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. HabinBurlington says:

    How long will it take Betts to read the full complete JM manual entitled “The System”, worried he won’t be past the intro by game time tomorrow.

    • savethepuck says:

      Think it’s probably easier to learn by a defensive minded player

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

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Bob Dylan reportedly rumoured for nomination of a Nobel Prize for Literature
    …hear, hear !

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

  3. durocher says:

    Great pick-up — Betts is a consummate team player and has much-needed size. Moen-Betts-White is a solid fourth line.

  4. Danno says:

    The addition of Betts makes the gelling process complete

    ________________________________________

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

  5. Gerry H says:

    The panic about Cole potentiall playing 3rd line is hilarious. Has this team really been that committed to specific line formations at any time in the last half decade? Are people really shocked that there might some experimentation going on?

    The Habs have clearly indicated that they’re aiming for a Top 9 approach. I have little doubt that once Eller returns, he’s likely to be playing with AK and DD, hence this would be the time to try Cole in a different situation (yes, perhaps also to help him adapt to JM’s defensive system – and why not?). He’s not going to be playing Cole 10-12 minutes a game. The man is not a retard.

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      Martin is pretty close to your last sentence!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree Gerry, the beauty is we have depth. Different player, but look at Pittsburgh when Crosby and Malkin healthy Staal played third line. Most teams would love to have Staal as 2nd line. That is benefit of depth. We haven’t had this in years.

      • habsnyc says:

        you don’t sign two players to your roster with a week to go before the season starts because you have depth. you do it because you have no depth.

        Signing a guy who managed 60 points once in 10 years does not mean you have depth at the top six. It means you have low standards.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      your first paragraph I completely agree with. Lots of lolzz

  6. Gerry H says:

    I don’t think I’d call Betts a plan B signing. Gauthier has a history of trying to avoid overpaying during the free agent frenzy and picking up bargains via wavers or UFA signings. Halpern was an example.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      I agree. We all knew PG wanted a solid faceoff man for the fourth line. Speculation about Enqvist filling that spot came from mostly outside the organization, although I’m sure the opportunity was there for him (it is a training camp afterall).

      I think PG saw a player that filled a need and he was cheap and took him. I like the move.

      White – Betts – Darche

      I’ll take that as a fourth. They can do a bit of everything — pop in the odd goal (Darche), handle their own end (Betts) and play energy shifts (White)

    • habsnyc says:

      Gauthier has a responsibility to the organization to stock it with enough prospects that the team does not find itself two players short a week before the season starts.

      Plan A is draft players good enough to be in the NHL. Plan B is sign the guys left over a week before the season begins. It is pathetic when a team cannot promote a 12th forward or 6th defenseman from their minor league.

  7. DEANDALLEY says:

    Note to Martin:

    Try letting the players use thier speed & let the D & Price handle the rest!

    • G-Man says:

      Note to DeanDalley: next time the Habs play maybe you should actually watch.

      • DEANDALLEY says:

        I haven’t missed a game in 4 yrs OK.

        I seem to remember a Habs Coach who brought Ryder down from a 30 goal scorer to a 15 goal scorer.

        • Tharsis says:

          Ryder had 27, 18 and 18 goals with bruins the last three years…is that JM’s fault as well?

          It seems to me that Ryder is not the best example to use.

          ———————————-

          Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

          • DEANDALLEY says:

            Was I talkin about Boston?

          • Tharsis says:

            lol

            No, but I was… let me break down my point for you. I was showing you examples of when his production dropped by half from one year to the next in Boston, which can be used to imply that perhaps his drop in production may not be due to the coaching but more related to his inconsistencies on the ice.

            Unless you think that the habs’ coaching did irreparable damage to his psyche which has carried over to Boston and now to dallas.

            ———————————-

            Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

        • G-Man says:

          I seem to remember a floater that only wanted to play when he felt like it and not backcheck ever. Could it be that same Ryder who was so good with Boston they let him sign with the Stars?

      • ed lopaz says:

        under the “great” Jacques Martin, the Habs are 30th and 26th overall in 5 on 5 scoring.

        Gauthier has given Martin enough scoring power this season, assuming Max stays healthy.

        note to Martin: it is time to let the players use their speed and let the D and Price handle the rest!!

        agree 100% with DeanDalley.

        And I will go 1 step further.

        Martin will begin to feel some serious heat from upstairs if this group of Habs does not score goals.

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

        • dhenry1234 says:

          If habs make the playoffs, and have an at least decent post season then I highly doubt that there will be serious heat from upstairs regardless of how many goals they score.

          In my opinion, I’d have to say that JM plays a defensive style of smart hockey. Just as described in your sig. Not a lot of players can adjust to this style of game play. (ovechkin last year when bald fattie decided to play a more defensive style). For a more offensive minded game plan we would probably have to give up some aspects of that “smart” hockey that you describe.

          my $0.02

  8. Interesting stat: Over the last 4 years Blair Betts has the 2nd lowest goals against average on the penalty kill (among player who’ve played at least 500 minutes). You know who has the lowest? Our own Tomas Plekanec.

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  9. Maksimir says:

    Pierre McGuire just tweeted: Tyler Bozak, Carl Gunnarsson and Nazem Kadri for Jason Spezza.

  10. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Looks AK46 on the powerplay over Cole too. Have to admit I’m awfully surprised. Apparently Martin says he wants Cole to focus more on his defensive play. But doesn’t that then imply that he’s rewarding AK46 for his….defensive….play?

    • avatar_58 says:

      Def….DEFENSIVE??

      So what we saw in the preaseason was pointless? He’s a power forward….not a plek clone

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Or does JM recognize AK had some ruffled feathers over last year and is pumping AK’s tires, hopefully knowing full well Cole isn’t going to pout about it.

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        That doesn’t really seem like JM’s style though, does it? Not that I’m one of his detractors — if anything I’m rather ambivalent toward him. Just doesn’t seem like something he does.

        I must admit I find this curious; that said, he did talk early on in the preseason about the importance of having three scoring lines. Perhaps Cole is being put on the third to adjust to the Habs and as a band-aid until Eller comes back (read: compensating for Darche).

        AK46-Eller-DD is a line that can score more regularly than AK46-DD-Darche, right?

        So what you lose on your first line you gain on your third. Not a startegy I agree with, but the only one I can think of. I’m just worried that Cole doesn’t have a great start (playing on the third line afterall) and then the pressure rains down — from himself and us.

        We shall see…..at least we get to warm up against an AHL team tomorrow :)

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I agree doesn’t seem like his style, but we don’t really know what his style is, he is so tight lipped. I am spit balling the idea.

          I agree, I would like to think JM has talked with Cole, hate to see him not get off to a good start, but DD is a creative little centreman who may prove good with COle.

    • J_P says:

      I dont know how many more reasons JM could give me to dislike him as a coach.

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      AND one wonders why the Habs can’t score goals. Martin wants every freakin player to play defensive!

      Why can’t Martin get injured & be out for the season!

    • dhenry1234 says:

      What’s your source for hearing that Martin said that?

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        It’s in the article posted above — “Which line for Cole?”

        It’s not a direct quote, but what the writer says is Martin’s rationale. Take for what it’s worth, I guess. But it definitely seems to be the consensus that Cole will be on the third line.

        • dhenry1234 says:

          From what I’ve heard from JM’s interviews that are usually posted is that no lines are set in stone for this season. He sees 3 offensive lines and it seems quite possible that we’ll see a lot of line altering considering he has so many options to chose from.

          I would bet money that not too far in the future we’ll see Cole with Gomer and Gio, and cole with plex and Cammy. And when Larry comes back I bet we’ll see AK Eller and DD again which would probably put Cole back with cammy and plex

          • Ghosts of the Forum says:

            Definitely agree, don’t see this as a long-term thing. And when Eller returns that will balance out that line. But I’d still rather see Cole on the Cammy/Pleks line to start the game. Want to see the new piece on display, right??

          • dhenry1234 says:

            Yeah Ghosts I agree I’d rather see Cole with plex and cammy too but Martin does what he does. If there’s no success he’ll switch it up.

        • Chrisadiens says:

          Don’t you mean…..
          deerrrrrrrrrrrp?

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

          • dhenry1234 says:

            Only if i’m talking to people with tears in their eyes lmao

          • Chrisadiens says:

            Oh, wasn’t aware of said tears.

            Rob Schnieder is…..a CARROT

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

          • dhenry1234 says:

            lmfao Chris
            Rob Shneider twerp twin diddley derp di derrp! Rated PG 13
            It’s official, you’re a cool cat bro lmao

    • J_P says:

      We committed over 20 million to Eric Cole, and I imagine we didnt commit that kind of money to him to play on the third line, and not play on the powerplay. If this is what I see tomorrow night, JM needs to get his head out of his posterior.

      • dhenry1234 says:

        Oh cool, what part of habs management are you involved in?
        lmao I’m just kidding I know us fans are part of the team too
        Try not to think of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lines. Just think of 3 scoring lines.
        JM has a ton of options for the powerplay so in this long 82 game season we’ll see Cole on the PP i guarantee it. And when eller comes back I bet we’ll see cole with plex and cammy (is that first or second line?)

        • J_P says:

          HEy, the money theyre paying Eric cole with comes from the games I attend, the TV advertising from games that I watch, and the merchandise that I buy lol

          I dont mind cole on the third at all, and I agree its not the line number, but the minutes of ice time that really count. I think DD, Darche and cole could make an amazing third line.

          I just think it sends the wrong message to someone you just acquired, because at the end of the day, the third line is the third line. If you limit his powerplay time on top of it, this relationship is doomed to fail before it even starts.

          Cole is the new guy and he was brought in to play top 6 minutes (at least I hope thats the case considering what hes being paid), and AK is the guy who has to prove himself.

          anyways, well find out tomorrow what the real case is.

    • mjames says:

      You post as well as those that responded to it if infers that Cole deserved the role over AK. Exactly why is that? I am a Cole and AK46 fan but I don’t Cole bowling us over with his play. If anything I would put Cole and AK 46 on the PP with Pleks..

      mjames

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        And take Cammy off it? Looks like Pleks is going to be on the point for the PP, or that’s what’s been happening in practice. With DD in the middle and AK and Cammy.

        To your point about Cole — yes, I feel that he does deserve it over AK46. He’s a proven scorer in the NHL that we just signed to a fairly expensive long-term deal. In my mind, that spot on the top line is his to lose.

        That said, I really don’t expect him to stay on the third line. I imagine this is a temporary thing until Eller comes back — or might not even last a game. Of course, if AK gets really hot as he did at times last season….who knows? But that’s an OK dilemma by me!

  11. timothy13 says:

    Yes! I am pumped for tomorrow’s HNIC opener against the Leafs, and no matter what the guess is for the Montreal Canadiens this season, it is all mere speculation. So with that in mind, GO HABS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Focus. Skate, PP, Steady between the pipes, check, be determined, play with grit but play above 500 hockey because the spring is 82 games away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!Wee!

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    So I just figured out where all these people are getting the “history of shoulder problems” information from. That was Eklund’s input on Montreal claiming Betts.

    Come on people, Eklund……75, 63, 81, 75, 82, 66 games played in the NHL the past 6 seasons.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I used to check out that site (purely for entertainment purposes only) until he tweeted something about Shanahan being way to harsh.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I went there to see what the Philly writers were saying about Betts and I saw Eklund mention the shoulder. He truly is the leader of Doucheville.

  13. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    All complaints, uncertainties, fears, optimism and pessimism aside….who’s bloody pumped for tomorrow?!!!?

  14. habsnyc says:

    Campoli and Betts were clearly plan B. Acquiring them this late implies that prospects underperformed in camp. Too many prospects and picks have been squandered on veterans who were not resigned. There is no depth.

    Gorges, Subban, Pacioretty and Price are the only players on this roster that are, to me, likely to be re-signed to long term contracts when their current deals expire. The rest of the team is too old or non core.

    I think this team has too much money and playing time invested in average players who have hit their ceiling. Without breaking that cycle, the team is destined to remain middle of the pack.

    • Chorske says:

      Totally agree that Campoli and Betts are Plan B players. For the record, so was Wiz last year. So was Moore a couple years ago. And they worked out OK for us.

      As for breaking the cycle you speak of, how would you propose to do that?

      • habsnyc says:

        To win, you need to seriously underpay players relative to their talent. The easy way to do that is to win with players who are still on their first or second contracts when they coming into their prime in talent, but prior to their prime earning years. The hard way to do it is to find players off the beaten path who can be had for less than their market value.

        The team needs to accumulate younger talent by trading their older talent. To do that successfully, they need to learn how to evaluate talent. That’s the trick.

        You don’t go from middle of the pack to contender by adding third and fourth line guys who are over age 30. You trade all your over age 28 players for a grab bag of young talent. If you are good at talent evaluation you become a contender. If you are bad at it, you stop making the playoffs.

        Wisniewski and Begin were placeholders. Begin was a cheap placeholder with a very low ceiling who should have been replaced with a prospect with a higher ceiling. Wisnewski was a more expensive placeholder who had no impact the team beyond his 43 regular season games. If the organization had depth, they would have made the playoffs and lost in the first round without him.

        In my mind both were short term fixes that good teams do not need. Acquiring low ceiling players is one of Montreal’s most common mistakes. It reflects a lazyness in player development when a coach would rather have an overpaid low ceiling free agent than an internally drafted prospect.

        • Chorske says:

          This is the moneyball argument, but narrowed down. I am leery of the argument in general because it completely ignores the value of veteran players and an established team core that provides guidance to the emerging younger players.

          Whenever I am in doubt, I consider the team that (Lord love ‘em) are arguably the best run franchise in recent history: the Red Wings. And their biggest strength has been talent evaluation, which would seem to support your idea. The Habs recently overhauled their scouting staff- do you think that this made them better, or worse at evaluating talent? For my part, I am impressed with the pro scouting (which was once awful) for digging up gems like Halpern and Moore.

          • habsnyc says:

            I edited my reply after you responded to it. Sorry about that. I added some stuff about not going after low ceiling players.

            I think Montreal’s pro scouting has been very poor. They have not added an important player through trade in many years. I hope it improves. Their amatuer scouts are pretty good. The disconnect is that they do not know how to develop their players. From what I read, many of the team prospects who failed in Montreal but flourished elsewhere did not understand what was expected of them in Montreal.

            Montreal is an average team. Their top six forwards, as a whole, are average top six forwards. The team should have players in the organization who can replace some of them at a fraction of the cost. But for some reason, those players cannot crack the roster and when they do, they rarely succeed. I think that is the fault of the GM and the AHL coaches.

            This is not a moneyball argument. Moneyball is about spending less to achieve the same. I am talking about spending the maxiumum to achieve more. Montreal spends to the cap to be in the middle of the pack. Moneyball would say you could do that with $10 million less. I am saying spend all the money but get to the top four in the league.

            Veteran Cup winners provide essential support roles to young star players. Recchi comes after Lucic and Bergeron. Madden comes after Toewes and Kane. Guerin comes after Crosby and Malkin.

            When a team is a contender they can fine tune by upgrading the last couple spots on their roster. It makes sense at that point to give up some young players for short term gain. But it does not make sense for an average team to give up assets for low ceiling players, especially when those players do not remain with the team. An average team gets better by upgrading their top five roster spots. Upgrading the bottom five spots is senseless churn. The team should have enough minor league depth to seemlessly upgrade the bottom of the roster when needed.

  15. veryhabby says:

    1.8M left on cap, but that’s for a 24 man roster….when/if all healthy one salary will be subtracted when sent down? Or do will the one way contracts of White/Weber still count (if let’s say they are the ones demoted).

    also why not put Markov on LTIR to save some cap space? Or will the whole MTL habs world explode if a move like that is done (lol). I say if he ain’t returning for another month then why not save the cap space?

  16. caladin says:

    @chorske
    Actually you can bank cap saving over the course of a season, so being $2mil under until the deadline let’s you add over $5mil in annual cap hit for the end of the season + playoffs. We’re in very good shape, cap wise.
    I’m also impressed with our depth at the moment. Outside of Price, Subban and Plekanics is there anyone on the team who’s role is really safe?

    • Cardiac says:

      Gionta, Cammy, Cole based on their contracts and fine play.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

    • Chorske says:

      Yes but see Berkshire’s post above about how the LTIR banking actually works (which I had forgotten). I’m assuming that’s what you meant?

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is a blog by Philly Blogger Bill Meltzer on Betts being waived. This was written prior to Montreal Claiming him.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Meltzer/Meltzers-Musings-10511/45/38597

    • Cardiac says:

      So in one breath Holmgren has nothing but nice things to say about his play and in the next he doesn’t think anyone will claim him?

      This guy has FUBARed his team in record time.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I posted further down, Holmgren is not even giving Schenn the chance to earn his bonus, he is saying game 1 into the NHL sorry kid you don’t deserve the chance to earn that bonus. I am no fan of Carter and Richards, but he had a verbal with them no trade before the no trade clause kicked in. Again i understand you have to do some things, but Holmgren apparantly is the same prick of human being that Clarke is and was.

  18. Tharsis says:

    I just shot a wadded ball of paper towel 40 feet into a 1 foot diameter garbage basket…and no one was there to see it…

    baaaahhhhhhhhh!!!

    Oh yeah and a great pick up by PG, he saw an opportunity and snatched it up. He is the tweek king, he is tweeking unbelievable.

    As someone mentioned below, they gave the shot to enqvist and promote from within but he was clearly not up to the task so they found someone to take that position. Good stuff.

    ———————————-

    Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

  19. diehardhab says:

    Pretty sure I led the bandwagon yesterday on the HI/O message boards to claim Betts.

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    My e-mail to Shannahan!
    @NHLShanahan,
    Brendon, I have loved you being in our game since you were in junior, you always gave it your all. You have taken on the biggest job for the safety of players in this era in the game. 5year old kids and up are putting their brains and their lives in your hands, and I am so proud of you for doing so.

    But if we are going to save bodies and lives by getting contact to head out of our game, then even a one game at minimum for the Campoli hit, would have at the very least sent a message. You dropped the ball here my friend and your credibility has been very badly shaken. Please remember, we have to get it out of the game now. Moms are going to continue to stop putting their 5 year olds in the game.

    Yours in our game,
    Ian Cobb

    • shiram says:

      Always like it when I see you do such thing Ian, really shows your passion, and your desire for a safer sports, so kudos to you!

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Bripro says:

      Hey Ian, This was posted on monday:

      Discussion as recorded by Gary Buttman’s picture frame wire tap in Shanahan’s office prior to handing down the Malone decision:

      (phone rings) Hello? ……speaking.
      (buzz buzz at other end)……oh say Stevie, howz it goin’?
      (buzz buzz) yeah I know. Your guy’s put me in a bind.
      (buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz )
      ….OK, I’ll take care of it, but you owe me.
      I’ve gotta go see daddy Campbell and ask for advice on this one.
      (buzz buzz ) yeah…..OK……OK……OK…yeah, no sweat, it’s taken care of. By the way, how are Lisa and the girls? (buzz buzz ).
      Yeah well tell them Uncle Shanny misses them too!
      ….yeah, see ya on the course.
      CIAO.

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        Shanny’s history with the Red Wings didn’t seem to have an effect on his suspension to Smith, so why would his friendship with Stevie Y? If you’re going to make up a conspiracy theory at least get more creative!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Uhhmm, you do realize Smith is like 7th or 8th dman for Detroit and Ryan Malone is Tampa’s 2nd Line Forward right?

        • Stev.R says:

          The history of Shanahan and Yzerman’s sexual rendevouz’s are very well documented. As is their highly publicized break up scandal. It’s safe to say Shanahan still has some feelings for Yzerman, and Yzerman, being the charming manipulator he’s always been, realized this and used it to his advantage.

        • Bripro says:

          Relax there Ghosts. It’s a spoof. Take it at face value.
          I’m not in the habit of being confrontational.
          Besides, if I had such a recording, it would have been made more public than on a hockey (war zone) blog site.

      • Cardiac says:

        Can I still call him Stevie Wonder?

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        – Jerry Maguire

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Keep it up, Ian. We are listening.

      As for Betts? 6′ 3″ – 210 :-) thank you. Good at face-offs, Penalty killing?

      Sounds just fine for the $.

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      Ian

      With due repect, Shanny won’t lose any sleep ovet that e-mail.

  21. DCos says:

    Not to nitpick (OK, maybe a little bit :-)), but given that it’s Adam Larsson for the Devils with the puck, perhaps the caption should read “New Canadien Blair Betts in action this pre-season vs. the New Jersey Devils.”
    Just a little QA…

    –Whining, sniveling, complaining, negative “fans” annoy me.–

  22. slychard says:

    Posting from an iPhone leaves you completely disconnected so I’m off. I’ll see y’all when I sit down at my laptop. Great pick up today but I’m curious how quickly he’ll fit in and if he’ll lace up for tomorrows game.

  23. dhenry1234 says:

    To all the people shedding tears over Martin putting Cole on the 3rd line

    Have you listened to any of these audio interviews where he explains why?
    deeeerrrrrpp

    You claim he hasn’t won anything…….. well that’s funny because what have you won as a coach in the NHL???
    deeeeerrrrrrrppp

    You all need some Lorreal kid’s shampoo. Why? Because it’s No More Tears!

  24. habpunk says:

    wonder if PG knows Betts has a history of shoulder separations.
    as usual hab scouts didn’t do their homework.
    why would you take an injury prone player?

  25. MikeMcLaren says:

    Outstanding depth move by Gauthier here. I think many of us were sad to see Halpern go as he definitely gave it his all, and could come up big in clutch situations. You know, like Glen Metropolit before him.

    However, at this point in both their respective careers I think that Blair Betts is a huge upgrade over Halpern. He brings some size, faceoff skill, and penalty killing prowess. Things the Canadiens needed. Sure, if he was a right-handed shot you could check off everything on the list of desirables, but this is pretty darned good at $700k.

    This role is, for lack of a better term, an interchangable part. Enqvist wasn’t going to cut it – good for them to look inside for a replacement first – opportunity knocked and Pierre answered the door.

    Like his mid-season acquisition of Wisniewski last season, Gauthier is proving quite adept and these little tinker type additions, and this could be one of his best yet.

    Halpern signed with Washington for $825k, we pick up Betts for $700k? I’ll take it. Happily.

    One more sleep! Can’t wait!

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  26. slychard says:

    @absolutely ; isn’t it awesome when the crowd singsalong louder at the Canadian anthem then the American anthem? Brings chills down to my bones everytime.

  27. Hab-Q says:

    Posted in the Globe & Mail today

    The Canadiens’ lineup:

    Forwards

    Brian Gionta-Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty

    Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Mike Cammalleri

    Mathieu Darche-David Desharnais-Erik Cole

    Travis Moen-Blair Betts-Yannick Weber

    Defence

    Hal Gill-P.K. Subban

    Chris Campoli-Josh Gorges

    Jaroslav Spacek-Raphael Diaz

    Goal

    Carey Price

    Peter Budaj

    interesting that AK and Cole have swappped lines.

    I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.

    ~Rodney Dangerfield

  28. kempie says:

    I like this one.

  29. HabsFan1111 says:

    First off, I like the Betts signing, he will fit in well with our relatively shallow bottom 6, PK and faceoff’s will thank him.

    Second, I have always struggled to understand the HUGE emphasis that seems to be put on height and weight stats for NHLers (for those slightly more sensitive: I am not accusing anyone of anything, just a general observation). Just cause someone’s an inch taller or 5 pounds heavier does not make them any tougher or more effective. I would bet money that many of those stats are grossly exaggerated and/or misleading anyway. Two examples come to mind:

    1) Wayne Simmonds: listed 6’2″ 183. In reality, 183 lbs on a 6’2″ frame is a skinny dude, however, he is probably tougher than everyone in our lineup.

    2) Pound for pound the toughest player in the NHL Brandon Prust: listed 5’11” 195. Throws hard checks and will fight just about anyone, miles tougher than anyone in our lineup.

    Personally, I would much rather guys like these in my lineup than simply saying “oh he’s six foot ___, two hundred ___, he’s a beast!”. Our lineup is lacking toughness, not height and/or weight ‘stats’ IMO.

    My 2 cents o the day.

  30. Hab-Q says:

    I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.

    ~Rodney Dangerfield

  31. slychard says:

    Not that I didn’t like their input mind you, just concerned about our manly appearances to the bruins trollers.

  32. since1988 says:

    Anyone think Weber could be traded?

    Sure he is young but once markov comes back he is basically our 9th D/ Last forward. I dont really see him moving ahead of Darche, White, Moen, Betts on the 4th line. I know depth is important for injuries.

    I just don’t understand the log jam at the 4th line. Also like the Betts move hopefully this will mean less Pleks on the PK keeping his offensive game fresh and gave up nothing.

    “I savour it every day, sometimes before practice I’m skating around and I’ll look at the logo on my jersey – I’m playing for the Canadiens!”
    – Mathieu Darche

    • Chrisadiens says:

      We could trade him to TOR for 3 1st RD picks. Burkie will think he’s getting S Weber.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Now your being silly Chris. Two 1sts and a 2nd would be fine you greedy bastard.

        • Chrisadiens says:

          You’re right…..Im sorry.

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

          • since1988 says:

            This is ideal. Then pair Weber with Komisarek as the top pairing and the leafs should have no issues making the playoffs

            “I savour it every day, sometimes before practice I’m skating around and I’ll look at the logo on my jersey – I’m playing for the Canadiens!”
            – Mathieu Darche

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting turn of events with Betts at centre instead of Enqvist. What I like most about this is that PG did something. At times I get the impression he isn’t really watching closely or paying attention (I know I am wrong, just impression) and then he make a little Tweak.

    This move could prove fruitful if indeed as preivous posters stated, he can help PK, can centre the fourth line with excellent defensive responsibility and perhaps most importantly will have JM’s trust with his veteran status.

    I like the tweak PG made, and I do like the fact it didn’t cost a draft choice. I guess now we know why he wanted 4Mill of capspace for the year, tweaking money.

    • RGM says:

      That’s the funny thing – Gauthier doesn’t snap up the first available person on waivers and people (not you specifically, just some in general) get apoplectic. They see Brian Burke add some 4th line tool and Ron Wilson comes on and says that he’ll be the 2nd line centre, and people blow a gasket wondering why Gauthier hasn’t made an equal move to stay in lockstep with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the lockout. I would suspect that people would be absolutely blown away if they only knew how much time & energy a GM and his staff spent doing theirjobs.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree RGM. I really liked BG as GM and was dissappointed when he stepped down, I understood why. When PG took over, I looked at him as a guy i new nothing about, and certainly didn’t look at as a guy I would have wanted BG to hire either. However, my respect for Gainey in handpicking made me realize i had to give him a chance. At times I just get the feeling his philosophy is different from what I wish it to be and I feel it is different from that of BG. But then end of day he goes and does a thoughtful move and suddenly I am back to quietly respecting the man.

        • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

          he did great in colorado

        • RGM says:

          I also liked Gainey in the role. Though he didn’t speak often, when he did his voice carried the authority that one would come to expect from a multiple time Stanley Cup winner and one of the toughest SOB’s to ever play the game. I had and continue to have an enormous amount of respect for him.

          Gauthier has that same quietude about him. Obviously he doesn’t have the “been there, done that” strength that Gainey had but he was well-groomed for the job and has done well in the enormous pressure-cooker that is Montreal. He made what would have to be possibly the most unpopular decision since Roy was traded when he made the move to send Halak to St. Louis and stand by Carey Price. Speaking as a Price fan, I was preparing for him to be the one traded and was having to figure out how that would affect my rather impressive if I do say so myself collection. LOL

          I would say that under the circumstances he’s faced, Gauthier has made more right moves than wrong ones.

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

  34. slychard says:

    Not to sound like a douche but… How hard do you think bruins’ trollers would laugh at us getting all wishy-washy over a few defecting posters who had their feelings hurt and couldn’t stand the heat. they would compare us to our team. Soft. Get over it y’all. Move on! Next!

  35. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …a comment from CBC’s thread on Leaf’s acquisition of David Steckel; “Traded to the Leafs …….. Dave Steckel finally gets penalized.” :)

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

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    I am really happy to see Cole on the 3rd line and Yemelin in the stands.

    Not because it’s a good hockey decision – it’s idiotic. But because it spells the end of Jacques Martin with the Habs.

    It makes Gauthier look really bad. Gauthier’s 2 major achievements this summer were signing Cole (for the first line) and convincing Yemelin (a regular on the Russian national team) to finally move to North America.

    After a few pre-season games Martin (never won anything in hockey in case you forgot) essentially dismisses both players. What he is saying to Gauthier is thanks but no thanks.

    The Habs are unsettled. They will start the season very poorly. And that will be all the excuse Gauthier needs to get rid of him.

    • Maksimir says:

      I don’t think PG wants to ditch JM .. besides I don’t think rushing Yemelin into regular rotation before he is ready is a good idea. ANd having 3 potent scoring lines is better than 2.

    • shiram says:

      Cole needs to be responsible on the D, apparently, and Yemelin was outplayed by another player PG got…
      Meh, JM will jostle the lines all season anyways.

      edit : also, I’d rather have Cole on the third than Moen on the first…

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Sal says:

      It may be, as pointed out elsewhere on this site, that Diaz has adjusted to the smaller ice surface faster than Yemelin, and, that once the gap narrows, Yemelin will fit right in. Time will tell. Believe me, I’m no fan of JM, for the same reason you mention, line juggling, but, for now, he’s the man.

      Sal from the Hammer

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Okay I’m confused, I thought those two were both oblivious fools who didn’t want to win anything and were colluding against the team, now you’re saying JM has become a rogue agent in their war to make the Canadiens a bad hockey team and is not following PG’s plan to make the team terrible?

      Opening night lineups do not determine everything, believe it or not.

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

      • Sal says:

        Serious, I respect your opinion, so bear with me on this.

        Not intending to saying PG/JM are “colluding against the team”. I don’t think it hurts to point out that, when JM unleashes the speed and skill of the Habs, as he does occasionally, against the Bruins, for example, they are too much for the Bruins to handle. Maybe he gets that, because he employs it to advantage most notably against the hated Bruins. Problem is, it’s not something that we as Hab fans get to see enough of, because his coaching style is more defense first orientated in general. Plus, I know when he coached Ottawa they were one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL during his years there. Suffice to say, he had a very talented team to deal with, which may have distorted stats to his advantage. It’s just that between JM’s defense first mentality, and, his constant line juggling, it is frustrating to see that the potential of the current Hab lineup, is being compromised. So, I wonder aloud, if a coach that unleashes the offensive potential of this team would have even MORE success? That’s all. JM has had a good run, better than I tought at the time of his hiring. In addition, I think he was the right guy under the circumstances. However, much has changed since then, and, I personally, would like to see more of the flashes of brilliance we see out of the Habs, when they are allowed to bring an offensive speed and skill game. They now have the guns needed to play that style, they just are not allowed to as often as some of us would like to see. I think that it’s that I’m in the age group that remembers the Habs of the 70’s, so I miss that run and gun game. Nuff said.

        Sal from the Hammer

    • HabinBurlington says:

      hmmm interesting take on it HF72. I have to give that perspective some thought. I will say that I think Game 1 line combinations will probably be much different by game 5. But you make a point I didn’t consider.

    • Chorske says:

      Gauthier’s 2 major achievements this summer were signing Cole (for the first line) and convincing Yemelin (a regular on the Russian national team) to finally move to North America.

      I think I agree with you about Cole, but not about Yemelin. IANANHLGM, but I’d bet he’d list his biggest achievements as Cole, Markov, Gorges. The Yemelin thing is more about finally determining whether the Habs might ever see a return on their investment in Yemelin (and by “investment” I mean “using a draft pick”).

      That said I am mystified by Cole on the 3rd line as well. Alls I can say is that ol’JM is known for his line Tweaking. I suspect that such Tweaking will occur during game 1.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If anybody should go it’s PG not JM.

    • J_P says:

      This is the best habs team, on paper, that ive seen in years. If we stumble out of the gate, I dont know how PG can afford not to replace JM. The only problem is, what other good coaches are out there?

    • RGM says:

      Love it. Team hasn’t played a single regular season shift and you’re condemning the move. Let’s at least give at one period. If the Cole line is -3 and Yemelin is throwing paper airplanes from the rafters, you may be on to something. Until then, it just sounds like more noise from the anti-Martin crowd.

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

    • Woodman91 says:

      That same 3rd line that Cole plays on scored twice against Tampa in the last presason game didn’t they?

  37. Future lines could look something like this?

    Cole-Pleks-Cammy
    Patch-Gomez-Gio
    DD-Eller-AK46
    Moen-Betts-Darche
    White

  38. Maksimir says:

    They don’t give players much time to adjust do they? In a little over 24 hours he has to grab his stuff, get to Toronto and play a game with a whole new team.

  39. secretdragonfly says:

    Welcome to the jungle, Blair.

  40. Sal says:

    WOW!! I always liked Betts. I never thought he would be available as a waiver, never, mind in a trade, etc. So. I wonder what the problem with him became? Is it a salary dump/cap situation, or, did he just become expendable? If it’s the latter, why? In any case, it’s a good move by PG, for a player who i always thought was hard to play against, and, apparently is great on the draws. It certainly makes for some interesting line possibilities, and, whose the odd man/men out? I still love the heart of a guy like Darch, but, Ryan White HAS to play this year, believe me, he is ready. The Habs depth level just took a dramatic leap for the better. Interested to hear everybody’s take on this one…Go Habs!!

    Sal from the Hammer

    • shiram says:

      Philly had Talbot to replace Betts.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Sal says:

        Philly looks formidable for sure. TSN says Braydon Schenn is starting in the AHL as a salary dump?

        Sal from the Hammer

        • CaptainGorges says:

          Getting betts was a huge steal in my opinion. Max talbot and the play of matt read was the reason for the flyers having waived betts. What a good, but obvious move by gauthier. Also, brayden got sent down to reduce the effect of his bonus against the salary cap. He’ll be recalled immediately. What happens with weber now?

        • RGM says:

          That is true. There’s a playing time bonus in his contract that says if he plays xx minutes in all 82 games he gets an extra $1.xxM bonus. So by sitting him out for one game they knock a bunch of money off the books. Cheap and scuzzy thing to do but hey, it’s the Flyers.

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Why give the kid that in his contract if you are not even going to give him the chance by shipping him out game 1. Looks like Holmgren is continuing the legacy of Prick GM’s in Philly. I never respected Richards, but the whole trading of those guys before the no trade kicked in, while giving verbal it wouldn’t happen, kinda dodgy.

        • J_P says:

          I read they’re sending him to the AHL just to avoid any chance of him attaining one of his bonus’. Apparently, in his deal if he plays 25 minutes a game for 82 he gets a HUGE salary bump (even though the odds of winning the lottery are better than that happening). Even though its unlikely to happen, I think the potential bonus has to be applied against the cap. By sending him down for a game, it will completely nullify the bonus, and it wont have to be put against the cap.

          It’s just what i read, im not 100% sure if its accurate.

    • Ali says:

      He has shoulder problems apparently. Hopefully doesn’t limit his effectiveness too much…

      Oh Captain my Captain…

  41. Mattyleg says:

    Quick word on this; it’s like walking into a bar when there’s been a fight the night before and your buddies are banned:
    Sorry to see HH gone. Differing opinions are always welcome, and he could take a joke.
    MJ, didn’t really know you.
    Bugs, where did it all go wrong? Didn’t see you get involved. Going to miss our repartee.

    As for the rest of yez, don’t let the small stuff get to you. People are and will be dumb. I’ve said some dumb things in my time too, but it all boils down to getting up and walking away. See, that’s the difference between the internet and a bar. You can leave your computer and take your drink with you.

    Don’t be a sh!t disturber, and don’t be easily disturbed.
    Then we can all have a laugh.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  42. Ali says:

    The last center we grabbed on waivers from the Flyers was Metro. Hopefully Betts works out as well as that move did.

  43. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’m probably no different than 80% of the HIO posters who quickly glanced across Blair Betts and saw he was 6’3 – good, 210 Lbs – good, 8 PIM – WUSS!

    However, I hear he’s a great penalty killer and good at faceoffs. I like the pickup! White-Betts-Moen actually makeup a pretty good 4th line!

    But it sure would be nice if by some miracle the Habs accidentally stumble across a player who can play the game and who’s also big, mean and would love to punch players from Boston in the face!

    • Sal says:

      Nicely said.

      Sal from the Hammer

    • J_P says:

      Dustin Brown, one of the most physical forwards in the NHL, has a pretty low PIM tally. Just because youre a clean player, doesn’t mean you arent physical.

      Trust me, Alexander Semin didn’t rack up over 70 PIMS last year plastering people on the boards. More hooking and tripping in an attempt to cover his defensive lapses.

      Anyways, im just pointing that out, I dont profess to knowing much about blair betts, Im just saying that lack of PIMs doesnt necessarily make the player wuss.

      • Woodman91 says:

        I agree, I never understood the big fuss about having players on your team with alot of PIM’s. Wouldn’t you rather be playing 5 on 5 or on the PP instead lol

  44. Chorske says:

    In other words the cushion doesn’t exist– unless one of the big money guys misses significant time on LTIR. The lack of cap space is fine at this stage of the season where the FA crop has long been picked clean… but it was kind of nice knowing that 4$M plus was there to make a big splash in February.

  45. Ali says:

    the 900k of capspace doesn’t account for the fact that Engqvist will be sent down (as per Renaud Lavoie’s twitter) so his caphit of 900k comes off, so almost 2 mill in capspace for the team.

    also, when everyones healthy who’s the odd man out? a third line of Cole/AK46 – Eller – DD and a 4th line centered by Betts leaves Weber, White, Moen and Darche fighting for two 4th line spots.

  46. J_P says:

    Amazing how many people are so focused on the 4th liners we could have had.

    I endured 5 minutes of Tony Marinaro going on and on about how the habs should have acquired Steckel, as if Steckel was the make it or break it player for the habs to win the cup, before i switched stations. I actually dont even know how this guy is still employed by the team 990. He used to be really good, but for the last year I find he just drones on about completely insignificant issues, plugs his buddies business’ all day, and has a serious, yet completely unwarranted, superiority complex.

    A) No point in focusing on players that were acquired by other teams and b) we’re talking about the 4TH LINE!

    This site desperately needs the season to start so people have something else to talk about.

    • Ali says:

      Its more that he’s a great faceoff guy, and that he can kill penalties to lessen the load on Pleks. And he’s 6’5. But Betts fills that role as well so it worked out, but between the two I would rather Steckel personally. No big difference I’d say.

      Oh Captain my Captain…

    • krob1000 says:

      The 4th line is important….depth is why the Bruins won the cup, when injuries happen (not if…but when) guys end up being moved up the depth chart and those supposedly meaningless 4th liners take on more responsibility…this usually ends up happening by seasons end after a long, gruelling shcedule, and in the playoffs…the two most important times. The Canucks healthy were better than the Bruins….the B’s had depth…the Canucks were beat up and had noone left……the 4th line matters more than one may think. With the cap, the way both ends of the ice are played, with top players often killing penalties due to the increased importance of special teams anymore,etc…the 4th line is not like it used to be….it is important…..the teams that manage the cap are able to have solid 4th lines.

  47. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Does anyone have any idea what our lineup is going to look like Thursday? I’m starting to have trouble tracking all these players…

    AK46-Pleks-Cammy
    Patch-Gomez-Gio
    Cole-DD-Darche
    Moen-Betts-Weber

    Gill-PK
    Gorges-Campoli
    Spacek – Diaz

    Is that an accurate prediction? Seems bizarred to have Cole on the third line, but I’m not even at the stage of evaluating things yet. Just trying to get it bloody straight in my head….

    • J_P says:

      I like it, looks like a pretty well rounded line-up to me!

      Thats a third line that can do serious damage. Shifty Playmaker in Desharnais, Gritty grinder in Darche, and speedy power forward in Eric Cole.

      Definitely looks good on paper.

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        I think I’d still rather see Cole up with Pleks and Cammy — at least to give him a shot. Once we’re injury free up front, my opinion is…

        Cole – Pleks – Cammy
        Patches – Gomez – Gio
        AK46 – Eller – DD
        White – Betts – Darche

        • shiram says:

          Apparently Cole is not good enough defensively to be top line yet.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • Sal says:

            Gotta say, I thought Cole was aquired to play with the smaller forwards on the first or second line, with Patches playing on the other line’s wing. Nice to have this dilema I guess, it a luxury Hab fans aren’t used to.

            Sal from the Hammer

          • shiram says:

            Yup, but I guess he has to adapt to the gameplan MTL uses.

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Ghosts of the Forum says:

        When (if?, don’t say it), Markov comes back I think they’re solid. I know there is a lot of backlash against Spacek, but I really think he was asked way too much last season. As a 5th or 6th dman, playing against 3rd and 4th lines, he’ll be very solid.

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Blair Betts ? …good work PG
    …more MEAT in Our sandwich !
    …Cole, Patches, AK (if We can wake Him up !), Yemelin (once He has adapted), Gill, Moen (now that He has others to back Him up), a possible more aggressive Eller
    …by Jove, I think Our Cake is ready to come out of the oven !

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

  49. MasterHab says:

    Engqvist is history now, but what happens to Darche? He’s not a top 6 guy so I’m not sure where he’s going to play.

    Eller-Desharnais-Kostitsyn
    White-Betts-Moen

    Darche???

    • Duke_Rauol says:

      Maybe White will be out longer than we think?

      ——————————————————————-
      We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

    • Wops says:

      White is not good to go for a while. Its a long season too. At this point, I also think Darche is better than White, and bigger too.

      Will need both of them all year. Blair betts will save energy for gomez/pleky on the long run.

      Blair Betts: 6’03 210
      Travis Moen: 6’02 215
      Mathieu Darche: 6’01 215
      Ryan White: 6’00 193

      Good size on the fourth line

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Betts is there for face offs and penalty kill. He is an upgrade from Halpern on the PK but I liked Halperns offensive instincts better.

        Either way this was a smart move by PG. Enqvist isn’t ready

  50. Habs Lover 1969 says:

    Great signing by the Habs in getting Betts.Moen seems to be ready to go.If we can get Markov,Eller and DD ready we should be in good shape.

  51. DearyLeary says:

    The nice thing about Betts is that he’s got extremely low PIM numbers. Big body, uses it well, good faceoffs. Probably an upgrade defensively on Halpern, and Cole easily takes over the scoring void left by Halpern.

    He’s cheap to boot. I’m happy with the acquisition.

  52. slychard says:

    @habsolutely ; when is that thang? I plan on going to habs- panthers game with a friend ( February ) it’s always nice to get off the island once in awhile.

  53. Blair Betts is 6′ 3″ and 210 lbs. Great pick up to ad to 4th line, PK and shot blocker.

    PG is putting the final touches to start the season. When this Habs team gets healthy, the Habs will be a force to reckon with. Scott Gomez has some company on who is going to score more goals this season. Who do you pick Gomez or Betts? Go Habs Go!!!

    Good to hear Ian your back posting on HI/O. A speedy recovery before the start of season is what the Doctor (Wife) ordered. Well Done my friend!! That’s the spirit!!Bring er on!! Get er Done!!

  54. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …for Stephen Rubin (The Dude) & Ian Cobb
    …what have I missed ? …what happened with David (HH) and Bugs ?

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

    • shiram says:

      Check last thread, HH makes his final post there, it’s the first few posts.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Duke_Rauol says:

      No more Bugs? ive always enjoyed reasding his posts, he will be missed.

      ——————————————————————-
      We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

    • Chorske says:

      Whats with the sudden nostalgia for Bugs? He hasn’t posted regularly on HIO for a donkey’s age. And his posts of late didn’t even relate to hockey. The result was general irritation on both sides.

      As for HH and MJ, alls I can say is that if you dish it out, you must be willing to take it. If you can’t take the heat, don’t dump gas on the fire and accuse others of being firebugs. It’s unfortunate they are leaving, but *shrug*. This site has survived far greater defections (Robert L, JT) and it is sad to see some great posters visit us less often (thinking of YOU, Mr Kerley). But posters come and go and it’s hard for me to get too excited about a couple of guys who are leaving the sandbox in a huff with their toys.

  55. slychard says:

    Hey Ian heard you had a scare last weekend…you ok? Next time you visit Key West come see me, watered down American beer’s on me!!!!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I am home on the mend Sylvain.

      With the markets going south and leaving me behind, it might be a long walk for that beer my friend. But one day for sure.

      I organized a Summit in Tampa two years ago, with a tailgate party before the game. We had Mtl. smoked meat!

  56. Mark C says:

    Great move to get Betts. Not only has he lead Philly forwards in 4 on 5 ice time the past two seasons, he also has been the least scored on forward both years. Betts average over a full minute more of sh ice time per game last year than Halpern. Good news for Tomas.

  57. huge_polar_bear says:

    Steckel for a 4th round pick or Betts for free…

    Who got the better 4th line centerman?

  58. avatar_58 says:

    There we go, no more Engqvist. I’m not sure about Betts but it’s not like Engqvist was really wowing me.

  59. Newf_Habster says:

    Blair Betts is a great acquisition by the Habs – A big centre can play physical game and excels in faceoff!

  60. Neudy says:

    The Habs also picked up Blair Betts off waivers today, as per RDS

  61. Cardiac says:

    Blair Betts… might as well be Fred Fuchs.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  62. awesomerino says:

    Is it weird that the one website staffed and run entirely by Canadiens’ beat writers is the only one that hasn’t announced the Betts signing? Not in the sense that it isn’t true, but more, shouldn’t they be the first to know?

  63. The Dude says:

    Wow ….the season hasn’t begun and this site has already lost Bugs,Hard Habits and MJ too a wannabe circle of Hockey writers who’s only problem is they know NOTHING BOUT THE GAME except for pie charts and insults .These 3 have been fantastic in their counter viewpoints and will always be remembers by me as fine fellows who really know the game of Hockey and their team the Montreal Canadiens. Not only are the Habs shrinking before my eye’s but so are the great posters on this site….shame!

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    SHOOT OUT TO HH AND OTHERS!

    HH, David—Take a deep breath, we are all emotional and passionate on here, about our sport, team and how we all think the winning style of play should be. One thing to remember is, you can never know, the state of a persons mind while they are in their own home posting on here.

    Please do not take things on here to personal my friend, people use HIO for many purposes, some while drinking, doing dope and who knows what crises in their life is occurring. Ignor the rude, loud and crude.

    Always remember, you win and you can not get two minuets when disciplined with no response.

    Get back in the saddle here with some of the HAB nut bars like myself and enjoy. And besides, you owe me a beer at Hurley’s Summit night!

    Ian

  65. shiram says:

    Went over to a Philly’s board, and while most agree Betts is on the decline, and might be an issue with past shoulder injury, they mostly all agree he is a great 4th line center, good faceoff, great PK player and shot blocker.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  66. JD_ says:

    Habs acquire Betts.

    Yemmy’ll be fine.

    But – but, damnit! – showin’ up at trainin’ camp with a wee l’il gut wasn’t helpful. This isn’t about specifics regardin’ physiology, or anythin’ of that ilk, it’s about the message he was sendin’.

    How hard would it have been to shed the weight durin’ the two weeks leadin’ up to camp? Really. How much effort would that have taken from a 25 year-old pro athlete?

    So much of what it takes to make it to the NHL resides in the head. How many talented guys never make it and how many middlin’ talents do?

    In my little world, that’s why the gut matters.

    Still, Yemmy’ll be fine. The kid’s never played an NHL game; kinda early to be throwin’ him under the bus. He’ll adapt and adjust, his mindset will get a Tweak™ or two, there’ll be the inevitable Allo-Police photo spread with him allegedly shootin’ up speedballs with a John Belushi-lookalike transvestite ho’, but, in the end, Yemmy’ll be fine.

    “To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.”

    Don’t know about you, but when I read that passage from In Flanders Fields and am filled with thoughts of duty and honour, two words always come to mind: Sean and Avery.

    The fact PG has not picked this spectaculational wonderment off the waiver wire is a complete mystery to me. Why, the long shadow of greatness he casts would handily eclipse that of the dilettantes and mere pretenders to the throne like Morenz and Beliveau, Lafleur and Roy.

    I’m just thinkin’ outside the box here: Could the Habs org not un-retire all those hardly worthwhile jerseys and entice Avery with the promise of #12345791012161819232933 festooned from elbow to elbow?

    Buh-bye Sean.

    Speakin’ of Roy, I read the Fisher article to see if he could help himself. Alas, no. See, in Red’s world, Roy deserves all the accolades he’s received, includin’ this most recent one, but is far too filthy to have had his #33 raised to the rafters. Fisher reminds us of this unhealthy fixation of his every year, year in and year out.

    Like clockwork.

    Oh, but Red does go out of his way to tell Roy he actually does like him, as if Patrick or anyone else really gives a flyin’ rat’s ass.

    Good thing Red Fisher isn’t the league’s head disciplinarian. His ditherin’ and triangulation would make Colin Campbell appear almost Gandhiesque by comparison.

    I took my son to Roy’s jersey retirement game. It was an epic moment. We both shed a tear.

    Time to wipe those Swifty Lazar specials clean, gain some focus and perspective, and get over it, Red.

    Game on, baby!

  67. 1010 says:

    Interesting to read the replies to the Globe and Mail article on the Malone HIT. Hab and non-Hab fans seem to unanimously agree that Shanahan dropped the ball….only the reasons why varied. So much for all the bias some of us have been accused of on this site.
    It reads more like a Hab homer site than this one does.
    Hmmmmmmm…………………….

    GO HABS…

    • J_P says:

      The only explanation for shanahan not giving a suspension is the Yzerman connection.

      I dont know, but when you’re trying to clean up the game, and trying to send a message, you figure that you would give at least one game for a play that you deem to have been an extremely tough decision.

  68. JasonM says:

    What this threads needs is more people repeating what the 10 previous posters just posted. So, to keep the streak going…

    Habs acquire Betts.

  69. Gerry H says:

    So I guess we won’t be seeing Ryan White any time soon…

  70. HFX-HabFan says:

    Betts is the Halpern/Metro for this year’s squad. A great fourth line centre who hustles all the time, blocks shots, kills penalties, and wins faceoffs. Now if only he were a right-handed shot…

  71. habpunk says:

    Habs get Betts off waivers.
    he won 50% of faceoff draws.
    wow! start the stanley cup parade!

  72. Chrisadiens says:

    That’s why you don’t trade a 4th rd pick for a 4th liner………….

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

  73. Mattyleg says:

    Any ‘Betts’ on how he’ll do??
    Eh? Eh?

    Jeezus, I’m on FIRE today!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—


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