Update: Improving Blake Geoffrion moved out of intensive care

Blake Geoffrion

Canadiens’ Blake Geoffrion celebrates his April 5, 2012 goal against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C.
Grant Halversen, Getty Images

• Full Stubbs column on improving status of Blake Geoffrion

Hockey Inside/Out has learned that Hamilton Bulldogs centre Blake Geoffrion was moved from intensive care at the Montreal General Hospital into a regular room Sunday morning, an excellent sign that the 24-year-old is recovering nicely from the depressed skull fracture he suffered in a Bell Centre game Friday night.

Geoffrion was hit with a thunderous check by Syracuse Crunch defenceman Jean-Philippe Côté midway through the first period of the Crunch’s 4-1 AHL victory. The clean hit levelled Geoffrion, who smacked his helmeted head on the ice and suffered a laceration from the skate of Côté, who tumbled to the ice following the heavy hip-check.

Geoffrion left the ice under his own power but was transported immediately to the Montreal General Hospital, where he underwent surgery that lasted roughly two hours.

It is unclear how long Geoffrion will remain in the hospital as he recovers. The only communiqué from the parent Canadiens has come on Saturday early afternoon, when it announced that Geoffrion had suffered the depressed skull fracture, had undergone successful surgery and that doctors expect him to make a complete recovery.

Canadiens head team physician and chief surgeon David Mulder, a veteran of nearly 50 years with the Canadiens family, praised the Bell Centre work of Habs head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend and of Luc LeBlanc, Rynbend’s counterpart with the Bulldogs, for their quick, efficient work on site to care for Geoffrion and get him to the Montreal General, which is world-renowned for its superb trauma care.

Mulder wasn’t at the Bell Centre game, returning home from a trip to Cleveland, but went immediately to the General and was in the operating room throughout Geoffrion’s surgery.

190 Comments

  1. Mavid says:

    I was yelling about the wives having knives…if I had one on him it would be to START hockey…sorry for waking you up..

  2. Habfan10912 says:

    For those of you in Burlington.

    Tweet from Steve Ostaszewicz

    The @BulldogsAHL will conduct their 1st community practice tonight at 6 pm at the Appleby Ice Centre in Burlington. See you there!

    ———————————–

  3. HabFab says:

    If you don’t like hockey fights…don’t watch. If you like a good goaltender fight then here you go;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQIbI4vbQI0&feature=player_embedded

  4. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS – Louis Leblanc (ankle) skated this afternoon for the first time since October 20.

  5. HabFab says:

    MAGodin – It’s the gash caused by JP Côté skate that caused a blunt trauma to Blake Geoffrion brain. Not his head banging the glass or the ice. Although doc expects full recovery, Geoffrion family concerned this injury + concussions history might threaten long-term quality of life.

    • BJ says:

      Also need to mention he had a titanium plate inserted to replace crushed bone. Perhaps his family’s concerns are legit considering the family karma. Morenz broken leg leads to his death, Boomer with a ruptured spleen in practice, Dr. Bill Head saved his life with first aid and a quick diagnosis leading to a quick trip to the hospital across the street. Too bad for him as I thought he was the Bulldogs best player in the 6 games I viewed.

  6. Mattyleg says:

    Anyone else on here suspect that behind the lockout is a terrifying, faceless consortium of Canadian women, holding knives to the backs of Bettman and Fehr, whispering in their ears that if they come to an agreement before the kitchen cabinets are repaired, the shelves painted and mounted, and the basement cleared out, then neither of them will ever ‘Be Whole’ again…?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  7. HabFab says:

    FriedgeHNIC – At Primetime Sports Management Trade Show in Toronto. Interesting quote from Steve Fehr: “One thing Bill Daly and I agree on… When the moment is right…deal will be done very quickly.”

    What is the right moment?
    Is it the unconditional surrender of the other side?
    What am I missing here?

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    @Habfan 10912, forgot to mention to you. But when I crossed the border in Buffalo/Fort Erie last weekend there were over 40 trucks from a local Hamilton Hydro company being processed at the border on the way to help in the States. We then passed another 10 trucks before we hit the Buffalo airport.

    For all the comments that sometime arise here and elsewhere about Canada / US relations, I think it is great both countries continue to be good neighbours to each other in times of need.

    CHeers

  9. commandant says:

    On a different note from the labour dispute, today the Hockey Hall of Fame inducts 4 (Bure, Oates, Sundin, and Sakic,) new members.

    Why Sakic Stands alone as the best of the 4

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/11/12/what-separates-joe-sakic-from-the-rest/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Bripro says:

      During the prime of his career, I had the privilege of seeing Pavel Bure play at the Forum (or Bell centre?….I really can’t remember which).
      Anyhow, what struck me on a particular shift…
      During a change-up on the fly, he jumped on the ice and pushed off.
      And for the next 50-60 seconds, he coasted. His feet never left the ice.
      He didn’t push off, he just coasted, and shifted left to right….at a truly impressive speed.
      I would have to think that most on here know how hard it is the skate without pushing. That was the most impressive feat of skating I’ve ever seen. And when you consider how many players we’ve seen live, I kid you not, his was the most fluid skating style I’ve ever seen.

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

  10. Mr. Biter says:

    Fehr did the same thing with Baseball that he is trying to do to the NHL. The richer teams will and then can spend what they want for players while the poorer teams will either ice bad teams or fold. NHL is not like MLB which has a huge Television contract nationally as well as some teams make millions (Yankees , Red Sox, Cubs, Braves etc) on Regional contracts (Fox Sports , NESN etc.). Most Canadian teams make their money in ticket sales which limits their income and the amount they can spend on players. If someone knows what the Habs total $$$ from HNIC and their regional T.V. telecasts is it is no where near what the Rangers, Flyers, Hawks, Wings, Bruins (just to name a few) make. Also if some poor market teams fold there are roughly 24 less NHL spots open for 3rd or 4th liners per team.
    Don’t think future bodes well for Habs or Canadian teams if Fehr has his way.
    BTW not enough cities in Canada to handle all the poorer teams in the States.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • commandant says:

      MLB has a far, far better revenue sharing system than hockey.

      Fehr is trying to increase the revenue sharing system in the NHL. How this will create the problme that baseball has, I don’t know.

      Also the Canadian local tv contracts are extremely lucrative, and can match or exceed many US tv deals. There is a reason why the Canadian teams are all among the top 15 biggest revenue generating teams in the league, in fact most are top 10, and Toronto and Montreal are top 2. Its not just ticket sales, its far more than that.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Not sure they have a better revenue sharing system, or whether it works because the National TV Revenue plus regionalized TV revenue is tremendous. Particularly for teams like Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs, thus allowing them to pay the majority of the revenue sharing dollars to teams like Toronto, Pittsburgh, Kansas City.

        I still believe it is pure B.S. to compare a system in Baseball to that of hockey. One is completely gate driven (hockey) versus one with huge TV and huge gate.

        • commandant says:

          It is complete B.S.

          Baseball also pays 47% of its revenues to players, and that is without a hard salary cap. Their owners (as a whole, not the Yankees, Red Sox, and now Dodgers), just seem to show more restraint and don’t need to be protected from themselves the same way.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

  11. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    Today’s Forbes Thought of the Day:

    “ A long dispute means that both parties are wrong. ”

    — Voltaire

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  12. L Elle says:

    Lockout, cut the lights
    This is it, the end of hockey nights
    No more nursing a broken/bruised part
    We want all the dough, not the heart

    Lockout bites the nights
    This is it, we’ll hit the fights
    And oh what fights we’ll git
    On with the BS this is it!

    *chorus line*

    And oh what lows we’ll hit
    On with the BS this is it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-t8PngHgWY

  13. Chris says:

    I guess I should rephrase my earlier point. My concern about the fan response to the lockout is the vitriol over what these guys are denying us.

    Let’s be honest: they are denying themselves a lot more. If they are opting to fight the NHL on this and risk losing so much, they probably feel very strongly about it. Who the heck am I to question their dedication to the sport when all I’m losing is some enjoyment on Saturday nights?

    In the case of say 20-30% of the players who played in the NHL last season, they will probably never receive another NHL paycheque.
    For about 50% of the league’s players, they have a 100 game window to make their career fortune. Losing a season in the midst of that and having to fight for their jobs against two classes of cheaper rookies is probably going to end the careers of a significant number of those players.

    For another 5-10%, the veteran players in the twilight of their career, a long lockout makes it increasingly unlikely that they will be able to summon the motivation to get back into game shape in their high 30’s after having not played hockey for over a year if this season is cancelled. In the last lockout, we saw the retirement of esteemed players like Mark Messier, Vincent Damphousse, Adam Oates, Al MacInnis, Ron Francis, Scott Stevens and Brett Hull plus a bevy of lesser NHL lights.

    A prolonged lockout could be the end for another generation of familiar players. Daniel Alfredsson, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne and Kimmo Timonen have all hinted that a lost season would be the end of the road for them. I think you could probably see players like Tomas Holmstrom (40 in January), Ray Whitney (41 in May), Jason Blake (39), Roman Hamrlik (39 in April), Sergei Gonchar (39 in April), Sami Salo (38), Jason Arnott (38), Saku Koivu (38 in a couple of weeks), Vinny Prospal (38 in February), Todd Bertuzzi (38 in February), Hall Gill (38 in April) also opt out of putting in the work to get back into game shape next Fall.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Have a look at Ken Dryden’s article in the Globe and Mail.

      That’s all about taking it personally.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chris says:

        I saw it…good article.

        I generally agree with the premise…fans don’t want to think about the money. Absolutely true.

        But the fans also conveniently ignore the guys who only get a brief glimpse of the show. So many are focusing on the multi-million dollar annual contracts that they forget that some of these other guys are trying to make all the money they can in the short time available to them.

        Consider a guy like Garth Murray: he played 116 games in his NHL career spread out over five seasons. He would have received a prorated portion of his NHL salary based on the number of days he was with the NHL team. I’d be surprised if he made much more than $1 M over those five seasons. Factor in taxes, charity endeavours and the like expected of an NHL player and I suspect people would be surprised just how little would be left.

        To get that money he had to basically engage in one of the hardes pursuits there is, becoming a professional athlete. I’m a socialist and think that all salary inequity is obscene. But I suspect many are okay with the idea of a professional making $100k plus for their entire 30-40 year career, yet balk at somebody with an INFINITELY more rare talent making ten times that for a few years.

        I don’t want to think about the money either. But when I do, I consciously decide that it is not going to be MY money that pays these guys their stupid salaries or pads the bank accounts of the owners, who actually risk very little when you factor in all the arena deals and tax breaks they get from their teams.

        But I’m not going to waste my time getting angry at either side. They’re doing what they think they have to do. They are the service, and are perfectly within their rights to withhold that service. I’ve got other uses for my now free entertainment time.

      • Rad says:

        That is a very well-written piece of prose. Ken Dryden is as good a writer as he was tending net for the Montreal Canadiens.

  14. christopher says:

    wait..did this happen IRL or in NHL 2013 or whatever?

  15. AliHaba says:

    Alex Galchenyuk 20 games 32 points +6
    Tim Bozon 22 32 +16
    Brady Vail 20 22 -1
    Erik Nystrom 24 21 +3
    Charles Hudon 15 20 +8
    Olivier Archambault 21 19 -1
    Magnus Nygren 20 12 +4
    Darren Dietz 19 11 -11
    Mac Bennett 9 10 E
    Sebastian Collberg 30 9 +5
    Danny Kristo 6 7 E
    Mark MacMillan 8 6 E
    Dalton Thrower 13 6 +3
    Daniel Pribyl 8 4 +3
    John Westin 19 3 -8
    Josiah Didier 8 0 E
    Colin Sullivan 9 0 E

    • Chris says:

      The Collberg numbers are a bit inflated.

      He’s been playing all over this year.

      His numbers with Frölunda were 2 assists in 16 games in the Elitserien. To that he has added 2 goals in 6 games with Örebro in the Allsvenskan (Swedish second division) where he was loaned. He does also have 5 goals in 7 games with the Swedish U20 team, but those games are in minor tournaments.

      • commandant says:

        The 16 games in the Elitserien are the part that is inflated. In many of those games he didn’t even get a single shift, but they count as games played because he was on the roster and dressed as the 13th forward. In others he got less than 5 minutes of ice time.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Chris says:

          That is true. But counting the 5 games with the Swedish national team is also inflated because we really don’t know who they were playing.

          Collberg is a great talent. I ‘m not worried about his point totals, good or bad, this season. He just needs to get bigger and stronger so that he can use that explosive speed in the NHL without getting knocked into next month.

  16. Habfan10912 says:

    A friend just told me he saw dozens of Hydro-Quebec utility trucks heading north on the NY State Thruway this morning on his commute to work. Tre bien to you folks for helping those of us in need during this tragedy. We are so fortunate to have such great neighbors. CHeers.

    ———————————–

  17. Xsteve50 says:

    This weekend I took in two great hockey games. One, Saturday night, was a bit of a blowout for the home team, the second, Sunday night, was a close loss. I am speaking of Midget A and Midget AA. Total cost Tickets $0, Parking $0, food and entertainment $4.00 with tip (2 coffees), enjoyment PRICELESS…..

  18. 69HABS says:

    Please correct me if I’m worng.

    The Huge $2 billion NBC deal comes into affect the day after the American Thanksgiving?

    That huge cash cow doesn’t want to be slaughtered so expect a deal soon?

    • HabFab says:

      The deal is $205 million per year for 10 years. The NHL can get paid this season even if there are no games HOWEVER will have to do an 11th year for no money.

      Something to keep in mind here is that NBC is owned by Comcast, who also owns the Flyers. Major shareholder of Comcast, the Synder family. Get the picture…

  19. HabFab says:

    Blake Geoffrion ‏@BlakeGeoffrion

    Thank you to everyone for their kind words and support. Today has been a little tougher but continuing to get better. #phil4:13

    I had to look it up but #phil4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.

  20. Mondou6 says:

    As Chris pointed out below, this is the players’ livelihoods they are negotiating, so I’d say that they have a much larger vested interest than any of us.

    I find the suggestion that Fehr is somehow misleading the players to be ridiculous, given that he has gone out of his way to invite players to all the meetings. The players actually seem incredibly well-informed of the issues.

    Personally, I love seeing Bettman and Jacobs get angry and frustrated. Now they know how us fans feel. Goodenow may as well have been on the owners’ payroll. His debacle 6 years ago is what prompted the owners to lockout again today.

    The more uncomfortable this lockout is for the owners, the less likely they will do it again in the future. If there is no lockout 6 years from now, that will be because of what Fehr is doing today.

    • bwoar says:

      I agree with your last statement, and I wish to add: if there is no NHL 6 years from now, that will be because of what Fehr is doing today.

      I hereby dub this labour stoppage “The Passion of Krys Barch”, may he never play another pro game.

    • Mike D says:

      You’re right, the players and owners have a more vested interest in the CBA than us fans do….BUT, let’s not forget that it’s us fans who provide that pie they’re fighting so hard over.

      To your last point, if you want to prevent work stoppages in the future, whether they be lockouts or strikes, and want to make things uncomfortable for the owners and players to even consider such actions, the only way to do that is by hitting them where it hurts – the wallet. Don’t buy tickets to games, don’t purchase NHL/NHLPA licensed items and do your part to drive league revenues down. When the owners and players feel the pinch from the damage they’ve done to their own business, maybe then they will think twice about being frivolous with our loyalty or taking it for granted.

      I’m not advocating a boycott necessarily or saying I’ll never watch the NHL again, just pointing out that this course of action by the fans would make a REAL impact and prevent this BS from happening in the future.

      I love and miss my Habs and NHL hockey, but the last lockout started to make me a bit jaded, and I continue to get jaded with each passing day of this lockout. All the PR crap, the rederick, posturing, finger-pointing, and proclamations of innocence I keep hearing from BOTH sides are total bullshit and insult the fan’s intelligence. The tag-line quotes of “we’re working hard to come to a deal and hope to get the game back on the ice ASAP” we hear from Bettman, Daly, and the Fehr brothers are bullshit too.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

  21. wjc says:

    Did you notice the body language of the players on the stage, when Fehr is talking to the media. Arms folded in front, stern looks on their faces.

    Thats coaching friends, they are told, “no smiling” not shuffling, heads up, keep arms still in front. Just like a good poker player. Dress the part, suits, shaven, groomed, look determined do not shift your eyes around. Stand behind Fehr as a united force.

    No interviews, a little twittering okay, get it approved by communications guy.

    Impressive and staged.

    wjc

    • neumann103 says:

      I thought that in the 2004-2005 lockout the League and owners did a better job of presenting the united front and PR stuff. Fehr appears to have emphasized this aspect (and the necessary flipside is going all out to keep the players informed so that no one feels left out).

      Both sides are showing frustration via informal means but so far it has been outwardly directed. It is actually pretty impressive how each has manaed to keep it together. There have to be sharp divisions on both sides between those who want to play at any cost (Rich teams, marginal fourth liners nearing the end of their careers) and those who will wait forever (teams who lose less money not playing, guys owed a ton on current contracts) plus the ideologues on both sides (someone explain to me why Rich market owners like Jacobs are driving the pro-lockout agenda.

      “Et le but!”

    • B says:

      The players have been giving interviews, many have been posted on this site. I personally think they would have been better to keep quieter and say less. I realize that fans want to know and reporters have jobs to do, but all of the rhetoric (from either side) does not seem to do anything to help the process along. I also wonder if all the PR and posturing really does that much to improve either sides position in the actual negotiations?

      • HabFab says:

        I hear you, have a hard time with Gorges, whom I admire, spouting the NHLPA rhetoric as the player rep for the Hab players. I have to tune him out and go elsewhere.

  22. Chris says:

    Honestly, I have no problem with this lockout. The players have dug in their heels as they feel that they shouldn’t have to budge an inch more, while the owners have dug in their heels and insisted that they will not budge an inch more.

    It’s their lives, people. There is PLENTY of hockey out there, so we’re not being deprived of anything whatsoever. I’ve not missed the NHL even a remote bit as I’ve been attending more OHL games this season and I have a blast.

    Is the quality of hockey the same? Probably not. But that’s not why I watch the game. I pick a team, invest my passions in that team, and get my thrill out of that.

    Find yourselves a junior team, a AHL team, o a CIAU team or something else entirely (heck, go volunteer coach a team…you’ll have a blast!) and you’ll be a lot happier. I don’t think the players or the owners in the NHL like the fact that they are in a lockout, but they are fighting for what they believe is the most just way to proceed. We’re not part of that equation, and we shouldn’t be.

    We can easily vote with our wallets and attention span when the two side have settled their debate. At that point, it will be up to them to decide if it is all worth it.

    I remain stunned that so many fans take this so personally. They aren’t damaging “hockey”…they are damaging a particular league, one of countless across the country.

    • Cal says:

      It’s about the quality of hockey I want to watch. If I had a bigger interest in watching the game less well played, the lockout wouldn’t be so annoying. Unfortunately, watching players learning to play isn’t my thing. The NHL, and in particular, the Habs, is my thing. Anything less leaves a talent and ability hole.

      • 123456 says:

        understand your point of view but an average D1 college game is better than an average NHL game – not in terms of telent but in terms of intensity and fan involvement for sure. also many AHL games are great for different reasons – one is talent evaluation. i can;t remember the last AHL game i went to that i thought was boring…. i have been to two (2) habs games in my life – was was INCREDIBLE – the other BORING

      • Chris says:

        To be perfectly honest, I don’t think the quality of the hockey improves **that** juch as you go up in leagues.

        The speed increases, the stength of the players increases, but the game adjusts to these things. I don’t see anymore silly mistakes in a junior game than I do in the NHL (having watched a fair bit of both), just that those mistakes happen in a slightly slower league.

        The most beautiful thing about hockey is that, regardless of the skill level of the players, the game remains attractive. The other night I saw a kid named Brock McGinn, who will be a longshot to ever play in the NHL, pull of a deke that would have made Pavel Datsyuk proud. You see this all the time in the OHL.

        The difference with a guy like Datsyuk is he can continue to do that against the fastest players in the world, while a kid like McGinn can’t. But if you put that kid in the right environment, he can still look like Datsyuk.

        I could make a pretty compelling argument that the NHL is one of the least entertaining brands of hockey out there because the players have simply become TOO big and fast for the size of the rink. There simply isn’t enough space, so the game gets bogged down, particularly in the offensive zone.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      After a day at work when I am at home relaxing i enjoy watching sports. My favourite is the NHL and in particular the Montreal Canadiens. When I don’t get to watch those games I miss it, I also miss getting to watch other NHL games, as the game is great to watch on TV. I have indeed started going to more other games (Bulldogs), but I do have a problem with the lockout. I feel no shame in admitting i like watching the best hockey players in the world play professional hockey and I no longer have that.

      Chris your stance is admirable and I respect it, but I am wired different and want to watch my Habs and my NHL hockey.

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      If you’re referring to Canadian university hockey, it’s the “CIS”, not “CIAU”

    • Luke says:

      I’ve also been attending more OHL (Niagara) games, and to be quite honest, I am seriously considering picking up season’s tickets for next season. Standing room is about $400/’seat’. That’s for 30+games.

      I wouldn’y have considered it without the lockout. I’d have gone to my usual 4 or 5 games a season and not really thought much about it. So thanks NHL/NHLPA. Your foolishness has shown me there are alternatives.

    • JF says:

      I admire your point of view, Chris, but I can’t really share it – partly because I live in Montreal where, without the Habs, there is very little hockey within reach. No AHL team, and the only junior team that is not hours away is Blainville-Boisbriand. Montreal might be the best city in the world to play hockey, but it’s a terrible place to watch it. So I do miss the NHL, and televised games of the juniors and the Bulldogs are too infrequent to make up for it. One evening i paid $6.99 to watch Sarnia confront Windsor on the internet; quality was OK, but the picture was either very small or pretty blurred.

      On the other hand, I’m really enjoying RDS’s diffusion of “classic” games. The last couple of weeks they showed the elimination rounds of the 1987 Canada Cup – absolutely spectacular hockey where the emphasis was on skill and speed rather than on blocking shots and finishing your checks. This week they’re going to show some of the Habs-Nordiques rivalry. When I can watch hockey like that, I certainly don’t miss last year’s agony and disappointment over the Habs!

      • Chris says:

        I think the biggest issue in the lockout is that the broadcasters have not picked up on the demand for hockey games. Hockey Night in Canada is a Saturday night tradition, yet none of the major networks have used their clout to run a junior game on Saturday nights to fill the void.

        I’m a bit spoiled as Rogers local television network has televised 9 of the Guelph Storm’s 21 games. I’ve also got Guelph’s arena within a 5 minute walk (I’ve caught 4 games so far), plus the arenas in Kitchener and Brampton are close by. When I’m visiting family, I can catch games in either Peterborough or Belleville.

        We’ve got the Gryphons (who aren’t that good this year) playing CIS as well, and there are a few decent leagues just below the OHL with teams in the area. And I’m 30 minutes drive from Hamilton for Bulldogs games.

        Finally, living in Southern Ontario has a perk! :)

    • neumann103 says:

      Chris I agree in principle. This is not killing hockey. I fear it may do more damage to the NHL in non traditional markets than ether side believes. Since the failure of the those teams (and the lack of revenue sharing to address it) is why this lockout has occurred this bodes ill for the future.

      I can appreciate hockey other than the NHL. I play twice a week. My son just started. Other levels of hockey if matched appropriately can be compelling. I have attended one AHL game since the lockout started. I am interested in seeing more, especially as more NHL players and prospects I am familiar with are playing in the AHL this year. I would like to see OHL games featuring recent and future draft picks who I know manly by reputation and highlights. So I am game, however…

      To really enjoy a league you have to see enough of it to get a feel for players on other teams, rivalries etc. This is problematic when you have to scrape so hard just to pickup an occasional game.

      I have been able to find exactly one Hamilton Bulldogs game on TV other than the one I attended. I live in Toronto so it shouldn’t be out of the question on a regional basis. I pay for a ton of French language cable channels so get TVA and RDS and also all the English channels like Sportsnet.

      I would love to see Galchenyuk play but have yet to find a single Sarnia Sting game broadcast where I live. And it s worse trying to see games from the Q or the W featuring Hab hopes like Hudon or Bozon.

      Toronto has no junior team. I live less than a mile from where St Mikes used to be based, but the nearest junior team is I guess Brampton or Mississauga or Oshawa. Any of these would be well over an hour in horrendous traffic to make it to a weeknight game.

      The NHL is delivered to my living room on tons of different channels all featuring familiar players and rivalries. Even if I don’t get to see the Habs, if I can watch the Philadelphia Flyers play I can cheer wholeheartedly for whoever their opponent is. I can enjoy games with the Penguins or Blackhawks just to see players like Malkin, Crosby, Toews and Hossa show what the game can be. And all i have to do is not fall asleep. There is no CHL team in my city. Finding familiar AHL or CHL games on TV is problematic. It is not as easy as just turning my attention to alternatives.

      “Et le but!”

      • Chris says:

        I think the problem here is that the other leagues are not receiving enough exposure from the networks. I have a sneaky suspicion that that will change in a hurry if the lockout goes much longer, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see CTV or Global take a run at CHL broadcasting rights for future years to capture some disgruntled NHL fans who want hockey but are disgusted with the NHL and its players.

        • Mattyleg says:

          I think the problem with that is the huge cost of running a hockey telecast means that a CHL or AHL broadcast simply won’t be profitable, and would probably lose a lot of money.

          It’s much easier (and cheaper) to air meaningless hockey talk programs or Slapshot re-runs than to broadcast lower-level games.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Chris says:

            I don’t think the cost is really that high. The cost to run all the extraneous BS (like Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, who cost a ridiculous amount for the miniscule to non-existent value they provide) is expensive, but running some cameras with some play-by-play announcers is not that expensive.

            For intermissions, you run some freelance journalist submissions on hockey and/or interviews with prospects. Interviews are cheap.

            Rogers local television basically televises half the Guelph Storm games, and they’re not exactly flush with cash. I have a heard time believing that it would be super expensive to televise the games with professional cameramen to make it look less choppy.

          • neumann103 says:

            Running out of room to respond here but I think Mattyleg has a point.

            Traditional broadcasters only know one way to televise events like this. Send a full crew with 8 cameras, two trucks, a host, a play by play guy, a colour guy, two reporters and a ton of infrastructure.

            The local Rogers cable mode with maybe two cameras (three on a good night) possibly operated by volunteers is completely foreign to the corporate broadcasters. If you are TSN or Sportsnet or even The Score you are going to be concerned putting that level of product on your air and devaluing the brand.

            It probably is actually harder for sales depts to sell commercial time on a variety of OHL games featuring a revolving assortments of teams drawing different ratings wildly variable across markets than it is to package up 30 second slots during some interminable 30 Minutes of Yammerin’ with Nick Kypreostalking head show. (Not that Canadian TV ad sales have anything to do with reality, but still).

            There is a way to do this. Four cameras. Three professional operators. Two hosts. Minimal crew. Send it back to the studio for Intermissions with maybe a few interviews on site. But it is going against everything the machine will want to do.

            “Et le but!”

  23. Mattyleg says:

    Happy Work-Week, all!

    Was at the ‘Dogs game on Friday.
    Some thoughts:
    1. In a less-than-tepid performance against a better team, Bournival looked good, Palushaj looks like he’s at his level, St-Denis made a couple of howlers, Gallagher skated a lot to no end, and Tinordi is huge and it was great to see him serve Gudas lunch.
    b. My favourite part of the game was hearing people starting to boo, then hearing an even louder grumble go through the crowd to silence them.
    iii. I’d forgotten they put tax on top of the beer prices. $41 is far, far too much for two large and one ‘regular’ beer.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. HabFab says:

    A much needed reminder to myself why I love this game….
    http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/#clip799822

  25. wjc says:

    I think both Fehr and Bettman are squeezing as much juice out of the orange they can.

    The players are ready to play, the owners are ready to let them.

    Season will start probably Dec 1st, 2012 with a settlement around November 20th – 21st.

    Each will be able to say to their counterparts we got all we could, time to settle.

    If I am wrong (not bloody likely), then season is over.

    Negotiations always have to drag out until final hour. Anything past November 22nd or 23rd settlement is risking the whole season. No one wants that, suicide is not in the cards.

    December 1st….take it to the bank or throw a brick at me, take your pick.

    wjc

    • ont fan says:

      If it wasn’t for the draft order, I could care less about the hockey season. Funny when that point about caring changes. I’m using my hockey money for a vacation in Jan. My brother in law who is a Leaf season ticket holder is coming with.

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    I have probably become pro owner in the current debacle for what I think is one simple reason.
    Gary Bettman is representative of the Owners Best Interests
    Donald Fehr is representative of Donald Fehr’s Best Interests

    It is inevitable that the owners will get the main issues they want, as they are the business owners. It is up to Donald Fehr to get the best deal for the players within this context.

    It appears to me Donald Fehr is only interested in making sure he comes out as the clear cut winner, thus securing his legacy as the greatest Player Union Representative of all time. While he always speaks glowingly about Marvin Miller (his mentor), I believe he wants to be known as even greater than Mr. Miller. The NHL players are pawns in his end game.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I agree with you. I said from the time Fehr began negotiating he was the wrong man for the job if the players wanted to play hockey.

      Bettman is an arse hole because it’s his job.

      Fehr is not even staying on in this position once this set of negotiations has been resolved. It has always been too much about Fehr and his legacy and not enough about getting the players on the ice.

      That’s why the issue of receiving full season money for this travesty has come up – because Fehr sold the players that he would end up getting them their full pay if they just stood by his side and let him “win”.

      Even in Montreal you barely hear a whisper about the Habs these days. Imagine the level of interest in NY, Boston, Chicago, and LA.

      With the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and the NBA, now going full steam ahead, where is NHL hockey in the minds of their fans south of the border??

      If people want to blame the owners, then go ahead – they have other business interests to keep them busy.

      Maybe the players are the “product”, but they are nothing without a league and the owners’ pay checks.

      Fehr needs to wake up in the next week or two and save the season.

      • 24 Cups says:

        The players never should have fired Paul Kelly. Wasn’t Lindros part of that debacle?

        • Cal says:

          Lindros was 100% part of that crap.Looks like the players have received their wish: a head of the PA that won’t negotiate. Until they learn that 100% of nothing= $0, they will remain quivering in Fehr.

          • Chris says:

            How do you honestly negotiate with “these are what we are offering, and we’re not budging”.

            The NHL’s first CBA proposal back in the late summer was an absolute travesty. Never mind the less than 47% (based on current revenue model) share, a huge cut from the 57% the players currently get. But when you throw in the ridiculous demands of pushing back UFA age and basically curtailing players’ ability to negotiate contracts that reflect their value to the team, the message was sent loud and clear, and that message was “This is war…no quarter given.”

            Should we be surprised that the players are also playing hardball?

          • HabFab says:

            Or perhaps the players played hard first. I don’t know who fired the first shoot but it is a war.

      • wjc says:

        I agree with Burlington Habs, Fehr and Bettman are just doing their jobs. If they are perceived as evil, so be it. It comes with the territory.

        It is there jobs to try for the impossible, so the players no that all attempts were made. It will be up to the players to say….enough, lets play. Can’t lose a season, we got what we could.

        Fehr is a aggressive pacifist. If you have ever delt with an aggressive pacifist, you will quickly realize they never raise their voices, they are always calm. You can never engage them, they are nevertheless aggressive in their demands.

        The always remain in emotional control and can infuriate you if you try to engage them. They will shrug their shoulders and ask “what on earth are you talking about”. You want to strangle them, but then you look like the bad guy.

        This is his negotiating style and some of the players are probably gritting their teeth wondering, where the hell he is taking them.

        Then suddenly it is over, he has squeezed the orange dry and it is signed.

        wjc

      • commandant says:

        The players and Fehr have denied that they want “full season money for a shortened season.” This is yet another Bettman PR move that people are buying hook, line and sinker.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Burly. I am leaning in that direction but I have a hard time making a full blown commitment to a group that up to the CBA expiring date, were out there offering 7, 8 and 9 year deals knowing full well that their negotiation tactic was to devalue those and prohibit those types of contracts in the future. No good guys here. None.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        It isn’t such that i support the Owners/Bettman, but rather that despite their complete hypocrosy as you point out, they do want hockey to be played, I am not sure Fehr cares about hockey per se. As 24Cups points out, Paul Kelly was working on creating a relationship between players/owners which hopefully would have allowed for a better massage through this negotiation where the players get small wins for their concessions.

      • HabFab says:

        Agree there are no good guys here…

        However at the end of last season, the NHL asked the NHLPA not to activate the increase to the 2012-2013 Salary Cap which was substantial due to the new TV deals until after the new CBA negotiations. The NHLPA, as was their right said “Hell no, show us the money!”. The NHL teams then had to spend $210 million from mid June to mid September to get to the new Cap.
        So the players and their agents negotiated these deals knowing full well that the NHL would be going after roll backs.

        Again, there are no good guys here. I think Burly’s point is that the NHL is more honest in their money grab then the NHLPA in their PR campaign and negotiations.

    • mdp2011 says:

      I agree 100%, Donald Fehr is not a hockey guy, doesn’t have it in his blood and couldn’t care less about what happens to the game. He is there to beat Bettman at all costs, the long term future of the NHL means nothing to him. My prediction is that Donald Fehr will resign once he has negotiated this deal, maybe not immediately, but he won’t be running the PA long term. That is why I always believed that there wasn’t going to be a season and nothing I am reading leads me to believe otherwise.

      • HabFab says:

        I have read several places that the deal he has with the NHLPA is for him to negotiate this CBA and then step down in favor of his brother.

      • wjc says:

        Disagree mdp2011, Fehr does not have to be a hockey guy, he has to know how negotiations work. The 700 plus players will not let him forget the hockey part.

        Beating Bettman is part of the game, as beating Fehr is part of Bettman’s game. Fehr knows contract talk, he knows how to bluff, he knows how to communicate (with the players) he talks the language of negotiations. He does not need to know and off side from and icing.

        Guaranteed he has explained to the key players what his strategy is.
        Stay quiet, stay strong, do not show weakness, this will get done. Fehr has been doing this for a long time, his whole life. Marvin Miller was his mentor, he knows exactly what he is trying to accomplish.

        He will go back into retirement once a replacement is found. December 1st is the drop dead date. If not December 1st, it is over.

        This will be settled, never mind all the bluster and noise. A lot of noise, signifying exactly nothing.

        wjc

    • Mustang says:

      Burl, the longer this goes, the weaker the players become since they see the season as well as the millions of $$$ that they would normally earn, go down the drain. It will not be long before some of the players will be willing to accept whatever the owners are offering just so they can begin to receive their pay cheques. It will be interesting to see if Fehr can keep them in line for as long as it takes to work out a deal.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree Burly. I talked to Barry Davis (sportsnet) last night on my flight back and he was saying that the owners have put a proposal on the table and have told the players they are not moving an inch anymore so until the player realize this is the best they can get we won’t have hockey.

      The players are pretty well compensated to play the game they love. I am not pro owner but most people understand how business works and you can only push your boss so far and if you don’t like it you play elsewhere.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Hey Kooch! Welcome back. Hope you had a good trip. I kind if was hoping you might have snuck into the negotiations and represented the fans voice there. CHeers.

        ———————————–

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Thanks! Unfortunately, the negotiations are moving a little too slow for me LOL.

          When I was talking to Barry Davis (a Toronto sports reporter) yesterday he basically said last week was a waste of time. he did say though that he does believe there will be hockey in December and I would have to agree. They let the negotiations sit until it was crunch time cause then things will actually get done.

          Fingers crossed!

          You would never know about the hurricane in downtown NYC. on the weekend it was a bloody zoo!

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • frontenac1 says:

      So you think the players were better served by Goodenow?

      • B says:

        Under the last CBA, the players enjoyed record salaries who’s growth out paced even the remarkable increases in NHL revenues. In hindsight, they have done very well indeed under the last CBA. Can Fehr do even better for them? Hard to say, it seems a tough act to follow. We will have to wait and see how the players (and the league) make out under the CBA Fehr negotiates.

  27. Mike D says:

    With the lockout dragging on the way it has and such little progress being made towards a resolution, I find myself additionally frustrated at some of the things that AREN’T being addressed by either side: Primarily, how the varying income taxes across NHL cities are not factored into individual teams’ salary caps.

    Perhaps it’s my bias as a Habs fan and a Canadian citizen, but ever since the salary cap was implemented Montreal (and Canadian teams in general) have been at a disadvantage. Due to the higher taxes, we have to offer players more money to ‘compensate’ for how much that player will lose on their take-home pay compared to other teams located in cities where the federal/state/provincial taxes are lower. It puts teams at either a disadvantage or an advantage depending on where they are on the tax scale relative to the other teams in the league when trying to re-sign their own players, and especially when competing over UFAs.

    I’m no tax expert, but I believe Montreal is the highest taxed location in the league, while I believe the state of Florida is at or among the lowest. If the Habs are competing over a UFA with either the Panthers or Lightning, we’re definitely at a disadvantage to obtain their services. We’d have to offer player X more money just to make it a level playing field from their standpoint, but all teams operate under the same salary cap so if the player does sign with us, they take up more cap room leaving us with less money to work with for the rest of the roster. If we don’t offer the player anything extra to compensate for the higher taxes, then the player is more likely to sign where his net income will be more, and we lose out on their services.

    It’s something that has been discussed numerous times on HIO and I was really hoping (though not expecting) it would be addressed in the new CBA. The main reason is that I know it’s something Player Agents discuss with their clients so I know it has an impact on where players sign and how much they ask for from teams trying to sign them.

    I realize it’s adds another complex issue to what is already proving to be a difficult negotiation between the league and the PA, but I think it’s relevant enough to be considered. It also opens Pandora’s Box a bit because if you’re going to factor income tax into the salary cap, then what about the varying living expenses/housing prices and even sales tax across the 30 cities in the league? It can get messy for sure, but if the purpose of the cap was to help level the playing field for the 30 teams and eliminate or reduce the advantage the richer teams have over the poorer ones, then why not factor income taxes into the equation since they have such a big impact on what the player will earn in real net dollars and how different teams have to spend in order to be competitive with the rest of the league?

    Perhaps I’m just too much of an idealist.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I seem to recall reading years ago that the City Taxes Montreal pays on their arena is more than most of the U.S. arenas combined, I can’t remember exactly but the taxation on the Bell Center alone is ridiculous compared to most other teams, especially compared to the American teams.

    • Phil C says:

      I agree on the tax issue. It could be as simple as excluding taxes in the cap calculations even though the team would still have to pay it.

      Another issue that I have never heard discussed is how to grow the game, especially in the US. With the rise of soccer in North America, the NHL should be paying attention because it is yet another sport to take away the top athletes. There seems to be a disconnect between the NHL business and the game at a grassroots level.

    • B says:

      Yes, Montreal has to overpay to sign free agents to compensate for the highest taxation level in the league. Higher per player salary costs dilute Montreal’s available overall team salary level which typically impacts the overall team talent level.

      The PA now wants Montreal to increase to around $25M (or more) the revenue sharing amount paid per season to the lower revenue teams. Increased expenses from revenue sharing inevitably factor into higher costs trickling down to what Montreal fans have to shell out.

      Many of the lower revenue teams have among the lowest taxation levels as well. So fans in subsidized places like Florida and Nashville pay a lot less than Montreal fans do and Montreal has less effective purchasing room to acquire higher individual and overall team talent levels. Hmmm…

  28. HabFab says:

    Larry Brooks latest;
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/nhl_demands_gain_no_traction_with_fOWPWWCAz5RIr0DaoUxFiP

    For those not familiar with Larry Brooks, he is one of the top Hockey reporters in NYC and the guy that gets into the feuds with Tortorella. He is very tight with the players and presents their views so is worth following if you are trying to get all angles of this FUBAR!

  29. Mike D says:

    Here’s a great read from Bob McKenzie on his take of the lockout:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=409277

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Phil C says:

      Bob Mackenzie is probably my favorite hockey writer. I now finally understand where the “make whole” numbers come from.

      Although I think the players are unreasonable about asking for absolute dollars in year one instead of a percentage, I still think the cause of this labour dispute is the fact that the owners are trying to win on every front. The players have agreed to get to 50-50. This is a huge concession, given that it will cost them over a $1B dollars over the term of the deal, and especially considering that salaries were consuming 76% of revenues just prior to the last lockout. What have the owners given as a concession? From what I can see, nothing. The owners have to find a way for the players to win something.

      As for the contract issues, Bob is right that it is not a hill worth dying on. The players will be guaranteed 50% of revenues, so GMs will be forced to spend money every year. This will drive value up on contracts even if restrictions are in place. If the owners truly want concessions on contracting issues, they have to offer something in return, that’s how negotiating works.

      • Mike D says:

        McKenzie is great for sure. Knowledgeable, insightful, and credible whether he writes an article or says something on TSN.

        I agree with you Phil when you say that the owners seem to be very rigid in terms of what they’re willing to ‘give’ considering what they’re asking the players to concede, though their make whole offer is a significant one. Still , the owners often come off as bullies to me in this negotiation even with their Make Whole because in essence all they’re doing is offering to uphold an agreement they already made with their players when they offered the contracts they did. Let’s not forget that a big part of the problem here is that both Bettman and Fehr have big egos and are very stubborn – and neither care about the actual game. The court of public opinion will likely deem one side the ‘winner’ of this dispute and neither man wants to be considered the loser in that regard.

        I tend to side more with the players but I agree in principal with the owners philosophy on the contracting issues. I don’t agree with the 5 year max term or the 5% max variance from year to year, but I do think there should be a limit on contract length (perhaps based on the players age and on a sliding scale), and a limit on how much the year-to-year salaries can vary over a player’s contract. These front-loaded long-term contracts like the ones given to Luongo, Kovalchuk, Pronger, Hossa, etc. are a joke and make a mockery of the league and the game.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

      • B says:

        While some may view a 50/50 split as a “huge concession”, other may view it as a realistic reigning in of a runaway gravy train. I suppose it is all in your perspective and/or what side you sit on looking at things.

        Since the last CBA, player salaries have soared to record levels and even outpaced the remarkable growth in NHL revenues. Not so bad for the players. Offers have been made by the league that would ensure the players salaries over the next CBA would rise to even higher levels than they currently enjoy. Again, not too shabby for the players. While hypothetically, they could do even better, all the way up towards 100% of the revenues going to salaries, they are still making out quite well as it is and in moving to 50/50. I believe that a 50/50 split would still be better than the players have in most (any?) of the other major pro sports. Not bad.

        If they lose the season, it could cost the players roughly what could have been from 1.75 to 2 billion dollars in salaries. I just don’t see how what they expect to gain (or to not lose) under the new CBA would realistically justify or compensate for such financial loses. It just doesn’t seem to add up for me.

    • 24 Cups says:

      This article is a must read for everyone. Lots of valid points that impact both sides.

      It was a given right from the start that the players were going to have to settle for a 50/50 split. The terms of the NFL/NBA contracts dictated that fact. Not even Obama, the Pope or Elvis could have changed that outcome. The real negotiations are in the rest of the tradeoffs.

      This morning, my confidence that a deal can be done to kickstart the season by American Thanksgiving is waivering. If both sides dig in their heels today, the next fail safe point could by January 1st. After that date, it may well be the abyss and another lost season.

  30. HabFab says:

    Interesting read on the peculiar negotiating tactics from both sides;
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl-lockout/2012/11/11/grange_cba_nhl_nhlpa_talks_nov11/

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    A good read from Jesse Spector of The Sporting News discussing FehrButt attending HOF ceremonies.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2012-11-11/nhl-lockout-news-hockey-hall-of-fame-inductions-pavel-bure-joe-sakic-mats-sundin?

    I especially liked the following quote:
    Sure, why not? Bettman and Daly already have teamed up with their NHLPA counterparts to bring down hockey in the present, and seriously hinder the game’s future. Might as well go for the hat trick and spoil a day meant to celebrate the past.

  32. jon514 says:

    I think we’ve got a lot of good players in development in Hamilton, but I went to the game on Friday and it seems like there is a LOT of work to do. Regardless of their record, our boys played terribly. I think I counted half a dozen blue line spinoramas, at least half of which were in our end. Someone’s gotta explain to these kids that even IF they pull that off in the slower AHL, if they ATTEMPT it in the NHL they should and will be benched.

    Other than that, after 50 minutes the shots were 27-10 for the Crunch. The only standouts were Gallagher and Tinordi. We had multiple PPs where we didn’t register a shot and couldn’t gain the zone. It was embarrassing. Maybe the injury to BabyBoom shook them, cause otherwise I have no idea how they’ve won a single game this year.

    • centre hice says:

      You’re right there is work to do.

      But you need to put things in perspective. The Crunch are one of the top teams in the AHL. They are one of the favorites to win the Calder. Most of the Bulldogs roster was playing junior last year.

      The Dogs have had good and bad games so far this season, but the season has just started.

  33. JF says:

    A few weeks ago one of the hockey analysts compared the dispute to two people fighting over how to divide the popsicle that is sitting on the table in front of them. That simile becomes more relevant with each passing day. The big problem facing the two sides now is how to make whole the players’ contracts when HRR is shrinking by the day. As long as an 82-game season was still possible, discussions were based on the idea that last year’s $3.3 billion pie would grow to about $3.5 billion this year. Obviously, this will not be the case, so all the provisions about 50/50 and make whole have somehow to be adjusted, and the two sides cannot agree about how this is to be done.

    So the days slip by, the talks are stalled at 0-slight progress depending on whose account you read, and the popsicle continues to melt. Soon the two sides will be fighting about how to make sure each has an equal share of nothing.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I love your analogy JF. I told my ex wife that by the time lawyers are done with us we’ll be fighting over a spoon. Came pretty close too. This might not be quite as bad but the season is surely melting, eh?

      ———————————–

      • JF says:

        It’s mind-boggling that the players don’t seem to realize that any deal is better than none. They’re so concerned about getting every dollar of the contracts they’ve signed that they fail to see that getting every dollar in future years will not compensate them for getting no dollars this year. And it’s not just money they’re losing. Their careers are short. By not playing or not playing at the NHL level, they’re losing game-fitness, the edge they need to be competitive. Meanwhile, the next wave, currently playing in junior or the AHL, is coming along behind them and will be pushing many of them out of their jobs when hockey eventually resumes.

        I get the sense that there is a feeling of urgency among the owners, but not yet among the players, and I don’t understand why not.

        • HabFab says:

          I can’t grasp the logic of the players and their end game either. Are they actually going for a cap free market such as in baseball in which anything goes? You have to wonder sometimes!

    • Cal says:

      100% of 0 = 0.
      Way to go Fehrbutt. You are impressing the hell out of us.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. So Fehrbutt will be attending the HOF ceremonies in Toronto. I wonder how they will be greeted? Hmmmm. Is there a DESTRUCTION wing for their future plaques?

    ———————————–

  35. Cal says:

    So much for optimism. In the cold light of another Monday with no resolution in sight, how about a tune?

    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  36. HabFab says:

    The Bulldogs week in review;
    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=2939&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Both Leblanc and Desjardins are expected to start ice training sometime this week, as of some twitter reports from last week. Hopefully so because they are needed.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A gentleman in the Bulldogs front office (see I can drop connections too) I spoke to prior to the season was raving about Desjardin’s play in camp. He just might be the glue that puts this thing together. Louie will certainly help with providing some offensive touch. As for the rest, it’s throwing them out there to gain pro experience.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        A namedropper without using a name, this is what makes you special Jim! :) Good Morning Sir. Agree with you on Desjardin, having a some consistent goaltending can do alot for a team, particularly a young team with a really young blueline.

  37. HabFab says:

    Gally slowly moving up the leader board in the OHL;
    http://ontariohockeyleague.com/stats/show

  38. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …God bless all good Soldiers and Their Families …Their selfless hearts and spirit are what made what is around Us possible

  39. The Dude says:

    Un fk’n believable that babyboomer cracks his yolk like that ….the Habs are cursed I tell you! I hope he has a speedy recovery.

  40. AceMagnum says:

    Vote for Gionta!!!

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  41. commandant says:

    After the incredible start, Tim Bozon and Kamloops have slowed down a little.

    Nothing to be too concerned about, they couldn’t keep up that pace forever.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  42. Boomer says:

    Good to hear Boomer’s gonna make it :)
    Weird tweets though

  43. HabFab says:

    BlakeGeoffrion – Feeling better.. Spoke with my buddy @JJWatt today says he has a twisted wrister celly picked out for me after a sack tonight @Buccigross 49 minutes ago

    Hopefully it makes more sense to them but he is tweeting.

  44. HabFab says:

    Went to a Fight and a NASCAR race broke out;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1klV_WiM8w

    Heck, maybe those people in Phoenix really do like their hockey :)

  45. SlovakHab says:

    Looking back at last season. Would you rather have Habs make the playoffs and, realistically, get knocked out in the 1-2nd round – then draft in the Cody Ceci, Tom Wilson, Teumo Teravainen territory.

    or

    keep Galchenyuk?

    • Harditya says:

      I like the current scenario. If we made the playoffs Gauthier would still be our GM. Last season was a blessing in disguise if you think about it. Now, there’s no where to go but move up and improve.

      • JF says:

        Agreed. The firing of Jacques Martin and the subsequent descent of the team into the basement opened Geoff Molson’s eyes to its mediocrity and to Gauthier’s lack of an overall plan. The result was a complete housecleaning – the rebuilding of the management and coaching teams and the addition of player development people (of whom there were none under the previous regime). Last year I agonized because the team was bad and I didn’t see any signs that it was going to get any better; Gauthier seemed to be constantly improvising rather than implementing any plan. But now I think we’re on the right track. Give our prospects a couple of years (and perhaps add another high pick in this year’s draft), and we’ll be a very good team.

  46. commandant says:

    Great to hear that Blake is doing well.

    We met him and his girlfriend a few weeks ago at the Summit, though it was extremely short. I’m glad to hear that he’s gonna be allright.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    Excellent finish going on in CFL game out West. Sask. just got touchdown with 52 seconds left in game to take a 1 point lead.

  48. So we have had enough bad news this year. NHL Lockout, Habs finishing third last, seeing pictures of Bettman and Fehr everyday.. ah what the heck – no need to remind you guys of all that. So let’s say the season does get cancelled. That’s the worst as it gets right? And if that does happen will we have ANYTHING positive to look forward to? Well, let’s have a look.

    – Gomez, Kaberle, Markov will only have 1 year remaining on their current contracts. Just 1 more of year of suffering those mega-huge cap hits before they are off the books. Those 3 make up $17.3 M of Habs’ cap space being wasted on.. basically nothing. The only person I hope to be re-signed is Markov but at a much friendlier cap hit of 3.5. Even Markov has a lot to prove right now. That being said I don’t ever want to see Gomez and Habs in the same sentence again. Ever.

    – Chance for Bergevin to fix a little mistake of his: Please do not re-sign Nokelainen. While you’re at it, please say goodbye to Budaj as well. We need a huge upgrade in nets after Carey.

    – Re-signings of Subban and Desharnais. I feel neither Subban or Desharnais deserve that “big” contract yet. Subban has yet to have a breakout season and Davey needs to prove that he can put up another 60+ point season. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean both should be re-signed for 1 M. My preffered choice would be that both are re-signed in the range of 3.5-4 M for 2-3 years (perhaps 4 for Davey). Of course, I am not the GM so I don’t know what each player wants but that’s my expectation as a fan.

    – Lowering our expectations for Eller. With Plekanec and Desharnais running the show on the top two lines and Galchenyuk coming up in a season or 2, no one is going to expect Eller to be a top 6 center on this team. Eller will be turning 24 this May and to be honest, he can be the legit 3rd line center that this team needs for a long time (unless Bournival knocks on his door in the future). It’s even better that there will be no pressure on him now to produce 50+ points. He scored 16 goals last season, so he can definitely pot 20 goals. Other than that I don’t see him getting more than 40 points on the 3rd line. Unless he’s traded of course. And someone will have to be traded when Galchenyuk comes up.

    – Alex Galchenyuk. Nothing more to be said. Kid has 32 points in 20 games right now after missing a year of hockey. He’s something else. Question: who would you trade if Galchenyuk is ready to make the roster next season? Pleky, Davey or even Eller? Or would you prefer Gally playing left wing just like Seguin did with the Bruins?

    – The Bulldogs. I feel (like many here) that several candidates will be ready to make the jump to the NHL in 2 years and make the Habs roster for sure. Those include Gallagher, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bournival and even Holland. Yeah, some of them will probably take more than 2 years to develop and to be honest that’s just fine. Because to me, the Habs are not in the pursuit of a Cup this season or the next. This team is re-building.

    So we all miss our Saturday nights of hockey, our current roster stinks and you probably will see more pictures of Fehr and Bettman – but it ain’t THAT bad when you think about it. Cmon cheer up!

    • And yes Timo – Bergevin’s true test: re-signing Bergeron. Get it done MB!

    • HabFab says:

      This season’s Bulldog is next season’s Canadien, if this doesn’t get resolved.

    • ooder says:

      nice post man!

      agree with Markov… really really sucks for him that it is a lockout.. i am sure all he wants to do is play, but if it’s not an injury it’s a lockout that is keeping him out of hockey, really sad.

      i want nothing to do with gomez as well…this guy is a nauseating hockey player.

      i wouldn’t mind trading DD and giving Eller a shot on the second line. I think with proper linemates and ice time eller can be better then DD. I know he is turning 24 but it took Pleks a while to come into his own.

      I feel Galy can play in any sitaution… kind of like Patrick Sharp, who if i am not mistaken, can play any one of the 3 forward positions.

      As for the bulldogs, I feel that tinordi and bournival can play a few games for the habs but not permanently. really sucks for Patteryn and his broken elbow as he was really coming into his own. I broke my elbow in grade 2…still cracks weird to this day :s

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

    • Andy and the habs says:

      Robert Meyer is to be considered a strong back up goalie. He played excellent 2 nights ago.

  49. HabFab says:

    If you’re into twitter, Renaud Lavoie has some good stuff about issues from both sides.
    Chris Therien having some interesting exchanges with Flyer fans, surprisingly they sound a lot like us. Hard to imagine!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks for the heads up. It is interesting to read former players both stars and average players and their views on these long lockout/strikes. Have to believe the gist of Therien’s points must eventually start to be heard by todays players.

    • Ron says:

      I notice Therien’s tweets are being retweeted by a few people such as Damien Cox. Therien saying he was a player during the 2004 lockout and players should be asked what Fehr has for plan B. Therien is the Flyers analyst so I wonder if Flyer owners are putting him up to it to get the PA members thinking along those lines.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I have heard other ex-players with the same viewpoints. The owners would have a real P.R. nightmare if it ever came out that ownership told a former player to tweet such a thing.

        I don’t believe this is the case, but an interesting angle you bring up. I believe a player is always a player and that Therien is just offering his lessons learned to todays players.

        • Ron says:

          With the back and forth kick in the sack type play making by both sides, I wouldn’ put anything past the Flyer owner. Of course Theriens job as an analyst for Flyers games would be lost without a season so maybe his plugging this angle is for his own gain (his job).

  50. frontenac1 says:

    Chargers? Giants? Dirty Birds?! Are you frikkin kidding?

  51. habsfan0 says:

    Good to see that Geoffrion is out of danger and recovering nicely.

    Just out of curiosity, when a professional athlete is injured mid-game and taken immediately to hospital for surgery,he obviously is in no condition to shower.

    Does that mean he undergoes surgery in the OR reeking of BO?

  52. Mr. Biter says:

    I have never heard of a”Depressed Skull Fracture”. Must have been one hell of a hit. As Ian says he could be out for the season. BTW is he on a one way contract so if he is out for the rest of the season he at least collects an NHL salary?

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  53. AceMagnum says:

    Wishing Blake all the best.

    —————————-

    THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

  54. Rad says:

    A depressed skull fracture sounds pretty bad, but at least the kid is out of ICU. I hope the doctors are right when they say they expect him to make a complete recovery.

  55. This Guy says:

    Another game, another look at Sarnia boxscores, another couple points for Galchenyuk. The kid doesn’t disappoint. Though being on a stacked team would inflate his production and avoid frustration, I bet his current situation is building character. He’s always been a perseverant hard working type anyways. Feeding people so well that they can’t miss the back of the net can’t be bad practice for jumping to higher leagues.

    Sarnia’s not stacked, but I’m definitely stoked.

  56. geo_habsgo says:

    All the best to Blake that is a scary injury. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

    A shame that he did get injured. I was at the game the other night and he was a key offensive player for the ‘Dogs. He seemed to be able to slow down the erratic pace of the game when he was our there which gave our more creative and talented players time to get into the right place.

  57. frontenac1 says:

    That’s great news! All the best Blake and let’s all be thankful for the great medical staff.

  58. Ian Cobb says:

    Head injuries! This one sounds like he might be out all season.!

  59. HabinBurlington says:

    I think that is why HabFab says that if you want all the angles here is the players side being represented. There are other writers out there who tend to write on the owners behalf. Especially when you consider some of these writers are employed by companies who own hockey teams.

    It is up to us as readers to try and find the middle ground unfortunately.

  60. neumann103 says:

    Yes, NHL owners have a strong interest in reducing ticket prices.

    Oh, and contracting teams too and shooting their own and devaluing their own franchises.

    “Et le but!”

  61. commandant says:

    And Donald Fehr tells the players to go back to work and take their full salary. The moment the owners pay them one penny less (without the players agreeing to it in a new CBA), all players become Free Agents due to Breach of contract.

    Your unilaterally imposed Salary Cap? Thats called Collusion and Anti-Trust courts also throw it out.

    If Bettman follows this strategy, he’ll have shot himself in the foot.

    Never mind the fact that none of the tickets would be reduced.

    Clearly the economics and the legalities of this post do not work, not even close.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/


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