bulldogs 4, Marlies 1

      L. Leblanc, 2g; A. Palushaj, 1g,1a; P. Holland 1g,1a: D. Boyce 2a; Tinordi, Blunden, Dumont, 1 assist each.

      R. Mayer, 39 saves.

      Sold out attendance, 8,819.
      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It will be interesting to see what attendance is like next weekend. I suspect if the demand througout the week continues, they may consider up the upper bowl at Copps. The concern from the team is that suddenly the building feels cavernous if the upper bowl is not filled.

        I would guess the crowd was about 65/35 pro Bulldogs split.

        Most importantly what I learned last night, $3 beer night stops selling for 3 bucks sometime between 2nd and 3rd period. Moral of the story, buy all the early rounds and let your friends buy in the 3rd period.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          We were used to $5 parking last year, but I suspect there is a “replacement” parking fee. Interesting to think about how many of the scalpers were locals versus imports from TO.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • B says:

            Do the players get 57% of those parking fees?

            Did Chara, Scott and Byfuglien show up to turn the scalpers upside down and shake 57% of their money out of their pockets?

    • secretdragonfly says:

      Well done, HiB, reading that is just like being there, without having to put up with the annnoying Leaf fans. Is that the same Stonehouse with the yummy $1 oysters and $4 Sapporo?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Not sure, actually was first time i have been there. Had no idea a nice bar with live music was so close to Copps. It is on the road back toward Dundurn Castle about 2-3 blocks from arena.

        Is actually a great place to go after the game.

        Speaking of annoying Leaf fans, I had a row of “older fellas” beside me who reminded me of Stadler of Waldorf from the Muppets. I asked them in the 3rd period why I couldn’t see Kadri on the ice much anymore. I was told and I quote “some guy from the dogs gave him the evil eye, and coach Eakins doesn’t want him hurt so he pulled him”

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Colourful stuff. “secretdragonfly,” you may have read from Dave Stubbs that he’s working through “A Season in Time.” Todd Denault really entertains, and I think even more highly of Mario Lemieux than before after reading this book.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

    • neumann103 says:


      Three buck beers?

      Somehow I don’t think we will get those when the Bulldogs visit the Marlies in the heart of Leaf-ness tonight.

      Thanks for the report.

      “Et le but!”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Enjoy the game Neumann, yah no chance in heck you get Hamilton Harbours finest draught water for 3bucks at the Ricoh.

        I believe Ricoh is sold out as well for tonights tilt. Stortini tried get at a few Marlies towards the end of game, but was unable. I think Marlies will try send a physical message early. I have to say, I am not sure Stortini has the skating to be a regular shift in the AHL, he looked pretty slow out there to me.

        You are going to enjoy watching Tinordi, this guy just knows where to go all the time it seems.

  3. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I surmise Sir Gerald and The Boyz are still imbibing post-game in a Hamilton saloon and unavailable for a sober, err, I mean, cogent observation of what They saw of Our Prospects tonight

    …come on Gerald, Mike Boone would have had His About Last Night posted by now ! 🙁
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

  4. Galchenyuk now has 14 points in 11 games. He would have even more points racked up if Sarnia had any sort of offensive depth. Kid’s looking good.

  5. Boomer says:

    Tinordi + Pateryn = Pain

  6. jmsheehy19 says:

    Just got back from the Brampton / Windsor game. Vail had a goal (largely thanks to a great play and pass from a team mate) but man oh man this kid’s awareness and positioning were fantastic. I’m dreaming about Vail – Bournival – LL as a future stud 3rd line.

    Assuming three of Galchenyuk, Colberg, Gallagher, Quailer, Palushaj, Holland, Hudon, Bozon, or Nystrom can develop in top 6 to help out Eller, Pleky, Patches, and DD, we are going to look down right scary in 3 or 4 years.

  7. Stormin says:

    Ok I do love CHL and AHL and USHL and NCAA hockey but I do believe it is time for Gary Buttman and Donald Fehr to walk into a Rowland Office, Steve Shutt and Corey Locke the door behind them and pay the Carey Price and start negotiating Bill Daly until this Corey Locke out is resolved… I don’t care Howe Orr what they do,,, drink Paul Coffey until they Nail Yakupov or Valeri Zelepukin all over each other , Just get this Corey Locke out resolved..,, Stop trying to Rob Ramage there proposals through the media, and try and Pat Stapleton some agreement together that they can not Darren Puppa all over. If this gets done we can all have a few Geoffrey Molson’s maybe party with our own Pamela Anderson or Glenn Anderson,, I don’t judge,, and fire off some celebratory Alexander Semin and make a big Mark Messier all over Pamela

  8. axxerd says:

    I just went and bought tickets to see the Bulldogs play the IceCaps in St. John’s on Tuesday November 20th. I had to buy via StubHub as there are no tickets available for any IceCaps games other than a few single seats they keep available. I paid $122.00 for 2 AHL tickets. I also have to drive for 4 hours to get to St. John’s.

    Yep…I miss NHL hockey….and a part of me hopes the lockout is still ongoing so I can see some extra bodies in Hamilton. I went to a Dogs game in St. John’s last year and it was the worst game I’ve ever seen. St. John’s beat outshot them like 56-12…and of course I opted to have my seat in the end where Hamilton shot twice. Hoping for a better experience this time.

    Newfoundland’s biggest Habs fan. Hands down.

  9. Stormin says:

    Looks Like St Louis will have to go back to San Fran, as giants lead 4-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning

  10. Stormin says:

    Leafs do have a great player in Gardiner, looks dominating at this level..

  11. savethepuck says:

    Does the announcer really have to sound so excited the Marlies just scored and be a cheerleader saying they still have time to come back?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Stormin says:

      You should mute audio from your video stream, and listen or stream audio from Hamilton broadcaster on TSN 690 or Funny820 Hamilton.. they even interviewed Marc Bergevin in between periods..

    • Chuck says:

      I think that all play-by-play guys in the AHL are homers… just goes with the territory, because they’re really only broadcasting to their own fans.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  12. kempie says:

    Nice goal Palushaj.

    • Stormin says:

      Nice set up from Holland, and looks like Pacioretty working with his buddy Palushaj on his release is paying off, that was a nice quick release off the post and in..

  13. commandant says:

    I’m at the Guelph/Sarnia game tonight.

    2nd Intermission ended up running into the man himself, Trevor Timmins.

    Great Dude, got to chat with him for 5 minutes. Full details on my site tomorrow.

    • Ron says:

      Why not put them on here save us the jump.

      • commandant says:

        Two Reasons

        1) I find writing 1000 word posts on here to create too much scrolling. Those who want to read what I have to say can. Those who don’t care can easily scroll past.

        2) I will post it on another message board too. Easier to write it in one location and just link to it.

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

        • neumann103 says:

          And if you put it upon your own site and just link to it:

          1. It doesn’t disappear five minutes later when HIO admins create a new post and all the attention moves

          2. If anyone wants to find it more than 24 hours after it was posted, they actually would have a prayer of finding it through a usable search engine on your page as opposed to the HIO site.

          It is not as though Ben is some troll here just trying to drive up traffic to his aggregation site. His posts here are consistently informative and he links to expanded or related features on his site.

          Much as I love HIO, the interface here is unbelievably bad. I put up with the insanely useless blog template format becasue of the value of the community of posters like Ben.

          “Et le but!”

          • Ron says:

            @neumann103. Bens explanation was sufficient. Your answering for him of which he certainly doesn’t need just pushed up the amount of scrolling. Don’t need you trying to school me.

        • Ron says:

          Your right on the length Ben. 1000 or more words would make it a lengthly one for here. Just thought that with your conversation with Timmins only being 5 minutes that you didn’t get that much material but I see you want to lum it in with the game maybe.

  14. Ron says:

    Halifax Moose won another one tonight. MacKinnon with 2 goals ( 13,14 ) and an assist. He is looking good.

    • Stormin says:

      How did my man Jonathan Drouin play,, a former lac st louis lion, played with the likes of Mike Matheson, Ryan Culkin, and Dillon Fournier all already NHL drafted,, and this year will include Jonathan Drouin, Anthony Duclair and also my sleeper pick for this years NHL draft kurt Etchegary, loved this kid on a stocked Lac St Louis Lion team from 2011,

  15. Captain aHab says:

    Geoffrion needs to score to maintain his torrid 76 goal pace.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  16. Ron says:

    I for one thought that the goaltending may be the Dogs problem this year but if Mayer keeps playing with this confidence were in for some good hockey.

  17. Stormin says:

    I see some complaints on the stream about Marlies announcing, if you want you can mute audio and stream Hamilton Bulldog broadcast from funny 820 in Hamilton or TSN690 in Montreal,, I like Mayer, Nash, and Holland so far tonight…

  18. kempie says:

    Really weak call.

  19. Ron says:

    Haha I definitely have a Marlie feed. This guy makes Bob Cole sound like Danny Gallivan.

  20. savethepuck says:

    So Marlies outplaying Dogs burt now down 2-0. Mayer is playing great

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  21. Captain aHab says:

    2-0….weird game.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  22. Ron says:

    I must have a Marlies feed cause this guy is pathetic.

    • showey47 says:

      lol,no kidding. i tried to mute the marlies feed from the game and get the bulldogs audio feed but it has to be about 10 seconds behind the video feed.

    • savethepuck says:

      No kidding, you know the announcer is a homer when he’s on a first name basis with the players. It’s Ben and Nazim, but it’s Mayer and LeBlanc for us.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  23. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Thanks for the link … nice to see some hockey though the homer announcing is a bit much.

    But look at the Hamilton fans … that is a city that deserves an elite franchise …

    maybe in the new Global Hockey League that rises from the ashes of the NHL? 😉

  24. frontenac1 says:

    So what’s going on in the Dogs Game? Burly? Anybody?

    • savethepuck says:

      1-0 Dogs in the 2nd. Streaming it on-line

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Carta-Hab says:

      2 -0 …goal by Holland. That being said, the Dogs are lucky to be winning this game. Mayer is playing fantastic.

      Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

  25. savethepuck says:

    I think someone should tell this announcer how to pronounce Qualier. I am sure it doesn’t rhyme with Whaler, but maybe I’m wrong.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  26. frontenac1 says:

    @commandant. That McDavid kid is pretty big for a 15yr old. Some nice moves though.Looks like Knights are starting to run him

  27. savethepuck says:

    Reimer has less than 160 NHL games played. Why is he not in the AHL? Is he too old for the re-entry thing?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  28. dhenry1234 says:

    Mayer is killing it tonight! *knock on wood*

  29. frontenac1 says:

    2-2 in 2nd. Erie Otters vs London Knights

  30. kempie says:

    Dan Kramer ‏@DailyCanadiens
    Full #Habs brass on hand for @BulldogsAHL game tonight. Marc Bergevin, Larry Carriere, Rick Dudley, Michel Therrien.

  31. savethepuck says:

    Camera work kinda sucks and I have 2 poker tables open as a distraction, but glad Dogs are up 1-0

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  32. Carta-Hab says:

    Man Gardiner is good. Hey look, we scored! haha…completely outplayed there but come out of the first with a lead.

    Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

  33. Haborama says:

    Leblanc Scores
    This Machine kills Bruins

  34. Ron says:

    @savethepuck, have you been able to get the feed working now. Looks good here.

  35. Haborama says:

    Tinordi rubbed a guy out along the boards

    he’s playing good tonight
    This Machine kills Bruins

  36. dhenry1234 says:

    Like what I see from Tinordi. This kid is HUGE. Anytime someone tries to get by him, they get laid out.

  37. Captain aHab says:

    Dawgs looking slow.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  38. kempie says:

    Marlies moving the puck pretty well.

  39. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice to see Tinordi clear the crease real quick after the whistle!

  40. Ron says:

    Looks like they have taken the game off their offering list completely for now. Sucks.

  41. JohnBellyful says:

    Say what you will about Bettman but he takes his job seriously as commissioner. When it comes to getting a new deal, he’s not one to play games.
    Wait a minute, he IS one to play games. But if he’s playing games with the players, then why aren’t the players playing games.
    It’s all so confusing …

  42. dhenry1234 says:

    Anyone watching the Bulldogs game? If so, is anyone else seeing only a blue screen? If that’s the case, is this normal for a pre-puck drop broadcast?

  43. savethepuck says:

    Anyone know how to get the Dogs Marlies game tonight on TV or internet?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  44. jols101 says:

    atdhenet.tv – Last night had a free live stream for the Sarnia Sting game. Tonight the Sarnia game is not listed on their schedule but the Bulldogs game is. Not sure if it will work but if anyone is looking to watch the game give it a try at 7:30. I will…

  45. piper says:

    The players better be careful with this thing. If they are out for the year and maybe more it could mean a few teams will fold (which I think would be great for us fans). I could see 4 or 5 teams in this league going under, maybe more. Thats a lot less jobs for these guys.
    I know the players are big on revenue sharing and thats the reason why, but do you think Goeff Molson wants to give these small markets all that money after paying what he did for his team. I don’t think so.
    I just hope these players get a grip on reality soon for the good of their brothers that will be the ones that could be out of a job.

  46. HabFab says:

    PK talks about keeping your confidence…remember him?;

  47. HabFab says:

    I knew this season was a f….. but now Don Cherry likes the Habs?

    OOOh…got to lay down!

  48. HabFab says:

    NHL And NHLPA reach agreement;

    On something finally
    But not what we want to hear….

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    There is actually a bit of a buzz in the Hamilton / Burlington area regarding Marlie/Bulldogs game tonight. Barn is sold out, I expect it to be a pretty high energy game. Methinks Mr. Stortini will make his presence felt in this game.

    Not sure how much live blogging I can do as my blackberry is pretty useless, but will try and provide an About Last Night for y’all tomorrow.

    Off to go get warmed up for the game.


  50. Ron says:

    Atdhe.net has the Dogs/Marlies game listed for live streaming tonight. Hope it stays online.

  51. ffenliv says:

    Here’s something that I really, really can’t put my head around. The PA claims that players would lose 1.6bn under the terms recently proposed by the leage, over the duration of the deal.

    At present, players make 57% of the 3.3bn in ‘hockey related revenues, which = 1.881bn / year.

    Now, I know not all teams are up against the cap, but even if EVERY team were at the cap FLOOR, they’d still be pulling in 1.4bn. When you add back all the teams over the minimum, they’re bitching about losing in 6 years what they’re gonna lose in just this one.

    I don’t side with either the owners or the players. I think they’re both crazy, and I think the system just doesn’t work. Owners are required to compete for the best players, which drives up contracts, but every 6 or 7 years, they all act as one.

    And the players. I think the players are morons, too. Wiping out a whole season will cost the in one year all that they would have lost, and you can bet the NHL would have negotiated their last offer down a bit.

  52. 24 Cups says:

    Just a reminder to those who were going to attend next weekend’s Summit in Montreal.

    You only have five days to cancel your hotel reservations at the Novatel in order to get a full refund.

  53. Mustang says:

    Bettman, Fehr and their respective bands of merry men don’t seem to realize that no one really needs them as they are little more than entertainment. On the other hand they really need the fans because without the fans, they have NOTHING. No fans = no revenue to split up, no one in the arenas cheering, no one buying their over-priced merchandise, no one asking for autographs.

    The problem is that too many mindless fans are going to flock back to the areans the instant this stupid lockout is settled, even though the NHL is treating them like crap.

  54. Captain aHab says:

    Well I just added TVA Sports to my channel lineup to watch the Dawgs so the NHL can take its time. Between that and the NFL, I’m fine for a long while.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  55. Habfan10912 says:

    @Chuck- caught your interview with MB. Nice work. I guess he was in a hurry, huh?


    • Rad says:

      Is that interview accessible anywhere? Can you provide a link?

    • Chuck says:

      Actually, I wasn’t the one doing the interview; I only fed the questions through, since I’m back here at the radio station, and not on-site at Copps Coliseum. Unfortunately our guy didn’t use any of them; he only had a couple of minutes with Marc.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yah I heard the interview Chuck, figured with time constraints he didn’t get to use your questions. Never heard him once ask about meeting me for a beer during the game. 😉

        • Chuck says:

          Hehe… maybe he’ll be around next Friday, and we can settle that beer and chat some hockey with him. 🙂

          Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  56. Peter Young says:

    Thanks, SmartDog, for your accurate analysis of what’s going on in the negotiations. Too many fans, so eager to have their NHL hockey, have been taken in by Bettman’s offer.

    Employers/owners who declare a lockout and then go into negotiating with a position that allows them to dishonor existing player contracts are acting in profound bad faith. Bettman’s offer–which he made public in spite of his previously announced position that negotiations ought not to be conducted through the media–was made within days of the league’s hiring of a high power public relations firm that has done a great deal of work for the Republican Party. Fifty-fifty, trumpeted Bettman when he made his offer, but examination of its details reveals that it was made for public relations purposes with no expectation that the players would agree to it. For one thing, Bettman has not budged from his position that existing contracts are to be dishonored. When the players countered with three proposals, Bettman ridiculed them within a few minutes and walked out, once again underlining the bad faith posture he and the owners he represents have taken throughout the lockout and the negotiations.

    P.S. If I had my druthers (although I live in Los Angeles), Canadian teams would withdraw from the NHL and start their own league in a culture that appreciates the game as a sport and a national treasure and that is free of the influences that have given power to an immoral creep like Bettman, who plainly regards the NHL only as a business and, worse, a business in which contracts are not worth the paper on which they are written. It won’t happen, of course, but, as I’ve written before, this particular pipe dream is a nice one.

    • Luke says:

      Re: “Bettman’s offer–which he made public in spite of his previously announced position that negotiations ought not to be conducted through the media”

      Bob Mackenzie (the only ‘insider’ I actually trust) feels the NHL made the offer public in response to players (specifically Montedor) making inaccurate comments about the content of the offer.
      (Additionally, we all know it was going to get leaked by both sides anyways, so why not just post it? Fehr has said in the past that he’d like negotiations to be televised).

      re: Contracts. Yup I agree. Dirty pool. Negotiate a 100mm contract with the thought being it’d get rolled back to about 85mm. Not cool.

      re: PR Firm. Don’t see the issue. Perhaps the players should have done the same. At least the NHL is acknowledging the fans have some role in this whole thing… even if it is just to keep us interested in the product.

      Re: “Bettman, who plainly regards the NHL only as a business…”
      Sadly, That’s all it is. It is purely entertainment. No different then “Two and a Half Men” or “Dancing with the Stars”. There is no greater cause or noble purpose.

      We, as fans, love to wax poetic about the love of the game and all that stuff, but this is no different then the guys at the paper mill negotiating the terms of their contract to produce the newsprint for the next 6 years. It’s the players as the employees, the game as the product and the owners as the owners.

    • Max says:

      Bettman is far from the only immoral one involved in this situation.

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    Chuck if not to late, ask MB if he will be at game next Friday, tell him he can be guest speaker at Mini-Summit in the Hammer! I’ll even buy him a 3buck beer!

    • Chuck says:

      What a joke. Bettman was giving the NHLPA until the 25th to get a full season in starting November 2nd. Now on the 19th he cancels the first month’s of games as a way to flaunt his junk.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

      • Ron says:

        No games are to be lost. If the CBA is signed by the 25th then there will be an 82 game schedule starting Nov 2. Instead of having an extra game every 5 weeks it will mean one every 4 weeks. Alot more hecktic on the players but hey their millionaires. They worked their whole life for this, at least that is what they say when asked about their whole premise for the exuberant salaries.

    • B says:

      Those games were not expected to be played anyways, even under the NHLs last proposal to split 50-50 and still play all 82 games starting Nov.2. No big deal or news there IMO.

      • Chuck says:

        There’s a big difference in rescheduling October games to make them up after November 2nd, and cancelling them outright.

        Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

        • B says:

          Really? They already canceled a bunch of October games and that had no impact on still being able to get all 82 games in starting Nov.2. Perhaps I am missing something here? I don’t see the big deal or news here since I never expected those games in October to be played anyways.

          Edit for Blondie:
          The NHLs last proposal involved playing all 82 games starting on Nov.2 so no games were expected to be played in October. This announcement is just a formality of the obvious and does not add any more games to the original proposal of playing all 82 games starting Nov.2 (no games before Nov.2 are or were expected to be played). The NHL’s proposal to play all 82 starting Nov.2 is not dead yet (although it is coughing up a lot of blood right now). I believe they have until Oct.25th (with a mini training camp proposed starting Oct.26th) before officially declaring that proposal dead and not being able to get all 82 games in this season.

          • Blondie says:

            Those games were going to be played on free dates throughout the season. This means that those games are lost forever. Whatever else happens this season will now be less than 82 games long.

            Edit: Spoke too soon. They will still try to get them in if there’s a deal by Thursday. It’s just a week of games added on to the previous ones.

        • commandant says:

          There is no difference.

          All this does is allow the arenas to book alternatives… ie concerts or other events for the last two weeks of the month (if they are able to).

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

  58. Chuck says:

    We’re interviewing Hab GM Marc Bergevin shortly… got a serious question that you’d like asked of him?

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Would you ask him what exactly was Cole’s injury and also ask how concerned is he about Markov and other players playing overseas?
      Thanks Chuck!


      • B says:

        From a Stubbs article in the Gazette Oct.10th:

        “Marc Bergevin said he supported Markov’s decision to play in Russia if that’s what the veteran felt he needed to regain his game shape and timing.”

      • Dave Stubbs says:

        Erik Cole told me several times (reported in a few of my stories) that his injury, suffered when he returned to the gym in late April, unable to sit still after Habs were eliminated from post-season play, was lower-body. He didn’t specify, but I’d guess it was in the abdominal or groin area. I can assure you Marc Bergevin won’t be any more specific than that.

        Dave Stubbs

        Hockey Inside/Out
        Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
        • On Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs
        • Email: dstubbs@montrealgazette.com

    • Rad says:

      What does he think of Sebastian Collberg’s lack of ice time, and how does Marc think this will impact Collberg’s development?

    • Cal says:

      If a woodchuck could chuck wood, then how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

    • Desi says:

      Yes, please ask him what this team needs to do to get its power play in gear. The lack of it has put tremendous pressure on the team’s defense — pressure under which it didn’t too well. We need to up our PP goals count big-time, assuming that NHL hockey gets played again someday.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Tell him HI/O loves the N.A.G. he has added. Perhaps you could ask him if he has time to have a beer with Burly at or after the game tonight at Copps?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Can you ask him if he knows the difference between a dirigible and 365 Columbus Blue Jackets?

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  59. commandant says:


    Here is an analysis of the NHLPA’s Proposals posted. I worked with the numbers and did a little more to see what we are talking about.

    The Difference between players (proposal 2) and the owners is approx $80 million per season (485 million over 6 years). Or 2.58% of the NHL’s 3.3 Billion dollars in revenue (at current HRR, if HRR grows 5% a years as expected, it will be below 2% overall)

    484 million is the difference between the NHLPA proposal 2, and NHL proposal.
    Took that as an average over a 6 year term
    And divided it by 3.3 billion in HRR total.

    The difference is miniscule (in real dollars its big 80 million per season, but 80 million out of 3.3 billion is tiny)… which tells me this…. all the harsh words in the media, all the posturing of the last two days, is exactly that posturing. They will get it done, they are just squeezing out the last dollars.

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

    • Blondie says:

      Did it take more than 10 minutes to arrive at that analysis?

      I agree it’s posturing. Bettmen had his comments to the media prepared before he even entered the meeting.

  60. frontenac1 says:

    Man, I just don’t see how some here think they are close to a deal. Owners rejecting not one but three proposals outright after studying them for 10 minutes? This is supposed to be serious? Unless Bettman has a Damascene Conversion, this is fu*ked big time amigos.

  61. Dr.Rex says:

    IT is time to start considering a 12 team league…..Comprising of the franchises that drive the NHL and have the majority of NHL fans attached. Let the other outcast teams stay with the NHL name, who needs that. WE are fans of the Habs and not many fans of the NHL itself. Who could be at this point.

    Canadian Conference:
    – Montreal
    – TOronto
    – Vancouver
    – Ottawa
    – Edmonton/Calgary
    – Winnipeg

    American Conference:
    – Philadelphia
    – New York Rags
    – Boston

  62. chilli says:

    I am down with replacement players. NHL guys are stealing jobs right now from euros and AHL lifers, let those guys play in the big show!

    Also, outside of Price, PK and maybe 2 others, do I really care if I see Bourque, DD, Eller, Gionta, Moen, Prust, White, Bouillon, Diaz, Emelin, Kaberle, Gorges, Weber…over guys that might be one notch below? Nope. I play in a summer league filled with NHLers, x-NHL-ers and college guys. Louis Leblanc is not even the best player on our team. Retired college guys are better than him.

    In a month of replacements, Gorges and his amazing ability to step in front of a slapper will be long forgotten….

    Bring on the replacements…..


    • Blondie says:

      I don’t think there *can* be replacement players. This is not a strike. I think that in a lockout situation the most they could do is suit up management and coaches.

      Silly idea anyway, it would make the league more of a laughingstock than it already is.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I know I’m not addressing your post in its entirety, but you seem to be seriously undervaluing Gorges’ usefulness to the team in singling him out because he’s good at shot blocking and defending instead of something else.

    • Xsteve50 says:

      Didnt you ever play hockey, Each and every year someone stole someone elses spot. Unless you were playing at the highest possible level and even then. If there was someone better they took your place. Thats hockey.

    • kempie says:

      But it wouldn’t be guys who are “one notch below”. It will be two or three notches. The one notch below players, or ONBs wouldn’t want to do it. The Gallaghers, Tinordis and Beaulieus don’t want to mess up their chances at the big club. You’d be watching guys like maybe Stortini & Hagel plus some ECHL guys who are unlikely to ever get a shift in the NHL anyway.

      I’d rather watch the Bulldogs or some junior action than watch a bunch of plugs wearing the Sacred Flannel.

      • commandant says:


        Those clamoring for “replacements” have the opportunity to watch better than replacement level players at cheaper prices in a ton of places coast to coast.

        AHL and CHL level hockey are better as is NCAA hockey.

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

        • B says:

          I would be happier if I could get a ton of those AHL and CHL games in HiDef on my TV like I have been with all of the Habs games. I still enjoy and follow the other leagues, but I really miss being able to watch a lot of great hockey in HiDef at home on my TV (even without having to spring for the NHL package). I guess I have been spoiled in the past.

          Edit: I am looking forward to watching the Bulldogs play the Marlies tomorrow night. The game is at 7:00 PM and is on SportsnetOne and TVA-Sports. SportsnetOne is also showing the Abbotsford vs Chicago game at 10:00 PM tomorrow and a CHL game tonight at 7:00 PM (the teams for tonight’s CHL game are still TBA in my listings).

    • Chris says:

      Regarding the skill level of players, a summer league full of even good players like the one you mention is hardly a good judge of who the best players are or might be.

      One of my buddies plays in our soccer league. He’s not even close to the top player in the league when you watch him play. But he’s not playing at 100%, which is the key. He uses our league for exercise, and then plays in a provincial league for real. In our league, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him shoot, let alone score. Yet in a provincial league (much, much higher than the level I play at), he is a scoring machine.

      • commandant says:

        Exactly. We had an ECHL MVP on our team one year, and he scored like 1 goal the whole season. He never tried to do anything but just came out to skate.

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

      • chilli says:

        I agree with you Chris – but having players play with us like Crosby, Malkin, Chelios, Toews, Sundin, Larionov, Souray, Roenick, Tavares to name a few – they are all totally AMAZING. Every single one of them….
        So when you see the crappy ones, like Louis Leblanc, it’s pretty obvious. But you are missing the point. We pay to see those top guys, each team has 3 of them. The rest of the roster, who really cares. They just aren’t that much better than the guys playing in the AHL. They just aren’t. A 4th line plumber in the NHL is still a 4th line plumber in the AHL.


    • Mark C says:

      How does one retire from college?

  63. kempie says:

    Have Bettman & Fehr spent even an hour in each other’s presence yet in the past few weeks? I mean uninterrupted, face-to-face, conversational negotiating? It seems that one guy shows up with a proposal, other guy says “well that’s absolute crap, worst proposal ever” and they all storm out then repeat.

    I realize that the back-and-forth proposals are a big part of it but, at some point, shouldn’t they both sit down together and argue in real time for a little while?

    • Bripro says:

      That’s how the real world works, Kempie.
      Not the bubble world that is the sports and entertainment industry.

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  64. Propwash says:

    Now is the best time for an independent mediator to step in to help finalize a deal between both sides, seeing that they could be closer to one.

    Just to add, fantastic idea Mr. Stubbs, I wish I had some extra cash to put into a bid.

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  65. Storm Man says:

    I will bid 3K if Timo wins the other seat. Moishes will never be the same.

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure if you all heard about this fan that managed to get into Bettmans ear walking into NHLPA offices yesterday. Kind of a neat story.


    • SmartDog says:

      Neat story I guess but:

      a) his questions are EACH a MILE long. And he’s supposed to be some sort of social media expert? Um…. no.

      b) he says he blames the players now MORE after yesterday because the league offered 50-50. He’s an idiot who hasn’t done his homework. First, the “50-50” was with provisions that would take even more from players, and second, the players reply was that they WOULD take 50-50 either working towards it over time or immediately if current contracts signed in good faith were respected. This is not a bad compromise – and Bettman could have counter-offered to move the stick again. Instead he walked out instead of negotiating. His choice to walk out as if he’d been slapped in the face by players only wanting owners to live up to their current promises.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • ooder says:

      thanks for the link! and kudos to that guy… why more of us are not doing this is beyond me. 4 lockouts/strike in 20 years is beyond ridiculous.

      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Bripro says:

      I would love to meet Mr. Murphy. His persistence is enviable. I might not like the Leafs, but I love this guy!

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    Lots of talk in Leafland these days that once CBA is done, Bobby Lou becomes a Leaf. Some of my most sane Leaf Fan buddies are believing the story.


  68. Gerry H says:

    Repost: I have a knack for killing threads.

    In my opinion, trust is the most critical element in a negotiating process. It’s probably also the most difficult thing to establish. When I look at this mess, I find it hard to escape the notion that the owners have the most to answer for on that count.

    Let’s begin with history. The players, perhaps rightly so, got their asses handed to them in 04/05. No one can deny that. The NHL got everything it sought on virtually every count, most importantly “cost certainty,” with players’ salaries tied to a fixed percentage of league revenues. Nobody would have guessed when that deal was signed that seven years later the league’s revenues would have jumped by 50%. So the owners won on structure and the business outperformed expectations. And, as a bonus, next season will see a significant new revenue source, with the new NBC TV deal kicking into gear. So, by every measure, the owners’ position at the end of this current CBA has to be far beyond any reasonable expectations they could have had at the end of the last one.

    In view of that, how should we interpret the leagues insistence, from the very outset, on pleading poverty and declaring that the 2012/13 season could not go forward until a new deal with significant new concessions from the players was signed? Should we conclude that this being the case despite having everything go their way for the last seven years, perhaps these guys are just plain incompetent?

    They’re billionaires. I doubt it.

    Instead, I think the only reasonable explanation is that they think they can stick their straws into the players’ milkshakes and start sucking. Just as they’ve been sticking (or attempting to stick) their straws into the milkshakes of the taxpayers of Edmonton and Phoenix and other jurisdictions, even after negotiating and committing to sweetheart deals over arenas in those places. “Thanks for that, but I’m still peckish. SLURP!”

    And while we’re talking about commitments and contracts, wouldn’t it have been interesting to have had Parise and Suter in that room yesterday with Leipold and hearing the latter explain why he was not willing to fully honour the contracts he signed with them just a few weeks ago?

    “Trust me, we’ll work out the little details around HRR and so on. Let’s just get this deal done.”

    Sorry, not every story lends itself to “fair balance.” This mess is squarely on the owners. Not for what they want or deserve in terms of an outcome (to which there is no “right” answer”, but because of their consistent pattern of demonstrably untrustworthy behaviour that has made this process excruciatingly dysfunctional.

    • Blondie says:

      Reposted response – just to keep things together.

      Great post Gerry. Although I think Charles Wang may well be incompetent. Maybe he inherited his money.

      • Gerry H says:

        Yeah, Wang might be the exception.

        Frankly, what I’d like to see is the cap roll-back that the owners asked for across the board, with the following provisos: 1) That existing contracts be rolled back for the purposes of cap calculation, but honoured at face value to the players; 2) That all new contracts apply at face value against the cap; and 3) That teams have the option of applying existing contract salaries at face value against the cap in order to help them get to the salary floor.

        The owners would resist, since it wouldn’t get them to 50% immediately, but it would prove that their signatures on a contract mean something. It would also provide more immediate relief to the most financially strapped teams, at least those that have behaved responsibly.

    • B says:

      The NHL did not get “everything it sought” in the last CBA. That is a myth which the PA loves for folks to believe (or even better repeat). The NHL did get cost certainty (the cap) and that was huge. The NHL did not want 57% going to the players, but they settled on that in the negotiation process. The NHL did not want all the changes that gave the players quicker access to being free agents. There are many things in the last CBA that the league was not happy about. The last CBA was negotiated and involved give and take from both sides. I certainly don’t believe that the NHL has had “everything go their way for the last seven years”, although they did stick to their word and honour every year of the last CBA. Now both sides are trying once again to do as best they can with the next CBA. It’s just a real shame that they don’t seem able to come to an agreement without impacting the season.

      Under the last CBA, players salaries grew like never before, even outpacing the incredible growth in revenue. [Revenue increased from about $2.2B to $3.3B or roughly 50% while the average salary increased from about $1.45M to $2.45M or roughly 69%] The players have never had it better. I still shake my head when hearing the multitude of players spewing to the media the same tired old line of how they got so screwed over by the last CBA. What a bunch of crap. Sure, they conceded to a cap, but they thrived under the last CBA like never before. The worst thing for the players concerning the last CBA was the season of salaries they lost before finally agreeing to that CBA.

      As for the lockout, I don’t blame the NHL for not wanting to start a season with no CBA in place. The NHL has walked out before during the season and Fehr has used the same tactic having his players walk out on a baseball season. I would not want to see the players walk out in the middle of the season, or even worse just before the playoffs. Having a CBA in place before starting a season has always ensured that the season is completed without interruption.

      The owners are not sucking or stealing milkshake out of the players cup (with a straw or anything else). The owners pour most of their milkshake from their cup into the player’s cup every season and are now proposing to pour only half of their milkshake into the players cup (rather than the lion’s share).

      I remember as a kid making a milkshake and splitting it with my brother. The way we did it was that one would pour the two glasses and the other would choose one. This always ensured that the one who poured did his very best to make the two cups even. This is not very relevant, but your milkshake story reminded me of it.

  69. Bripro says:

    Great steaks, great company….
    I have to consult with my wife on my maximum bidding allowance.

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Double up on the poker game tonight! 🙂


      • Bripro says:

        The loser forks over $2.00/game and the winner collects $6.00/game.
        I would have to play 24/7 for eight days to even remotely have a chance to pay for the bid with my “winnings”.
        Ours is a game of friends sitting together. None of us get rich off of it.

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  70. shiram says:

    With the free publicity given to Moishes, maybe they could make it so it does not bleed Mister Stubbs dry.

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