Betts claimed off waivers; Woywitka on waivers; Palushaj, Blunden, Schultz to Hamilton

Blair Betts

New Canadien Blair Betts in action last season vs. the New Jersey Devils.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images Sport

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Jeff Woywitka | Max Pacioretty | Michael Cammalleri

12:45 pm update: The Canadiens have claimed penalty-kill specialist Blair Betts off waivers, and he’ll play in place of Andreas Enqvist (demoted to Hamilton) against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday at the Air Canada Centre. The Habs also placed defenceman Jeff Woywitka on waivers; if he’s not claimed, he’s expected to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs. And forwards Aaron Palushaj, Michael Blunden and Ian Schultz have been assigned to the Bulldogs.

A Flyers blogger is sad to see Betts go:

Any Flyers fan can tell you that the power play has been more bad than good over the years. But while the Flyers have been lousy on their own power plays, they have been fairly good at killing those of their opponents. A big reason for that has been Betts. He has anchored the fourth line for a couple of seasons now but really shined when the team was killing penalties. Betts had taken nearly half of the faceoffs when the Flyers were shorthanded. Even through the 2011 preseason Betts looked like he was relishing his role as the penalty killer. I’m a little surprised the Flyers decided to part ways with him.

Betts will make $700,000 this season.

Remember Pierre Gauthier’s nice $4 million salary cap cushion?

The signings of Chris Campoli and Betts plus the demotion of Engqvist bring that down to $1.8 million.

•  •  •

The Betts signing  means demotion for Andreas Engqvist, who did not have a good preseason.

A righthanded faceoff and PK specialist, Engqvist entered training camp with the inside track on winning the specialist role vacated by the departure of Jeff Halpern.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today that forward Blair Betts has been claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers, while forward Andreas Engqvist has been assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.
Betts was held pointless in three preseason games with the Flyers, recording 3 shots on goal. In 75 games with the Flyers in 2010-11, the 31-year old centreman registered 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists). One of his goals was tallied on the penalty kill and two were game-winning goals. He added 8 penalty minutes and 51 shots on goal. Since 2001-02, Betts has amassed 78 points (41 goals, 37 assists) in 477 regular season games with the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and Flyers.
The 6’03’’, 210 lbs forward was the Flames second round pick (33rd overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
In six preseason games with the Canadiens, Engqvist registered one assist. The 23-year old centreman recorded 3 shots on goal.

•  •  •

With one sleep until the regular-season opener, Pat Hickey asks:
“The Canadiens spent seven years convincing Alexei Yemelin that he should be playing hockey in North America, but now that he’s here the question is: Can they keep him here?”

• Hickey on the Yemelin dilemma

Red Fisher wraps up his Top 10 with numero uno, the 1970-’71 Canadiens

• Red on Patrick Roy

Moen looks good to go for opener

Boone on Shanahan inaction

Sean Gordon on the Malone hit

Marc Antoine Godin on Raphael Diaz and the PP

Which line for Cole?

Avery on waivers

871 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Awesome signing! I’m excited to see a line like Moen-Betts-White. That would certainly be a line that could intimidate opponents. I know a lot of people have been disappointed by Moen as a Hab, but when he was with Anaheim, the line he played on with Neidermayer and Pahlsson was the best pure defensive line in the NHL (they led the league in fewest goals occurring for either side). He had seven goals in the Ducks’ Cup run, so perhaps playing with some other tough guys can reignite him.

    I know the whole “tough guy” issue is controversial here but it’s very important in a physical sport such as hockey that you not get pushed around. No one wants a goon but you need guys that don’t get intimidated by physical play. Betts should help with that and he will definitely help alleviate the penalty-killing duty of Plekanec.

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    Our team has finally arrived folks.
    It started years ago, when Bob Gainey headed down the 401 to reconstruct the Hab’s franchise, farm teams, scouting dept., as well as head office. The Brossard training physicality came on stream and much more behind the scenes that we will ever know.

    Yes! our hockey organization has returned to greatness once again after to many years of mismanagement.

    This is the best pro product from the top of the organization to the bottom that we have seen in a few generations.

    No excuses this year folks, we will be playing in the finals in the spring, including a lot of our farm teams. Enjoy the struggle starting tonight.!

  3. Marc10 says:

    Good signing. I always rated this guy. He plays smart hockey. Way better option than whoever we had lined up.

    With Josh and Skillsie, it’s going to be a shot blocking clinic on the PK.

  4. bigjames says:

    the last player we claimed off waivers from philly was metro and that worked ok. (remember him changing dressing rooms as he was waived on the day we played in philly… that was a strange one).

    penalty kill is great but what most impresses me are the face off stats. we sooooo need help in that department.

    gonna be watching early tomorrow morning my time (Hong Kong) looking forward to it!

    GO HABS GO!!!

  5. alfieturcotte says:

    Canadiens should have gone after Owen Nolan instead. Proven leader, consumate team player, solid scorer, great hands, still has some legs…..

  6. SmartDog says:

    The fu-nlovin-n Gazette keeps telling me I’ve used up my “free 30 days of articles”. Which is weird because I think it’s been saying that for about 30 days.

    Not only is it making a foolish suggestion (that I should buy the print copy of the newspaper just to read the rare sports story) but it can’t count either.

    And I know I know, clear my cache… blah blah. Forget that. I give the Gazoo enough ad revenue as it is. I can live without it.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  7. punkster says:

    I’ve been away for a week closing up the cottage.

    Have they gelled yet?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  8. Mike D says:

    Bripro posted this below, so full credit to him. I wanted to repost in case it gets buried because it’s a surprisingly well written (lots of stats too) artice about our newest Hab, Blair Betts. Definitely worth the read!

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2011/10/5/2471045/blair-betts-waivers-flyers-canadiens

    – Honestly yours

    • JD_ says:

      Thanks for repostin’ the link. Very informative.

      Last part of the article:

      “It’s a matter of philosophy. Remaining on the opening night roster are both Zac Rinaldo and Jody Shelley, while Betts is off to bleu blanc et rouger pastures. That says all you need to know right there. The Flyers clearly value an overpaid goon and a crazy, suspended-four-times-last-year pest than they do one of their best defensive players.

      It makes absolutely no sense.”

      A pissed off Flyers fan who apparently gets it.

      Their loss, our gain ‘n’ all that.

      • Mike D says:

        Indeed. This was my favourite part:

        “Betts, meanwhile, was trusted by Peter Laviolette to play absolutely brutal defensive minutes, and he thrived in that role. How do we best judge a defensive forward? We can do so simply by seeing how he’s pushing the play toward the opposing goal, and Betts did that better than any other forward on the team.

        In fact, it’s not even close.”

        – Honestly yours

  9. Mr. Biter says:

    What is White’s injury?

    Mr. Biter

  10. Bripro says:

    Say Ash, in response.
    If you want to visit a cup parade, you can always take him to Toronna.
    They have a parade every year.

  11. ClaytonM says:

    Watching TSN season preview, one thing that always makes me laugh. Laffs twit feeders saying they’re going to break their playoff streak.

    It’s not a streak when you fail. It’s a slump.

    Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

  12. avatar_58 says:

    TSN – Can the Canadiens build on the lessons learned in the playoffs heading into the new season?”

    The lesson that other teams get away with murder? To not have your players get injured?

    • Say Ash says:

      More like scoring 5-on-5 and winning faceoffs and killing penalties, something PG definitely addressed.

      • Bripro says:

        You got that right.
        And if you consider that last year, that Habs finished 14th overall, but were 23rd 5 on 5.
        With Betts to help lock down the D-zone and on the PK (freeing up icetime for Pleks), and Cole as a new power forward and MaxPacs back, I can’t see how they won’t be more effective than last year.

        • Say Ash says:

          Suspect defence.

          • Bripro says:

            Be patient. Diaz is coming along nicely, and I’m still hoping that Yemelin adjusts quickly. Gorges is back and (hopefully) Markov will be back soon.
            If he’s beyond November and a no-show, then all BETTS are off.

          • Say Ash says:

            Patience is for doctors, Bripro. I’ve said it here before, I wanna take my kid to a cup parade before I’m the one wearing the diapers!

          • LA Loyalist says:

            Patience – Yemelin will be fine, it’s a big adjustment down to the small NHL ice for a D, they have to make quicker decisions and the forecheck is on you faster. Also he has to learn our system and the wingers he’s be feeding. It’s a lot.

            And then there’s Markov. Light candles, slaughter chickens, whatever floats your boat… we need him back healthy to contend for anything.

            Let’s beat the Leafs tomorrow night. The glow from that will hold us over for a day or two. :-)

      • ClaytonM says:

        I’m guessing you meant their PK needed improvement in the regular season, since we held the bruins to -1 goals on their PP.

        I have to agree, though. I hated seeing our top line players on our PK. With some of the officiating, that could mean Pleks and Gomez would see too much PK time instead of being ready to shift momentum when the penalty is over.

        Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

    • Dad_Max says:

      Hello All!
      Long time reader, but not much for comments. I just recently tracked down my username & password because I had to display how exciting it was to be in Collingwood today to see all the boys. I was lucky to get many autographs for my son.

    • Dad_Max says:

      Price wasn’t too happy today, hard to get an response at all.. Seemed a little sick too, hopefully he brings his ‘A’ game tomorrow night!

      • JIMVINNY says:

        he and cammy both sounded a little hoarse. partying too hard maybe?

        • Dad_Max says:

          Quite possible…

          Gomez, Markov, Cole, Spacek all got on the bus without signing anything. Gill and PK were last to come out and just before they got to me they took off to jump on the bus! Wasn’t too happy with that, but all in all, it was a great day!

    • arrybai says:

      We need Cole playing with Pleks

      “A game worth playing is a game worth winning”

  13. Bripro says:

    According to sources in Philly, we’ve picked up one of the best +/- and PK players in the business. They’re seriously pi**ed.

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2011/10/5/2471045/blair-betts-waivers-flyers-canadiens

  14. Danno says:

    TSN is predicting the Leafs will finish in 10th place and miss the playoffs, again.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    As it relates to Eller on I.R. I heard today the habs have the ability to place him on I.R. Retroactive to last season thus allowing them to activate him whenever they want.

  16. jo_maka says:

    TSN giving credit to the Habs is just weird to witness, to be honest. Granted, they think overall we’ll squeeze in for 8th seed, so they’re not that far out of character. But to see them rave, giggle and drool about Price is really something :)

    _________________________________
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • savethepuck says:

      Last week Duthie said he had them 5th, and he said 1 expert even had them first. It sounded like Ferraro, Crawford and Mackenzie had them at least 8th or better. The problem is their consensus pick is based on 20 “experts” and a lot of those “experts” are from the Toronto media where a hate for the Habs organization has been passed down from generation to generation.

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

      • jo_maka says:

        I think Crawford get them for the division. Don’t quote me on that, though
        _________________________________
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • RGM says:

      Jamie McClennan has said a few times now that “very soon” Price will be the best goalie in the NHL and even the world. Makes me smile. LOL

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • cuzzie says:

      Pushing their own agenda. TSN 990 is part of their family .

      Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • JF says:

      I was surprised they were as even-handed as they were. I can understand picking the Habs 8th rather than higher, but they had a lot of praise for Price and P.K., and they really liked the Habs as a playoff team. Fair enough, to my thinking.

  17. The Cat says:

    I been reading Bill Clinton’s My Life. Its about 1000 pages. I might have to find a way to get into prison in order to finish reading it.

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

    • HabFab says:

      Any mention of Monica? ;)

    • Danno says:

      What did he talk about on page 69?

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Amount of money allocated for Clinton-Lewinsky investigation: $40 million
      Amount of money allocated for the 9/11 (C)Ommission Report: $14 million.

      Disgusting.

      ——————————————————————-
      When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is pretty staggering.

      • Bill J says:

        Amount of money Donald Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon “lost” (and was never talked about again) on September 10th, 2001….

        2.3 TRILLION dollars, no lie! Look it up.


        If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

        Go Habs Go!

        • Everlasting1 says:

          You sound like a conspiracy nut.

          ——————————————————————-
          When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

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

          • Bill J says:

            You’d be surprised to know that I actually agree with “some” of your thoughts of “that” subject. I just bite my tongue, as this is after all a hockey site.


            If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

            Go Habs Go!

          • Everlasting1 says:

            Bill, I know Bugs isn’t the same since his recent epiphany. Hockey can seem awfully trivial at times in comparison.

            ——————————————————————-
            When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

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

        • LA Loyalist says:

          The people who have it know where it is, so is it really lost?

      • The Dude says:

        Wow ,did that get blown or what!

        • Everlasting1 says:

          Blown, but no ‘money shot’.
          And no mention of, no money spent on WTC7.

          ——————————————————————-
          When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

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

  18. AK_PK_Usay says:

    I remember somebody suggested Blair Betts before he was even on waivers, good call. :)

  19. AK_PK_Usay says:

    About AK, did you know he suffers from Epilepsy?

    So he’s 1st in hits last year, 3rd in goals, 5th in points, +3… for 3.5mil? which is NOT top 5 salary…

    • M20 says:

      he just never does it when it really counts and is so inconsistent it hurts to watch. But yes, the numbers are there, on paper. I have a hard time with him, cause i want to believe he can score 30+, but i just don’t see the drive day to day.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have often wondered if his medication is a factor with him. I really like the guy and keep thinking he is going to breakout. He does have lapses, and perhaps because we see all that talent we always want more.

  20. cuzzie says:

    PG is going to have to work some magic this season. This team is not Stanley Cup Contenders. Hamilton has a bunch of 5th liners. A Sam Pollack type of intervention is needed.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Hamilton was cleared out by the Habs over the last year for NHL-ready talent, it takes time to rebuild a farm team. Wait until next year when 4 Defencemen join the Dogs in Ellis, Tinordi, Beaulieu and Pateryn plus new forwards in Kristo, Gallagher, Bournival.

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

      • I have a feeling that after 3 years, Kristo will finish his degree.

        http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

      • cuzzie says:

        I agree the future looks great. I am more concerned with the present situation. I’m sort of not convinced this team can go all the way.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • M20 says:

          Realistically, i don’t think they can win it all this year either, but that being said, you never know. If Halak wasn’t out of this world a few years ago we would not have made it by washington, yet we made the ECF. A little more here and there and we were there. Same with last year. No respect going into the playoffs, but they were in a good position to close it out again. This team is better than that one, hands down. They also have some post season magic around them…They may not look like a contender, but i think by merit of the level of talent they have and Carey in net, they do have a shot.

          • cuzzie says:

            We need a Stud. Eric Staal, Shea Weber, oh it would be beautiful .PG do your magic!

            Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  21. HabFab says:

    WAIVER UPDATE;

    Subban, Eller, Diaz and Yemelin.

    Are the only players left on the team that DO NOT have to clear waivers.

  22. Hockey Socks says:

    I’m not inside the head of JM, but I suspect Cole is playing on the third line because Desharnais has a harder time playing on the road than at a home and having a big bruiser on his line may help open up space for him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cole play with DD on the road now and then at least.

  23. M20 says:

    Well, its time I did this. I was going to do it yesterday, but the commenting was, well, a turn off. Anyways…
    Long time site reader, first time poster.
    The season is upon us, Hab Fans. The joy and agony that awaits us is close at hand. I just wanted to come on and say hello to you all, and wish you all the very best in the upcoming season. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows with all of you, and hopefully engaging in some debate and conversation around the habs and hockey in general. I feel like I have picked an inopportune time to join, reading the last few days posts’ and fighteningly personal comments, but I hope that despite apparently losing some long time posters, who I have at times enjoyed reading and at others have not, we can get back to the quality commenting that originally attracted me to this site. I have to admit, the highschool style clique attacks back and forth from people that I have enjoyed reading have turned me off somewhat, but since it seems to have blown over a bit, I guess this is the best time to jump in, on an upswing.
    Here’s to a fresh start to the season, and to putting a beating on the leafs tomorrow night!
    Cheers!
    M20

    • The Dude says:

      Welcome M20 and nice timing,jeez

    • club_de_hockey says:

      Welcome aboard. I, too, am new here. Living in the heart of Canucks territory, BC CANADA it’s nice to chat with other Habs fans and share the highs and the lows. Should be an explosive season for les boys. Go Habs Go!!

      —————————————————————–
      “Power plays are an important part of the game and I don’t want him to go on the ice and be stupid. But if they have problems, there’s one way to fix it.”
      -Guy Carbonneau in reference to the on-ice feud between S. Kostitsyn and Grabovski

    • HabFab says:

      Welcome aboard!
      My first post so many years ago was so similar…”sigh”!!

    • Habifax says:

      thanks for posting! agree 100%. no reason for anyone to get personal here. I hope all can keep in mind we are just following a game and a team here. Please don’t bring your daily frustrations etc. with you.

    • savethepuck says:

      ” Long time site reader, first time poster.”
      Another new guy reminding me of Penthouse Forum.
      Welcome to the site. I agree it can get childish on here sometimes and it can be frustrating to have to scroll thru the petty bickering to find meaningful comments at times, but overall you’ll find interesting discussions and opinions.

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

      • M20 says:

        you know, typing that line i felt like one of those callers to some sort of risque show late at night…. “First time caller, long time listener, long time heavy breather, big fan of the show.”

        After creeping myself out like that, I’m Lookin forward to getting to the meat of the argument, so to speak:)

    • habstrinifan says:

      Welcome aboard! Dont let the occasional detour into ad hominem discourage or even alarm you. Essentially we are FANS… and our observations wont always come from reasoned or factual considerations but will be purely emotional backlash at, as you put it, “the lows”. Eventually, but only until the next ‘big game’ or trade or incident, sanity will prevail and respectful discourse will be used to sway minds or share angst.

      It’s all part of the fun! Ugly sometimes! But always, always sharing ONE inviolate driving force… LOVE FOR THIS TEAM!

      Again welcome and I look forward to reading your contributions.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Welcome on board M20! Should be a great season.

  24. twilighthours says:

    Hardhabits if you’re still reading then come back buddy. The site needs you. Take a few days and rethink, you know?

    ————————————–
    If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

  25. Matt. says:

    Apparently, the Canadiens PP lacks a powerful point shot… I have to disagree with Pat Hickey here (Although Hickey i find is a true professional)

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Canadiens+power+play+lacks+powerful+point+shot/5507288/story.html

    PK Subban led all NHL defenseman in pôwer play goals. His game tying goal in game 7 versus the Bruins last year couldnt have been more accurate…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tji8vEySkF8

    BOOM

  26. HabFab says:

    Not sure if this has been posted but here’s JT’s take on the Team Bonding exercises; http://www.habsloyalist.blogspot.com/

  27. Habifax says:

    The thing I don’t understand on the Malone hit is that the Ref called it a Match Penalty which is a deliberate attempt to injure and the principle point of contact was the head but no suspension. NHL looks mickey mouse again with Shanahan-Yzerman history just like the past Campbell-Bruins history.

  28. savethepuck says:

    During the Habs Tampa Bay game on TSN last Thursday, aside from the usual negativity we are treated to about the Habs, Jamie MacLennan said that Carey Price is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and he will soon be the best goaltender in the NHL. James Durthie also let out of the bag that he has the Habs picked to finish 5th in the East, but there is one TSN expert that has picked the Habs to win the East. I am thinking I’ll find out who that is toningt @ 7:30 EDT on TSN’s NHL Season Preview. I’ve been curious since last week.

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

  29. Solid addition to the fourth line. Darche, Moen, Betts, White, Eller, Kostitsyn, Desharnais are solid for bottom 7 forwards.

    To those worried about the cap space, we have 9 defensemen under contact right now including: Markov, Spacek, Gorges, Gill, Subban, Weber, Yemelin, Diaz and Campoli.

    We are not going to play with 9 d-men.
    So even if 2 are placed on waivers/ sent to minors, that frees up AT LEAST 2 million. Salary cap space would be back at 3.8ish.

    Weber, Yemelin and Diaz, have to battle for the last spot.

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      I think they’re gonna use Weber as forward for the bottom six. He still has a wicked wrist shot to add in the bottom six. IMO

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    Re: AK46 on the top line.

    AK46 has had multiple opportunities to show he belongs with Plex and Cammy. After two years of failure, PG went out and got Cole for too much money precisely because AK46 never showed he belonged on the top line.

    And now, after a lacklustre training camp, AK46 is suddenly a 1st liner and the guy we overpaid for is playing with Darche?

    Come on, putting Cole with Darche and DD does NOT give us three scoring lines.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Come on, putting cole with darche and DD DOES give us three scoring lines. It’s all a matter of opinion m8. Odds are this line won’t even last the full game tomorrow.

      in the words of Carey Price. Chill out.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Boy, do I agree with that. As our friend below says, that horrid idea will last two shifts before its Pleks Cammi Cole on the top six together.

      Remember Gomez opening the season with AK / Moen on one side last year? That went on for weeks to months and was (obviosuly one would have thought) a disaster.

  31. coutNY says:

    “The signings of Chris Campoli and Betts plus the demotion of Engqvist bring that down to $1.8 million.”

    I think the cap geek is double counting Ellers bonus. Once in the cap hit and again at the bottom in the bonus sections I think we sit closer $2.28 million in CAP SPACE….

  32. habstrinifan says:

    A few here in HIO reject JM’s placing Cole on a line with Desharnis and Darche.

    I don’t know if that line will start the season or play ‘together’ for sizable minutes. But when Cole signed here I posted that I thought that Cole should be on a line with Desharnis and Eller. I think Darche is presently ‘filling in’ for Eller on that line.

    Ignore categorizing any line as number 1, 2 or 3. This team really has 3 top lines, any of which scould/should play more minutes based on the night’s play. I like this set-up based on the players we have, for it would answer some really long-standing questions.

    Let us start by stipulating that, albeit at an advanced age, Cole is an experienced, big, productive, gritty, smart, etc etc power forward model .. and has been successful.

    So leaving Max Pac Gomez Gionta together answers the following
    questions…

    a)Is Max Pac for real… I think he is and if he is then he is our ‘native’ power forward.
    b) Is Gomez a top forward. If he isnt then we will find out. If Gomez has a season like last season with a healthy and performing Max Pac then we can safely say he is ‘washed up’ .. no excuses period.
    And if the question is NO to both then we have two answers.. Gomez is washed up and Max Pac is not ready to be an A-1 ‘power forward’.

    Leaving Cam/Plekanec and Andre together really asks and answers one big question. Is AK46 worthy of being a top six forward or is he just too unmotivated, laz, disinterest and inconsistent to be that. He wont have the excuse of playing with ‘lesser’ forwards. And one part of the answer would be for AK46 to provide the ‘size’ on that line that Max Pac provides on the Gomez line and Cole on the Desharnis line.

    Now the line with Cole/Desarhnis/Eller(temp Darche).
    This is the best opportunity for the team to find out what we have in Desharnis and Eller.

    Cole is the real deal.. might be old but he has proven himself. And he seems to be a real team guy and ‘leader type’ player.
    So Desharnis and Eller will have the comfort that they are playing on a skill line with some size and lots of experience.. to help them along the early stages of their NHL career.

    So you have 3 skilled, resonabe ‘protected’ and fast lines. Play them as interchangeable 1st/2nd/and 3rd line as their play on any night dictates.

    Now if any of these three combination fails then fans and management WILL KNOW that one or more of Gomez/Max Pac/AK46/Eller/Desharnis wont be ‘living up’ to expectations( better word is requirements) of a top forward. And not one of that group is a true 3rd/4th line player or in Gomez’s case is willing to be that yet.

    Failure would also mean more of JM’s juggling. I dont mean the occasional juggling but if it is again a season long experiment of finding out where guys fit then….

    Simply put, if the lines, as comprised above (with minor changes..for example AK and Max Pac can change and achieve the same ‘big picture’) , perform then Canadiens are really a team of 9 ‘top line’ players.

    Other deployments, like Desharns or Eller on the fourth line or AK not given top line duties and linemates continue the guessing game of in-appropriate usage and mediocre results that we have had in the last seasons and ‘unhappy’ players.

    Great job by JM placing Cole where he has done … for now.

    Success will mean we have filled our ‘holes’.. failure would mean that we still have to identify the ‘real value’ of some players and, more importantly their real value to THIS team… and move them or ‘whatever’ to improve the team.

    I like JM’s practice lines.

    I hope they work out in the real game.

    • Chris says:

      Something worth noting is that Erik Cole has been a very slow starter in recent seasons. Check out his production in the first 20 games the past 3 years:

      2010-11: 20 GP, 4 G, 10 P
      2009-10: 20 GP, 6 G, 8 P (interrupted by injury after 3 games)
      2008-09: 20 GP, 3G, 7 P

      He has saved his seasons in the second half. Maybe Martin has seen something in camp that suggests to him that letting Cole work up to speed on the third line lowers expectations for him in the early going.

      Cole could be the perfect guy to help Desharnais and ultimately Eller for the first part of the season. Kostitsyn isn’t always the most talkative guy and probably doesn’t have the same hockey IQ as Cole, so having a veteran linemate on that line might be part of a plan by Martin to (gasp) help develop younger players. :)

      • habstrinifan says:

        “Cole could be the perfect guy to help Desharnais and ultimately Eller for the first part of the season”… Love this point.

        And with Cole we will really find out if Desharnis is a top six NHLer… he isnt suited for 3rd or 4th line duties really.

  33. dhenry1234 says:

    looks like having Betts won’t stop us from being cheap shotted! lmao
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8I1azUJT58

  34. Habifax says:

    I wouldn’t waste alot of breath talking about line combos. With JM’s history these ones will be lucky to survive a period.

  35. Habifax says:

    Glad to see the Betts pick up. I really don’t know why Halpern was let go. I guess some other guys didn’t pan out. The other thing that I am having trouble with is the back up goalie. I think the guy we had last year was better than the guy we have now so I not sure why the switch was made. Can anybody provide some thoughts on this?

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Budja (sp?) stole the starting job from someone in Colorado … was it Theodore? In any case, unlike Auld, a career backup, Budja was thought to have starter potential. But goalies go sour fast. In any case, I would suggest the thinking was that Budja still has more potential and therefore would be better with a bigger workload.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        That suggestion makes sense. What I don´t get though: Why do people so often use this stupid (sp?)? You´re on the internet ffs. You don´t know a name? Then look it up. It won´t take more much than 5 seconds. Can´t be that difficult…

        • habstrinifan says:

          Cause the typica ‘reply’ post is like an impromptu conversation. Like two or more guys at a bar having a beer and shooting the breeze about their team and the players etc. You then dont have excat spelling, pronunciation or sometimes even total name-recall.. and it is seems more ‘natural’ a post to continue typing (talking) and finishing your ‘thoughts’ rather than going the google route.

          Just my view anyways. Adds to the naturalness.

        • Stuck_in_To. says:

          Actually, I often verify my spelling and facts and, occasionally, cannot be bothered. Sorry if I pissed in your coffee this morning … er, evening.

      • Habifax says:

        makes sense. and I agree goalies go sour fast. let’s hope this guys is just a little cold but not sour.

  36. TomNickle says:

    I really don’t mean to pile on but Dave saying that he sits back and minds his own business is the biggest piece of self-delusion I’ve seen in quite some time. Years in fact. It would be like Matt Cooke saying he minds his own business and tries not to deliver cheap shots.

  37. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Besides Yannick Weber the Canadiens have 2 goalies plus 19 healthy bodies. If Eller and Markov return before someone else gets hurt (big if!), or Yemelin heads back to Russia, don’t we have to trade Weber?

    edit: Maybe I shouldn’t count Ryan White among the “healthy” yet.

    “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
    – Sean Bonjovi

    • savethepuck says:

      Weber can be sent down to Hamilton, his 1 way contract means he only makes the same there as he would with the Habs. His salary ( I’m 95% sure) does not go against our Cap then.

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

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        Doesn’t he need to clear waivers? If he needs to clear waivers he isn’t going to Hamilton.

        “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
        – Sean Bonjovi

        • savethepuck says:

          Someone else will have to answer that for you

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

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            I’ve been working the google for ten minutes to figure it out. I’m pretty sure he is Eligible for waivers (NOT exempt), but don’t quote me on that.

            “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
            – Sean Bonjovi

      • Chris says:

        Weber would almost certainly be claimed off waivers if sent to the minors.

        He signed his first professional contract at age 20, so he had 3 years of waiver eligibility, which expired this past summer.

        Weber isn’t going anywhere, as the Habs don’t want to lose him for free (a la Robidas, Bouillon, Hainsey, etc.).

        Yemelin is probably not going anywhere unless the Habs are giving up on him and letting him go back to Russia for good.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Weber wouldn’t get past Edmonton on the waiver wire, but the 20 guys who dress tomorrow night, plus Markov, White, Eller and Yemelin makes 24 players for a 23 man roster. Maybe White will start the year in Hamilton.

          “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
          – Sean Bonjovi

          • Chris says:

            Markov is on IR so he doesn’t count as a roster player.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            hence: ” If Eller and Markov return before someone else gets hurt (big if!)”

            “Andrei Kostitsyn is a better hockey player than Max Pacioretty”
            – Sean Bonjovi

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    Bran spanking new hockey year on HIO to enjoy starting tomorrow night folks. Please ignore the loud and crude.

    lets have a good time watching our Hab’s challenge for top spot right off the hop. And remember, when in doubt, my opinion is the one you should follow!
    Ian

  39. Timo says:

    So where is a Betts’ highlight reel?

  40. MikeMcLaren says:

    Last year in Philadelphia, before he was dealt away, Mike Richards was a “third line player”

    If you have a deep team, it’s really not so much of a problem if you’re rolling three, capable lines.

    Also, lines change.

    However, I guess Habs fans don’t. Always overanalyzing and panicking unneccessarily. La ville est paranoid.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

    • Stev.R says:

      Last year in Philadelphia, before he was dealt away, Mike Richards was also a lazy player who wouldn’t back check.

    • Chris says:

      True enough. To be fair, however, it is also worth pointing out that the Flyers’ three capable lines featured four players who outscored Montreal #1 point producer. As a team, the Flyers’ three capable lines helped them score 43 more goals as a team than the Canadiens. Basically, their three capable lines proved they were capable, while Montreal’s third line success has yet to be shown.

      On paper, the Canadiens might have better offensive depth. But it means that Eller has to step up, Desharnais and Pacioretty have to prove that their solid production last season wasn’t a flash in the pan and Kostitsyn has to show that he can produce without much PP time…25-35% of his points came off the power play in recent years, and it might be tough for him (barring injuries) to earn PP minutes with Cole, Pacioretty, Gionta and Gomez all fighting for those minutes.

      • Seems like the guy on the outs for the PP is Erik Cole. It makes sense when you break it down because he’s done most of his scoring at ES for the last several years. Last year he played second wave for Carolina and didn’t produce much. Only 8 of his 52 points were on the PP.

        http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

        • Chris says:

          Good point, although it is hard to compare the PP in Montreal to that in Carolina. Montreal desperately needs a net presence, and that is something that Kostitsyn just doesn’t bring. I’d be a bit surprised it Cole sees less PP time than Kostitsyn for that reason alone.

          • “although it is hard to compare the PP in Montreal to that in Carolina”

            Too true. My guess is that Pacioretty will be relied on for net presence on the top unit. But other than that Cole would be the best fit for sure. He definitely has better hands in close than Kostitsyn does as well. It might be worthwhile to deploy two different strategies on the two different waves as well. But to be honest I don’t know who’s running the PP this year. Muller did last year, so maybe Cunneyworth? No idea what his style is.

            http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  41. Ian Cobb says:

    Again I ask! do we now have to much talent to fit how Martin coaches.? Does he know how to coach a 3 top line team. His only experience in coaching good line talent is by putting his best on the first two lines and play the hell out of them.

    But now he has enough good talent for 3 great top lines.
    How will he change so that all 3 lines get about equal time. I do not think he will be able to change his style enough to accommodate all of this talent. We will sure see soon enough.

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      well hes not doing a great job, cole is a first line winger not a third. He should be getting the chemistry going with cole and one of our centers( Gomez IMO). and not playing him on the PP is bad coaching.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Notwithstanding that I despise JM, I don’t find it unreasonable that as it is the beginning of the year and we have injuries (I’m shocked!) he will move guys around.

        The thinking may be that Cole (power fwd) with Desharnais (creative) may bubble up some chemistry against OTHER teams 3rd lines. Just a theory. Ten games will tell us a lot. I’ve resolved to be patient… at least until Gomez does something dopey…

    • cuzzie says:

      We will see what JM is capable of. I personally have faith in his coaching abilities. The man is a pro. I feel he coaches with the talent he’s given. A run and gun offense with those small bodies would not work. Play patient and counter attack. It’s not the Flying Frenchmen but it’s what we got.

      Stay Thirsty My Friends!

      • DEANDALLEY says:

        The Habs DO have a team to play run & gun.

        “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

        • cuzzie says:

          The Capitals played that system and they have big bodies. What have they done? It might work during the season but playoffs where it really counts, DEFENSE.

          Stay Thirsty My Friends!

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I will be watching for sure this year. He did a great job with the team two years ago for sure.
        Last years team spent far to many days chasing the nurses at the General.

    • savethepuck says:

      When Eller is back we’ll have a top 9 playing comparable minutes while 5 on 5. The difference in total minutes will be who gets the extra PP and PK minutes. That’s something that will be determined by trial and error.

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

    • Chris says:

      Martin has already shown that he knows how to coach deep teams with some of his Senators teams, where the talent level up front far surpassed what Montreal has got this year.

      The third line for Montreal represents a lot of potential, but they have to show that they are worthy of the label of “great”.

      Montreal was pitiful at generating offence for the past two seasons. The addition of Cole will help, but I get the feeling people are assigning less risk than I am personally comfortable with over four things:

      1) Max Pacioretty will be a consistent offensive threat this season.
      2) David Desharnais will produce from the third line.
      3) Andrei Kostitsyn, Erik Cole and Pacioretty will all be productive despite one of them being the odd man out when it comes to PP time.
      4) Lars Eller will be far more productive this season.

      I am far from certain that these things are givens.

      Pacioretty had a hot streak last season, but his professional career outside of that was very underwhelming. Still, I am mostoptimistic in his case because many power forwards don’t really come into their own until 23 or 24 years old, and Pacioretty is just hitting that age now. He seems like the real deal.

      Desharnais is small and a easily bodied around, but he is also fast, feisty and has a good hockey IQ. Last season was his first kick at the can, so teams didn’t have a scouting “book” on how to play him yet. Let’s see how he does when every move has been analyzed.

      Eller is a big question mark. How long will it take him to get into playing shape? How will he respond to his extra bulk? What is his ceiling? Eller’s 17 points last season was about 50% lower than the 29 points put up by former “bust” Guillaume Latendresse in his rookie season. Eller has a ton to prove this season…I really like the guy, but I am concerned that he might cap out as a 3rd or even 4th line player.

    • habsnyc says:

      that is a funny question. it makes the assumption that montreal is now more talented than last year.

      how much talent did montreal add? a guy who peaked at 61 points over 10 years as a power forward? Castoffs like Grabovski and S. Kostitsyn had about as many points as Cole last year. An aging Cole adds about five goals and 10 assists to the roster relative to what Pouliot would deliver. Offsetting that, Halpern is about five goals and five assists better than Betts. So the offense is pretty much a wash with what it was last year.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good question! I think he gets a passing grade so far with his ‘practise lines’ in Collingwood.

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I surprisingly and sadly found this purported ‘last post’ written by David (aka HardHabits) on the previous thread:

    …”Last night’s exchange has been an eye opener for me. I looked closer at the exchanges and realized that of all the trolls who have frequented this site nobody has turned me off more or has been more offensive to me than Andrew Berkshire.

    What’s worse is he has a gaggle of supporters here who actually condone his actions, cheer him on and are supportive of his close mindedness, his arrogance and his personal attacks on people.

    Plain and simply Andrew Berkshire is a grade A douche bag. I tried to delete my HIO profile but couldn’t. At any rate. This is my last post here.

    What’s even funnier is pudgy thinks he can bring it. Hilarious really.”

    …I find this sad because I have been coming to this site for a few years now …95 % of the time I just mind My own business, post a few inane, but hopefully interesting thoughts or memories on one of the select passions in My life, The Montreal Canadiens

    …the internet is wonderful in that way, where One can express Their voice, finally, on an interest that is significant …for You ‘youngins’ who were born in the internet-era, this is likely taken for granted …yet, for the older Ones, We had no choice but be satisfied with whatever the Red Fishers of the world dished-out, with little medium to express Our own feelings and thoughts on hockey or Our Habs

    …I enjoy coming here to read people like HardHabits, 24 Cups, Robert Rice (SF09), Bugs, Johnny Bellyful, and almost all the rest of You, …even Boone, when He is not blaspheming My People’s icons

    …I come for facts and insights, but even more I come for the crazy humor and camaraderie among ‘strangers’ that I don’t know a lick about, but somehow in Our unique journeys in life, We all have become Fans of the Montreal Canadiens

    …We come with Our egos, big and small, Our biases and prejudices, Our real-life experiences as former hockey players, or Others whose only memories are playing with an orange ball or cow turd in a driveway or frozen pond

    …some, their only experience of hockey is sitting in front of a TV and/or voraciously eating up every trite stat or blurb in a magazine or web-site

    …whatever ! …We all are here as Fans …just lookin’ for Our preferred ‘escape’ from the ‘Real World’

    …I must say, I have not ‘disliked’ anyOne here, except for Berkshire (The Cat)

    …I don’t dislike The Cat because of his position on things, his opinions, or that he has 0 experience playing hockey (which likely describes a fairly large percentage of the majority of Our Fans …in fact, I agree with him more times than I don’t

    …I was a member before Andy, so I was here when he arrived on the scene …at that time, he was even more obnoxious and rude than he is now …he has actually ‘toned it down’

    …My scientific calculator has not adequate digits to count the times HIO’s Berkshire Cat has called uncountable other commentators ‘an idiot’ or a variated term

    …there are quite a few people I get tempted to call an ‘idiot’, but I personally don’t because I don’t think it is right or fair to say that about anyOne I don’t know

    …Berkshire-types are a dime-a-dozen in the internet ether …I don’t know if is a parenting-issue (because most young kids and adults whom are members of HIO, are quite well-spoken) or The Cats inherent boorishness

    …whatever, the ‘reason’ is not important ! …I just want to say, if it’s the Berkshire Cat type of posters, and not the really amusing and free-thinking types like HardHabits, that are controlling ‘the asylum’ here, I likely also will find HIO a turbid place to hang-out

    …but, HardHabits, If Y’all are listening …I would bet there are more of Us than there are of ‘them’

    …hope You’re back soon !

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • The Dude says:

      Like you always do Christopher ,nicely put and very gentle.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Keep the fun alive!

    • PeterD says:

      Very well said.

    • Stev.R says:

      Why do you put an ellipses at the beginning of your paragraphs? I’ve seen others on this site do that (maybe it was always you), and its so hard to read. I usually skip those comments. Is it a conscious decision, or is there a glitch in the matrix?

    • HabFab says:

      Chris, hope you got to read mine before it was deleted. LOL

    • Oh Chris, let’s stop pretending you have an ounce of class while you insult my parents.

      Shall we relive the first memorable exchange of words between us? Back then your pal The Dude was called Xtrahabsfan, and my avatar was the tattoo across the top of my back. The back of a man’s shoulders offended the two of you so much that you spent a night saying “this ain’t a gay site faggit [sic]” and demanding I change my avatar as it offended your delicate sensibilities.

      I remember this night well because I was emailed by a mod that night, asking if I wanted the comments taken down. But I responded that they should keep them up so everyone could see how big of homophobic scumbags you and Stephen are.

      The next time I took you to task was over sexually harassing several female posters who dared to use pictures of themselves as their avatar, and were met with “show your tits” or “take off your shirt”. Many of these women have either stopped posting or abandoned the site, and there’s not much surprise in that.

      After several heated exchanges however, you and I came to an agreement that in order to avoid stupidity, we would ignore each other. You couldn’t do it though. I ignored you for a good year, but you were still obsessed with insulting me at every turn, but never in a reply to me, always generally so it would go to the top of the page. It’s a tad cowardly.

      Here’s an example:

      “Habitant in Surrey
      July 21, 2011 1:09 am at 1:09 am

      …did I read right today ??? …ANDREW BERKSHIRE, ESQ., is a contributing writer for eyesontheprize.com ???
      …tell Me, dat ain’t true …plueeeeze !!!
      …it’s been awhile I visited EOTP since Robert L went on to ‘udder tings’
      …cripes, it appears EOTP’s credibility is quickly goin’ downhill since Robert left, if Andy is involved”

      Truth of the matter Chris, is that you shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses. Or maybe parenting is better now than it was in the 1930’s.

      http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

      • The Dude says:

        Wow Andrew…you are gone buddy and get help! You make sh!t up that much in your life you don’t have one or what? Now I feel sorry for you.And for your information I’ve always thought of you as uni-sexual !

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …Andy, Andy, Andy ! …My dear Andy

        …I am not going to get into a back’n’forth with you like David and MJ …because We can be here all night, like You were with David last night, and I will spare other HIO readers a similar battle of attrition …but I will address the following:

        First, You are right about My dismay, despair and disappointment that Andy Berkshire had ANYTHING to do with Eyes On The Prize

        …Robert L.’s Eyes On The Prize, while He was the sole writer and editor, was a treasured and almost sanctified site for Me of priceless archives of Our Montreal Canadiens’ history, and Robert L’s maybe inelegant but passionate, loving dedication to bring it together

        …I worried after He, Robert, handed it off to Others so He could go on to other pursuits …those that replaced Him, changed EOTP’s complexion, but the new Guys do a decent job keeping it alive

        …as I wrote in My piece above, You were the one miscreant I was shocked and dismayed that would have anything to do with what I considered a beloved Habs’ site

        …THAT post was indeed Mine, and I would repost-it today if it had any relevance

        …Second, yes, absolutely, along with Your uber-abnoxious way of putting down other posters (not Myself, but others) when you joined HIO …and your backside with that egotistical “BERKSHIRE’ scrawled across your fat shoulders was repulsive (not only to Me), and I asked you several times ‘if you can put your shirt on ?’ …and, as is your general want, you used the ‘f’-word and the “I” word liberally

        …you say I said or used language, to quote yourself above: “this ain’t a gay site faggit [sic]”, “show your tits”, “take your shirt off”

        …I think anyOne that has known Me over these past few years will readily concur They have never heard Me express Myself in such a way, nor have They heard Me express any opinion on homosexuality either relating to yourself or anyOne else

        …this shows Me you are not only overbearingly rude Andy, but as well it seems We should recognize you have a bottomless capacity for falsehood

        …’something’ powerful is permeating your aura Andy …a change of your kitty-litter is urgently required

        Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
        http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Chorske says:

      Crocodile tears.

      Also: blaspheming My People’s icons?? What.

  43. RJB says:

    Over/under # of posts on the live blog thread tomorrow?

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  44. Tharsis says:

    EA sports ran their simulation and it predicts the Pens winning the cup. But that was with Crosby…I wonder if they did a simulation where he was out all season. They should plan on developing a concussion feature for 2013.

    ———————————-

    Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

    • shiram says:

      Players can get concussion in their games.
      The injuries are just not updated into the game.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Tharsis says:

        back when I used to play the injuries were always pretty random, are they more realistic now.

        Also can you be suspended?

        EDIT: everytime I look at you avatar I get the hugest craving for poutine. I have been in the US for the last 5 years now and i miss poutine soooooo much. I can’t even find any curd cheese to make my own. You would think the midwest would make some good curd…
        ———————————-

        Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

        • shiram says:

          I have not played the most recent game enough to give you a good idea, but the game is getting better with each itteration.
          Injuries do not feel really random, as the hits better executed.
          Don’t know about suspensions.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  45. HABitat4humanity says:

    Cole on the 3rd line will be temporary unless JM is a total idiot.

    Now that we have Betts hopefully we can kill off some of the stupid penalties that cost us last year.

    I still think we need Avery to add some toughness to our team. Habs are a small team with nobody other than Moen that can defend our top players. After all, we did have Laraque, Nilan Brashear, Kordic etc. I’m tired of seeing players like Malone bully our guys. Avery can score, fight, take top players off their game & MOST IMPORTANTLY get dirty goals in front of the net. habs need a guy that can take punishment and cause traffic in front of the net. Gionta was the best at it last year but we need another person that can do that.

    • durocher says:

      AK46 is on the top line so he can be showcased (half-kidding)

    • Mike D says:

      I second Ryan White.

      Problem with Avery is that our team prides itself on its chemistry and bond and that was achieved through acquiring/developing the players we did. Getting Avery would undo a lot of that I fear. At least that’s what his reputation is whether it’s accurate or not.

      No way PG bites on Avery.

      – Honestly yours

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      I don’t see what Laraque added to the team, was a disaster from start to finish.

      As for Avery — if JM couldn’t put up with SK74’s divaism, good Lord could you imagine Avery? I also don’t see him getting along with the guys in the room. A very blue-collar group in there. Imagine Gill trying to deal with him?

      Oh, and Avery is a complete tw*t.

    • Hali_Hab says:

      I cant believe that people seem to think Avery of all people is what this team needs. After 3 years of putting together a tight group of professionals in the habs dressing room, people think that adding that clown to the mix is a viable move!! it is one that would make me question ones sanity. And if any one took the time to look at his cap it , the proposal becomes even more absurd. As it’s some where between 3.5-4 mill. HAHAHAH! get a grip people.

      “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.”
      Guy Lafleur.

    • deuce6 says:

      Avery can’t fight and he is the biggest “turtler” in the sport of hockey…We don’t need that horse’s arse on this team..

      ——————

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

  46. caladin says:

    Depth! I’m lovin it! Too much talent to fit on our roster?
    Thank you PG!

  47. Mattyleg says:

    Yeah, I don’t get this “top six” concept either. Always sounded like the stupidest idea to me.
    Spread your talent across a few lines, and you’re harder to defend against. Just seems like common sense to me.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  48. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Steckel trade seems to have gotten a lot more play on TSN than the Betts pick up. Good to see nothing has changed there.

    Gives us a chance to prepare for the HNIC panel to breakdown the signings of Liles and Connolly for 29 minutes on the pregame show tomorrow

  49. Mike D says:

    So with the addition of Betts, who sits between Betts, Moen, Darche, and White? Or are we looking at a rotating group for our 4th line?

    – Honestly yours

    • shiram says:

      White is hurt for now, so it will be most likely be Moen / Betts / Darche

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Once again, when everyone is healthy Moen should be out. Betts is the center, White brings something different and Darche is offensively much better than Moen and easily works as hard as Travis who had like five decent games last season (with Eller and Kostitsyn interestingly enough).

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      Practice lines were Enqvist between Moen and Weber, so I’m guessing that is what’ll be (Betts subbing out Enqvist). Darche is with Cole and DD in practice.

    • jayvanni says:

      Hi I’m a long time reader and first time poster.

      I think that the acquisition of Betts gives us a 4th line of White-Betts-Moen. I See Darche filling in on the 3rd line in a more offensive role with Eller and Cole or Kostistyn. which would give us a bottom 6 with a lot of size and skill. I don’t see desharnais as a fit for this team unless he is going to take the place of Gionta or Cammalleri.

      Cammalleri-Plekanec-Kostistyn
      Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta
      Cole-Eller-Darche
      White-Betts-Moen

      Markov-Gorges
      Subban-Campoli
      Diaz/Yemelin-Gill

      Thats how I see the lineup when healthy, looks solid to me.

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        I’d hate to see DD off the team — he was an inspiration last year. And it seems like Martin is pretty sold on this idea of three line scoring and DD fills that better than Darche. I see Darche on the fourth line with White and Betts. Moen, the odd man out.

        Always good to have new posters though! Welcome aboard!

        • Mike D says:

          I can see why some are picking Moen as the odd man out, but keep in mind he’s also one of our top PK guys.

          Don’t get me wrong, I love the depth that adding all these guys gives us, but I worry about some players being upset about losing their spot or consistent ice time.

          – Honestly yours

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            I do like Moen and he is a solid PK guy — but who do you take out then? For me, I think it’s more of an issue of liking Darche more. Someone has to be out — although with the way this team seems to get injured, who knows? Maybe Moen will be on our top line for a spell again…..

      • Mike D says:

        Welcome Jay!

        – Honestly yours

      • Malreg says:

        What about Desharnais?

      • TOEmastro says:

        Welcome to our outspoken minority! Looks good as a line-up but I would tweak the D a bit and switch Campoli for Gil. P.K. needs his boss-man.

        Olé, olé, olé oleé

    • Mats Naslund says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a hockey season in which only the proper number of players to fill a game roster were needed to complete a season. No problem here.

  50. JF says:

    Just came in and heard about Betts. I’m thrilled. He has size and toughness, can win faceoffs, and is good on the penalty kill. Plus we didn’t give up a draft pick for him. Until today our fourth line was a serious concern, especially with White injured, but the addition of Betts strengthens it immeasurably and adds some good depth.

    Speaking of which, this team has far more depth than any Habs team in recent years, and I think Gauthier has done a great job with this kind of signing. Dominic Moore two years ago, Jeff Halpern last year, and now Blair Betts. The Habs used to overpay for fourth-line centres or settle for someone who was ineffective. The fourth line is important, especially in the playoffs where depth is key, and ours is looking pretty good.

    • LafleurFan says:

      Dominic Moore (a very good player), cost the team a 2nd round pick (reasonable); but the was allowed to walk away as an UFA (regrettable).

      LafleurFan

      • JF says:

        True enough, and I also regretted it. But he’s getting a lot more from Tampa than we could have given him. The same is true of Wiz, who also cost a second-rounder. Nevertheless, I think Gauthier has done a good job, and this year has managed to acquire a lot more depth, both offensively and defensively, than we’ve had in quite a few years. And we still have nearly $2 million in cap space.

        • LafleurFan says:

          Agreed. M. Gauthier is doing a good job, although this feeling while held by many informed CH fans, is seldom expressed by us. Who knew about Diaz, Desharnais, Darche, Spacek, Gill, Metropolit, Betts, and others before they sprung up on the team’s roster?


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