A Happy Holidays episode of HI/O Show

Former Gazette sports columnist Michael Farber, who now works for Sports Illustrated and TSN, is the guest for our special Happy Holidays episode of the HI/O Show.

Farber joins Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan to look back on some memorable holiday hockey classics from the past, including the 1975 New Year’s Eve game between the Canadiens and the Soviet Central Red Army team. Was it really the greatest hockey game ever played?

The HI/O panel also talks about the 30th anniversary of Ken Dryden’s classic book, The Game, and Stubbs has a show-and-tell piece of memorabilia from Dryden’s playing days.

There’s also a discussion about the six outdoor games on the NHL schedule this season – including one in Los Angeles – and Stubbs and Farber recall the bone-chilling experience of covering the outdoor Heritage Classic games.

“I’m the indoor hockey writer at Sports Illustrated after that experience,” Farber says.

(Photo by Sterling Agres/HIO Show)

HI/O community finds special Christmas gift for child, montrealgazette.com


  1. Reflektor says:

    Unless you’re a Leaf fan, what value does a hack like Eklund offer? Worse than gawking at a car crash.

  2. DipsyDoodler says:

    By the way every time you visit hockeybuzz, Eklund earns some illegitimate money and somewhere a dream dies a litle.

  3. scarboro_habitant says:

    HAHAHAHA I guess people have already reads eklunds new post. was going to write something here about it but looks like some people beat me to it..what a joke he is lol

  4. Hobie Hansen says:

    In all seriousness, I don’t know much about this Eklund guy so can somebody fill me in? Is he a reporter for any reputable website or news publication, aside from hockeybuzz.com?

    Is he a blogger that sits at home in his basement with no real connection to the NHL like Andrew Berkshire?

    Has anything that Eklund, Engels or hockeybuzz.com said ever come true? Just curious?

    • Gerry H says:

      I have NEVER seen an Eklund prediction come true, unless it was a prediction first made by a range of more credible sources. He doesn’t even appear to have the reliability of a stopped clock.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Eklund is that rare thing: a complete fraud.

      He ranks his rumours according to the strength of the evidence, as follows:

      e1 : Some s**t I made up.
      e2 : Some s**t I made up.
      e3 : Some s**t I made up.
      e4 : Some s**t I made up.
      e5 : Something I read on tsn.ca

      • adamkennelly says:

        EXACTLY – completely made up crap.

        any one of us could do the same thing he does but it takes a special talent to be completely full of crap 100% of the time.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Unless a reporter is in the Canadiens locker room, on the phone/radio with the GM or others members of the Habs organization or has a crap load of inside sources (agents or assistant GMs) like some of the guys on the big TV networks do, STFU!!! ;-).

    • ProHabs says:

      LOL Berkshire, that guy never meet a mirror that he didn’t love.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Berkshire is argumentative but he discusses the Habs as a fan with a fairly balanced view, and his blog is alright.

      As far as having no connection to the NHL goes – are you suggesting that is anything other than a major plus?

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Like I said, if you’re not interviewing players, coaches, GMs or agents, you really have nothing to say. A REAL reporter asks questions to the people he’s writing articles on.

        If I want to know a player’s Corsi, Fenwick or cap hit I’ll go look it up myself.

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          So you have to interview chefs, farmers and marketers all the time if you want to write about food?

        • DipsyDoodler says:

          Berkshire isn’t making the types of statements that depend on inside sources, and isn’t claiming to be a reporter. He hosts a blog devoted to analysis and debate about the Montreal Canadiens.

          And where will you look up a player’s Corsi if not on an Internet website?

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            Completely agree with you. I also think that most interviews unfortunately are only a waste of time.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            What I’m saying is he provides zero information or insight. I can go to any website out there where a Corsi or Fenwick stat is posted are remove his complete garbage opinion from the equation. I’m no literary giant here but his hogwash is filled with so many typos and grammatical errors that it appears a child from the 6th grade wrote it.

    • desertman says:

      Eklund is all nonsense. No doubt the guy is in hockey but he spews garbage to get hits.

      Eric Engels is a CTV reporter and has access to the locker room. The guy knows what hes talking about.

  5. FlyAngler says:

    I hate to dampen anyone’s holiday spirit but thought that the commentariat would at least want to be aware that Eklund is stirring up quite a storm du merde (sic) with regard to the perception that Therrien does not like Pacioretty and P K as players…..


    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks (I think) for posting this. I know Ekland doesn’t have a very good reputation among most of us. Hopefully this us another one of his made up stories. But if its not I hope Bergevin steps in and “moves” the right one and their name is not Pax or PK.

      • FlyAngler says:

        I’m with you Habsfan. Not exactly the kind of thing that one wants to read two days after Christmas and all things considered, especially Max’s cap number, it makes absolutely no sense to move either him or P K unless someone makes the proverbial offer that you cannot refuse and we know that in reality GMs don’t make those kinds of offers, at least other teams GMs don’t.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Eddie says:

      Eklund does not seem very informed. First, Del Zotto does not fit on the Habs, neither for the coach who has a very short leash for offensive dmen, nor for the GM, who emphasizes character. Second, why would a offensive challenged team trade their best scorer and get a dman in return?

      At least if someone is going to make up crap, they should know something about the players and teams involved.

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      pretty funny how members on his own site take shots at him too lol.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      That’s hilarious, because it’s absolutely ridiculous.

  6. rhino514 says:

    It´s astonishing how rarely free agent signings pan out.
    Which free agent signings since let´s say 2005 have the habs actually gotten fair value? (what i mean by fair value is would the player have signed a contract of similar value on a given club if he wasn´t a free agent, based on the production after the signing; I realize almost all free agents are overpayed, so you can still name names if the player was just slightly overpayed, but filled the need he was signed to fill)
    No cheapies…must be minimum 1.5 million per year contract

    • Maritime Ronn says:


    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Sometimes it’s difficult to define “fair value” as several short and longer term considerations need to be looked at.

      First, a UFA signing cost zero assets to the team that signs the player.
      No draft choices or players go the other way.
      That becomes considerable if the player does not put the team in Cap trouble.

      Then to consider is the final outcome of that player.

      Take Mike Cammalleri as an example.
      The Habs signed him at 5 years/$30M.
      Overpayment? Perhaps, yet he did give Habs fans many thrills in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and playoffs, and earned his money.

      After that, things went south, yet what was/will be the net end result of that signing – then trade?
      The end “Value” of that UFA signing?

      The Habs acquired Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland (21 years old), and a 2nd Round pick that ended up being goalie Zack Fucale in the 2013 Draft. (the rights to goalie Kari Ramo went the other way)
      The Habs also saved $2.66M in Cap space.

      How Bourque-Holland-Fucale end up, or what further assets the Habs acquire for them, can be directly related to a UFA signing that cost the Habs nothing in terms of draft picks or prospects.

      • Bripro says:

        Hi Ron.
        I think the expectations of an UFA signing are for an immediate impact.
        Unfortunately, when the signing doesn’t reap dividends, it’s immediately viewed by some as a failure by the administration.
        Hindsight is 20/20 and there’s no question in my mind that they might regret a signing or two (e.g. Brière), but as you’ve so astutely pointed out, the long-term benefits can be many.

    • rhino514 says:

      I´d agree Prust and wasn´t Gill a free agent signing?
      I´d say Gionta gets a pass, not based on his on-ice production, but on the other intangibles he´s brought.
      pretty short list, huh?

  7. Bripro says:

    Good afternoon all.
    I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I know we did, and I believe that Jim’s little grandson, Mason did as well.
    It was very humbling to find Jim’s tribute in the Gazette, but to be brutally honest, the hunt for the Tonka was driven by my wife.
    “A mother’s child needs our help!”
    That gives you an idea of the type of person my wife is, and what her priorities are in life.
    It’s children first and foremost.
    Some of you on here are aware that we are raising our wonderful 4-year old grandson, Joel.
    He’s the beautiful face in my avatar.
    And if it weren’t for my wife, that little boy would be lost.
    In life, sacrifices must be made to achieve whatever goals we’re aiming for.
    For Lisa, it’s giving. Giving to the needy, giving to loved ones, and especially giving to the children of this world.
    The better you foster them, the better beings they will become.
    I’ve met many good and a few very good friends on this site.
    My wife used to laugh at me at first for spending time on this site.
    But Jim’s plight truly cemented her understanding of why I come on here.
    She deserves the credit for Jim’s and Mason’s Happy Christmas.
    I just hope that it will be remembered and noted when she reaches the pearly gates.
    Because if they base themselves on how much she beats her husband, she’ll probably end up in a much hotter place.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Congratulations to you and your wife, Bri.
      Outright caring and random acts of kindness and giving sometimes causes people to reflect and take a step back to consider what’s important.

      Jim’s story was one of those moments for several here, noted by the so very many and numerous comments posted under his wonderful and heartfelt post.
      A big BRAVO to you, and here’s hoping your caring actions and shared story above can become contagious.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Brian, you and Lisa are the best! Our families are now forever connected.

      The little guy won’t let his Mack Truck out of his sight.

      Love ya bud!

    • Caesar says:

      Good for you. I find a lot of talk about how Christmas is too commercial etc. but maybe we should just take what we want from this time of year and leave the rest.
      I will take your story and the many other great strories and leave the commercialism where it belongs.
      My personal motto is “You can’t take it back if you don’t put it out there”. Some good karma coming your way!!

    • Eddie says:

      Total respect for you and your wife Bripro.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Great job to you and your wife.

    • Cal says:

      Great story, Bri. Makes Christmas all the merrier during these tough times.

  8. Psycho29 says:

    Pittsburgh Penguins ‏@penguins 2m
    Dupuis going to have ACL knee surgery. May be out for rest of the season. Timetable unknown

  9. Hobie Hansen says:

    Marc Bergevin will be in a tough spot with all the contracts he’s got to fit under the cap next year. At the start of the season I wanted Markov gone! I was pissed at how terrible the defence looked in the playoffs last year and also figured Markov’s knee was done.

    He came out this year and proved me and many people wrong. he looks fantastic! He adores the City of Montreal and I’m quite sure he’s going to be resigned. Three years between five and six million per season. Another team might offer him four at a bit more money but he’ll turn it down, if it even gets to that point.

    The problem though, as we all know, is after Markov, Subban and Eller are signed, this team has to toughen up and get bigger! Bergevin desperately needs to go and and sign a couple rugged UFAs or make a deal.

    Bergevin is crazy if he doesn’t rid himself of Gionta and Diaz who are both free agents. Bouillon better not be resigned either. It’s very frustrating that we’re stuck with Briere for another season next year as well. If he can somehow clean up the mess I’ve just mentioned I’d be thrilled heading into next year. Otherwise signing Markov won’t really mean much.

    • commandant says:

      The Cap will be north of 71 million. We will have space.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I’ve only done some quick math, too lazy, but at first glance with the raises to Subban and Eller, I thought things would be pretty tight, even with the cap increase?

        • commandant says:

          Not really, once you take Gionta out thats $5 million saved as well.

          Gionta out = Subban’s Raise

          7+ million cap increase = Eller’s Raise + any Markov raise (small) + any Diaz Raise (small)… plus some left over.

          Murray and Bouillion out…. Tinordi and Pateryn in (more savings).

          You’ve got a little extra cash and could be more depending on how much over 7 million the cap increase is.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

          • Gerry H says:

            Yup. Cap Geek puts the Habs projected cap space next year at about $27MM. Even if you give Subban $8MM, Markov $6MM and Eller $4MM, that leaves about $9MM to replace Gionta, White, Parros and the bottom defensive pair. That basically allows for a Gionta replacement worth up to about $5MM.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            You’re absolute correct sir. I just went to Capgeek for the 1st time in ages and gave Markov the same salary, Subban $8 million and Eller the same contract as Desharnais and the roster size is 18 with $12.5 million in cap space :-).

            Thanks for the heads up Commandant!

          • DipsyDoodler says:

            And we can replace Parros with Trevor Gillies.

            Rumour is he is willing to play for free meat.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      No need to worry Hobie.

      Cap’s going up to over $70M next year.

      Montreal are projected to have … wait for it … $27M in cap space, needing to sign Marky, PK, Diaz, Eller and Ryan White.

      They would then need to add one D man to replace Bouillon/Murray (presumably a player from Hamilton), and two forwards to replace Gionta and Parros.

      We have zero cap concerns next year.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      If things get really tight, Briere can be bought out next summer.

      Instead of a $4M Cap Hit for 2014-15, the Habs would have 2 years in a row with a Cap Hit of $1,333,333.


    • Habfan17 says:

      I see some players promoted like Pateryn and or Tinordi. Perhaps even Nygren. I also think that Diaz and possibly Gorges will be moved. I think it will depend on what UFA’s are available in the off season.

      I agree, resign Markov but for 2 years at $5.5 million per if he will accept it. Then with Emelin, PK, and perhaps Murray, there is enough experience to bring in Tinordi, Nygren, and Pateryn. Then size is not such a factor and players would actually be on their natural sides
      Emelin, PK
      Markov, Nygren
      Tinordi, Pateryn, with Murray subbing in and helping mentor.

      Then in a season or 2, Beaulieu should be ready to move in and fill Markov’s spot. Not as good, but he is offensive minded.


  10. DipsyDoodler says:

    The Kaberle trade.

    Toronto got Joe Colborne (a bust) and a #1 pick from Boston.

    Burke traded up from Boston’s pick (plus their own second) to select Tyler Biggs (“We like his size”) who as you can see is perhaps the worst player on the Marlies this year:


    With the extra pick from Toronto (#39) Anaheim picked up one John Gibson, MVP at last year’s WJC. This is in addition to Boston’s number one pick which Anaheim used to pick a Swedish forward who is looking good to make the NHL.

    In addition, Boston still had Toronto’s first round pick that year (Kessel trade) which they used to select Dougie Hamilton.

    Good ol’ Brian Burke.

    And we complain about the Goat.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi dipsy
      Toronto actually received a 2nd round pick also from the Bruins that was conditional upon the Bruins reaching the Cup finals or Kaberle resigning.
      The condition was met when they won the Cup.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Right. A little diging shows that they got JM Liles for that pick – not a bad deal. He was better than Kaberle.

        Another fun fact about the 2011 draft. Toronto’s 2nd round pick ended up in Chicago, and they used it to pick rookie of the year candidate Brandon Saad.

        Maybe the Leafs are cursed.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          It’s fun when trying to follow a guy’s ‘tree’ and whats orgs. did what, as you show well.
          Take AK that was mentioned before.
          He now turns out to be Jacob de la Rose….

    • Habfan17 says:

      If a team were willing to give up 2 first rounders and a 2nd, I would move Markov. Then let Gionta walk or trade him at the deadline if there are teams interested.

      I like what Murray did in Ottawa when he moved Fischer and a couple of other players and retooled on the fly.

      When you add in the increase in the cap and probably letting Parros and Boullion go, there should be plenty of cap space.


    • dr. gesundheit says:

      Without going into a lot of details concerning all the moves both gauthier and Burke were involved in, I would still take Burke over Gauthier.

  11. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ shiram re Markov contract

    GM Bergevin is going to have to make a huge decision at trade deadline or just before.
    Tough job.

    Does he keep Markov and sign him semi-long, or does he move him? (Modified NTC)
    Then, how would that signing affect the overall Habs Cap situation moving forward along with stalling some prospects?

    Markov turned 35 last week.
    You just know Makov will be looking for at least 3X$6M.
    39 year old Sergei Gonchar signed a UFA contract last summer with Dallas for 2 years /$10M, and then 35 year old Marc Streit signed a 4 year/$21M deal with the Flyers.
    Where does Markov fit with those two?
    Also to consider is a larger Cap vs. last summer.

    Hard to know what Markov could fetch on the trade market, yet it would have to be very big.

    The last high profile Dman to be moved was Tomas Kaberle from the Leafs to the Bruins back in Feb. 2011 – and Kaberle even back then, could not tie Markov’s skate laces of today.

    The Leafs were able to acquire a 1st Round/16th overall pick in Joe Colborne that did not work out for the Leafs, and is not doing much better in Calgary now.
    The Leafs also landed another 1st Round pick and a 2nd Round pick.

    If the Habs decide to keep Markov, they need to sign him way before UFA time comes around – perhaps even before trade deadline, because there will be at least a few teams that will throw a boatload of money at him…and the Habs would lose him for nothing in return.

    • third generation haber says:


      further to this, will Markov even be playing by the time we become a contender??? I think we should focus on keeping, developing, and adding to our young core.

      j.p. murray

    • naweed235 says:

      as much as I love Markov, I don’t think it’s a good idea to sign him for more than 2 years, although I agree with you that there will be teams out there that will throw 4 year contracts at him with no hesitation. I think considering the fact that this team is realistically atleast 2 yrs away from legit contention for the cup, Markov’s potential return on the trade deadline might serve the Habs better in the long run

      • dr. gesundheit says:

        agree with Naweed…as great a player as Markov is (and despite the fact that he still likes playing with the habs)…anything beyond 2 years would be a mistake.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Re-sign Marky.



    will Andrei Markov be in the habs hall of fame?
    well he should be based on his numbers.

    – Markov has played the 24th most games in habs history, behind Bernard Geoffrion.

    – A. Markov is 10th place all time in games played by a defenceman

    – He is 4th place all time in Goals, (94) Assists, (325) and points by a defencman (419) (behind only Larry Robinson (197,686,883), Guy Lapointe (166,406,572) and Doug Harvey(76,371,447))
    – Hes also 4th in GW goals by a defenceman.

    – Hes only 6 goals away from 100 goals for 3rd best for a defenceman, tying Serge Savard.

    -Hes 3rd place all time in PP goals for a D with 51.( behind only Larry Robinson (65) and Guy Lapointe (57))

    Hes also tied with T. PLekanec for 30th all time in points, and sits alone at 20th place all time in assists in habs history.

    If he wasnt hurt and missed so many game due to his horrible leg injuries, he would of narrowed the gap even more.

    All the contract talks are about RFA defenceman P.K. SUbban, but lets not forget the other all-star defence men on our team, Andrei Markov. I really hope the habs re-sign him soon, They cant afford to loose a player with his experience , perseverance, and dedication to hockey our team and our city, bill masteron? what do you guys think.

  13. commandant says:

    Reway with a goal and 3 assists in the blowout of Germany by Slovakia.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • third generation haber says:

      You obviously know your prospects, so tell me, in your opinion will this marsh-mellow ever make it to the NHL?

      j.p. murray

      • commandant says:

        4th round pick

        Superb hands, great skating, incredible skill, but small.

        Is a long term project, we know he can score against kids his age, but how does he handle playing men in pro hockey. We will have to be patient and wait and see how he handles the AHL in 2015-16 and beyond.

        But we said the same things about Brendan Gallagher (though not every small skilled player ends up like Gallagher).

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Wednesday during the outdoor classic Team USA will announce their Sochi mens team.


  15. 24 Cups says:

    Anthony Mantha seems to be the flavour of the day right now. The only way that Montreal would have been able to draft him would be to give up one of their early 2nd round picks (assuming that would even be enough to get it done). That would have meant McCarron and Fucale or McCarron and de la Rose for Mantha.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Will the Winnipeg Jets make some big trades to shake things up? The natives are getting restless in Winnipeg according to this writer.


  17. DipsyDoodler says:

    Poll of the day.

    What plan do you hope management has been working on this week:

    1. Decide which Bulldog D-man to call up in order to improve our D.
    2. Find a way to get Danny Briere going.
    3. Figure out why prospects keep leaving the Bulldogs and fix the problem.
    4. Decide once and for all who Lars Eller will play with and leave that line intact going forward.
    5. Microbrews and real Southern style BBQ at the Bell Ctr.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Since I am not planning on attending another game in Montreal this season, I will pick Plans 1 through 4. I believe plan 2 is complete, as it is my understanding MB was seen purchasing a large cattle prod over the Christmas break.

    • JUST ME says:

      Leave the kids in Hamilton ! The need the ice time and as far as we know, nobody is burning the league. Call a few up here if and when The Bulldogs are eliminated or on replace an injured player reason only.

      I heard Luc Gelinas of RDS say about Briere that his problem is that he has no chair. It is so true. He does not really belong on any lines nor does he have a duo with someone that helps him produce. My only hope is that we signed him for his play in playoffs so…

      I would stop trying to find new combinations and leave all lines as they are and go for it.

    • commandant says:

      1) Pateryn is the most NHL ready (though he has the lowest upside). I play him over Murray, who hits, but is really a disaster out there.
      2 and 4) Bourque – Eller – Briere
      3) Lefebvre out…. Hired Guy Boucher who is looking for a job and would be groomed as Therrrien’s eventual successor.
      5) Will never happen.
      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Isn’t it sad that by far the easiest one (#5) is the most implausible? It’s also the one that would have me on stubhub right now bidding for tickets. Oh well.

    • Sotxhabsfan says:

      Without diminishing the complexities involved in number 5 (Texas, Kansas City, or North or South Carolina BBQ?), I think 1 and 3 are the ones that might be doable.

    • AssInTOheartInTheForum says:

      #5 might be a challenge with the Molson family as owners.

  18. Steeltown Hab says:

    I’d still take AK back on this team. He’d fit so well in the lineup.


    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin, Bournival, De La Rose – @J_Perez22

    • shiram says:

      He’d be cheaper than Brière and would probably score more than Bourque.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Maybe if his head was in the game sure. He had a few good seasons in Montreal but something knocked him off track and that is why he’s not playing in the NHL anymore.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am hopeful that the player development type people whom MB added like Scott Mellanby will help with the development of future players. I believe during the Gainey/PG era that many of our developing players perhaps could have used more “coaching” from a past player to help with the transition to the NHL. How many times during that era did we see the team trade away talented players in the name of “wasn’t working out” or was a problem in the room etc….

      I think AK may have been victim of that lack of player development.

      Edit: Martin Lapointe and Patrice Brisebois were added specifically for those roles, not Mellanby as I incorrectly posted, however, I am sure he helps in that regard.

    • frontenac1 says:

      AK liked the late night partying with the working girls. Nothing wrong with that,but not the night before a game! I realize they like to do that in Russia,but you can”t do that over here. It ruined his legs.

  19. Hobie Hansen says:

    So the family was scattered about this Christmas and we’re all getting together on the 1st of January for a little celebration and exchanging gifts! So I bit the bullet and worked all week, including 12hrs yesterday and Christmas day. Should be a nice check on the 15th of January ;-). I had no turkey, no sweets, 1 beer a day and hit the treadmill every morning.

    Why am I telling you this you ask? Because I’m jacked to finally have the day off tomorrow and first watch the Juniors and then the Canadiens tomorrow night! The Caesars will be going for the Junior game tomorrow morning and the beer will be flowing like Niagara Falls for the Habs game tomorrow night!

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas and GO HABS GO!!!!

  20. krob1000 says:

    reway with 2 assists so far

  21. DipsyDoodler says:

    Sumo mentions that he would like a discussion on the possibility of PK receiving (and signing) an offer sheet from one of the Alberta teams.

    (Let’s leave aside the fact that Brian Burke is on record as hating offer sheets, to the point where he paid more in draft picks for Phil Kessel via trade than he would have had to with an offer sheet.)

    PK’s proposed reason for taking the offer? Lower taxes in Alberta.

    I don’t think income tax or even lifestyle is a major factor in players’ free agency decision making.

    First, Alberta with the lowest income tax in North America (even lower than any US state) is not attracting any free agents. No one wants to play in Edmonton (Andrew Ferrence lol), and few people want to play for the Flames. The other states with very low income tax are Florida and Tennessee, and how many marquis free agents have the two teams signed, ever? Shea Weber wanted to leave Nashville for Philly, which has one of the highest tax rates in the US (roughly the same as Ontario).

    Minnesota and New York States also have Canadian level income tax rates and Minn signed the top two free agents of summer 2012, while New York has always been a preferred destination.

    California has the highest taxes of any American state (essentially Quebec level taxes), and I don’t see the three Cal teams struggling to keep their stars.

    Finally, Detroit is probably the worst place to live in North America (apologies if you live there but facts are facts), and yet their players are not clamoring to get out.

    Players know which teams are good to play for and which aren’t. They want first and foremost a chance to win stuff and second a good organization that treats its players well.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      PS: Recent tax increases in the US have somewhat levelled the playing field:


      Alberta has the lowest income tax rate in all of North America.

    • SUMO says:

      Good Morning Dips**t Doodler. I did not say PK would accept with a Alberta team simply because of the favourable taxes, I suggested that the Oilers and the Flames have quite a lot of excess $$ going into the offseason. (Maybe u should read it my previous post again. SLOWLY) Both teams have over us$10mill to spend, not including the increase in the cap. Both Burke and Lowe have a history of making offer sheets to RFAs so its not in the realm of possibility Burke makes an offer? So what do you think Burke wants for lunch today?

      I was hoping for a more current theme to the recent HIO show. Would rather hear the opinions Cowan or Stubbs, not really interested in what you have to say on the topic but do appreciate the effort you made trying to prove you’re such a big man to me and everyone else in here.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Not only does Burke not have a history of making offer sheets, he is solidly against them. Passionately against them. He got into a feud with Kevin Lowe as a result of the latter’s offer sheet to one of his (Burke’s) players.

        Burke has a long history of making offer sheets the same way I have a long history of enjoying Hollywood romantic comedies.

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    We often speak here about how we think the NHL reffing is the worst officiating in all of pro sports. Yesterday, during the Liverpool/Manchester City game, the Asst. Referee (linesman) blew an offside call which surely would have led to a goal by at least a full yard. Was a terrible call.

  23. Psycho29 says:

    Good Morning all…

    Well Patrick Roy’s son gets ejected from Spengler Cup game, goes ballistic….saw it on the news this morning (actually goes on longer than this clip)….I guess the apple really doesn’t fall from the tree…


  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Maritime Ronn!
    I am looking for your e-mail or phone # with your contact info my friend!

  25. habstrinifan says:

    Saw some remarks re Mantha for Beaulieu. I think the posters may have been joshing. If not, then you are way crazy guys. Mantha looks like a future franchise player even now. Beaulieu wont get you Mantha.

    In my observation, Mantha looks better than last year’s #1 pick did at the same stages of their career. And I like Reinhart. If Bealieu or Tinordi can get the pick which gets us Reinhart, I will do it.

    Just my opinion.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Mantha indeed looked great and is no doubt a talent. But interestingly, despite being the leading goalscorer in the Q, he was still questionable to make Team Canada as there is much questions about his work ethic and defensive play.

      I like the guy no doubt, but one World Championship game against Germany does not make him a superstar. Hopefully he proves the critics wrong and goes on to a great career, his Grandfather was a great Hab. Would be nice if he could be brought into the fold. 🙂

      • commandant says:

        One has to remember that Mantha is also considerably older than any other player in the 2013 draft. He missed the 2012 draft by a couple days.

        In this way its his 4th year of Junior (most players in his draft year are on their third) and he’ll be in the AHL next year.

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      I believe it was mentioned at draft time that Bergevin tried to trade up to take Mantha – or was that Samuel Morin in 11th?

      Interestingly Detroit (who picked Mantha) traded down in the 2013 draft. Detroit was picking 18th and they traded picks with San Jose in 20th position. (San Jose also gave them a 2nd.)

      San Jose traded up to get … wait for it … a Swiss defenceman by the name of Mirco Mueller.

    • Habfan17 says:

      It was me that suggested it. I respect your opinion, however, one game against one of the weaker entries does not make Mantha a Franchise player. Beaulieu is also a high end talent going through some growing pains. It does take defenceman a bit longer to develop so I think it is pretty fair. Detroit has a lot of talent up front and are hurting on defence.

      I did add Diaz or Gorges in a response to another poster. That may be too much given that we really don’t know how Mantha will turn out. He would be a welcome addition if he could be a solid 2nd line left wing, but we don’t know. Everyone thought Fogarty and Daigle were can’t miss franchise players. Even LeBlanc was supposed to be better by now!


  26. DipsyDoodler says:

    AK46 panned out before he didn’t pan out. In 2007-2009 he looked like he would turn out to be a very good player. What happened after that isn’t on Super Trevor.

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ ari

    You mention below that Timmins should have been fired in 2003 because of bad drafting, with Andrei Kostitsyn being your target.

    Several ways to look at that.
    First off, 2003 was Timmins 1st draft for the Habs.
    The other aspect of any organization we don’t know is how much of a say/influence does the Head of Amateur Scouting really have concerning the very top picks?
    Is he ever overruled by a GM that happened to fall in love with a certain player?

    As for the 2003 Timmins 1st draft, if you look way down the list in the 9th and final round of that year, Timmins had the 271st pick and chose a certain goalie from Slovakia named…Jaro Halak.
    That pick turned into Lars Eller.

    In that same draft, Timmins (The Habs) chose Ryan O’Byrne in the 3rd Round (79th) that eventually turned into Michael Bournival.

    As for the end result of AK, the Habs ended up with a 2nd round pick that turned into Jacob de la Rose who is playing for Team Sweden in the World Juniors.
    Too early to know how that will pan out.

    …and it wasn’t Timmins fault that Gainey traded away 1st Round pick Ryan McDonagh (12th overall) to the Rangers, or that Gainey traded away the 2008 Habs 1st pick and 2009 2nd pick for Alex Tanguay.

    Yes, Timmins had some bombs, yet look at his 2007 Draft:
    12th – Ryan McDonagh
    22nd – Max Pacioretty
    43rd – P.K. Subban

    Imagine for one moment what the Habs D corps looks like today if Gainey doesn’t do that Scott Gomez trade….(even Chris Higgins was part of that package)

    History of Habs Draft Picks:

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. I always enjoy the HIO shows. Most remind me of the old “Hot Stove” segment on Hockey Night in Canada. Just a bunch of guys talking about Hockey.

    Back to hockey with some interesting games tonight. Looking forward to seeing how our Habs play tomorrow after there Christmas break.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Jim, I guess we cheer for Ottawa tonight as they begin back to back games with Boston. Our Habs play 3 times in 4 nights after a nice 6 day break. Hopefully they aren’t too rusty and come out of the gate flying.

      I really hope the rest was good for Prust, his shoulder I believe really needed a break.

      Happy Holidays bud, sounds like your family had a special Christmas. So glad you shared the story of Mason’s favourite truck and how our good friend Brian saved Christmas.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Thanks bud. The little bugger was still playing with that truck last night at 9:00 pm. He won’t let the truck out of his sight. 🙂

        I’m worried about rust as well but like you said, the rest for Prust along with Bourque, Bournival and Patches who I still think are not 100% might be just what was needed.

      • JF says:

        I expect them to come out flat tomorrow and lose to Tampa, which I can live with provided they beat Florida on Sunday.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Good Morning HabinBurlington, Habfan10912 and Maritime Ronn and others. Getting in in thi conversation. I really like that HabinBurlington mentioned Prust.

        His shoulder may be injured. But I also hope that the coaches sit down with Prust and ‘refocus’ his game emphasizing; his importance to the team’s ability to put out a lineup which would have the elements of a great 3rd/4th line.

        Prust has enough hockey skills and enough room and ice presence and chemistry with the ‘entire’ team (check out the videos throughout HABS website) that he is needed to be viewed and used with ‘Gainey’ like importance on the team. And he needs to play that way. Prust can ‘push his weight around, monitor opponents’ bullies’ without all that fighting.

        What do you guys think about immediately filling the one hole which has opened up. I like Parros the person, but Parros the player is a failure I think.

        Time to do something strong to replace him witha ‘younger’ more durable and more useful player.

        Even if it means a combination trade. I think MB can improve the team with a player who replaces Parros and also a forward. I dont think he has the chips to land a real superstar forward, but he can get some help.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Hi Trin

          I always like to look at the Cup winners or those teams that have been close, and see how they handle their Bottom 6.

          One example is the LA Kings and Jordan Nolan.
          He is 6’3″-225, but he can play the game and can skate.

          He already has 5 goals playing a little over 9 minutes and he’s tough as nails.
          He also sticks up for his guys.
          Here is just 1 fight against one of the toughest guys in the NHL Fraser McLaren.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          That exact type of player you mention Trini would indeed be nice to get. Not sure if I see MB making a trade for such a player now during the season though, as it is much more expensive than in the off season. I suspect they will give Parros another kick at the can.

      • Mavid says:

        yikes Boston vs Ottawa..its a toss up

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  29. SUMO says:

    The latest instalment of the HIO show spends the first half of the segment on the 1975 Red Army Game and then Ken Dryden. So a game that happened nearly 40yrs ago and a goalie who hasn’t suited up for the Canadiens since the 70’s are the hot topic issues of the day? Is this show going to be focused on current Habs issues or an exercise in banality?

    If you read the +100 comments nearly half of them are about the World Juniors. The Habs have some prospects playing in the tournament yet not one of the panelist mentions any of them, or even Michael McCarron who failed to make Team USA. This would have been an excellent opportunity to discuss the work of Trevor Timmons……

    Faber goes on about the outdoor games but you can not segway him into Hockey Revenues or the new TV deals and what that all this means for the Salary Cap and the Hab’s upcoming UFAs & RFA’s? Because; all these Pacioretty rumours keep coming up, are they BS or does it have anything to do with Subban’s next RFA deal? Keep in mind, you have 2 guys in Alberta with a history of pursuing RFAs; Kevin Lowe (Dustin Penner) and Brian Burke (Phil Kessel) and according to Capgeek.com they’ll have some $$ to create carnage this off-season. Don’t readily discount Burke taking a serious run at PK, its his style to create a splash. Alberta also has lower income tax which translate to more $$ in his back pocket. (Yes, I do know PK is an RFA but can you truly get equal value if they lose him? Also if the Habs match, will they need to trade a player like Patches to sign PK because of the Briere blunder?)

    My opinions are my own. Some may agree, some may not. I appreciate the time and effort Stu & Stubbs put into this segment and will always watch the show because everyone at HIO knows; its hard to get good Habs-centric content anywhere. I only hope they realize with this platform and their informed guests, this show could be a real gold mine. This last show just left me wondering, isn’t there more relevant and interesting Habs topics to be covered?

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      You think a discussion about PK moving to Alberta because of the lower taxes is interesting, let alone relevant?

      And FYI Segway is the two wheeled transportation device.

      • SUMO says:

        Hello Dipsy Doodler,

        Nice to see someone else online. I wrote this in haste so didn’t have time to edit or really hash out my thoughts. My whole point is I like this platform and what Stu and Stubbs are trying to do, I wish they would spend more time on current topics because if you read the other comments in here, no one is discussing the show, mainly the World Juniors.

        And yes, I think discussing Subban’s upcoming contract is far more relevant than some incredibly stupid proposal to penalize weaker teams 1st rd draft choices for accepting revenue sharing; where as PK’s contract is definitely going to have a real impact the teams salary structure going forward (ie Eller & Markov), your idea has as much feasibility as another Mayoral term for Rob Ford. Whether Burke or Lowe make a run at him is not really the point, Subban’s has a lot of leverage on this negotiations, and unlike Markov, I doubt he will take a home team discount.

      • boing007 says:

        Are you familiar with Toyota’s IReal?

        Richard R

    • ari says:

      I am very surprise the love trevor timmins gets.He should have been fired long time ago (2003).Ignoring what the team needs the most,taking AK with his medical condition was unexplicable.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        Yeah, no other scout ever makes mistakes. We also would be much better without Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk or Gallagher, right?

        It´s not the job of a Head Scout to draft according to the needs of a team. He has to take the best talent available. It´s up to the GM to make the best of that and this is where the Habs have failed over the years.

      • Chris says:

        Andrei Kostitsyn was widely seen as a top-5 pick in the 2003 draft based on his skill level. What held him back were fears about a wonky back and an elilepsy-like condition. Montreal doctors looked at him and deemed that the condition could be treated with medications and the back wasn’t a concern.

        In a professional career spanning 8 years, Kostitsyn missed the grand total of 0 games with either of those conditions. So the HI/O meme of blaming Timmins and Gainey for choosing “defected goods” in the 2003 draft is just lazy.

        Kostitsyn didn’t pan out. It happens. There were always concerns about his defensive game (he couldn’t get into the line-up with Viktor Tikhonov’s Red Army team in the Russian elite league), but his offensive game was right there with any other player available in the draft.

        I think he was the victim of a few things. First and foremost, his big advantage coming out of the draft was his top speed and especially his acceleration. So Montreal, doing what they do best, promptly took that away from him by asking him to bulk up to 210-215 pounds. When he was drafted, he was 189 pounds, a very good weight for a player of his style. Throwing an extra 20-25 pounds robbed him of a little of that speed, and the results were predictable.

        What Montreal desperately needed in 2003 (and continue to need in 2013) was an elite goal scoring forward. The team had an anemic offence in those days, and while it is better now, it is still what prevents them from being a legitimate contender.

        Was it a mistake? Sure, in retrospect. But I will also add that a guy like Ryan Getzlaf or Ryan Kesler almost certainly wouldn’t have posted the numbers they did with the Montreal Canadiens because the Habs have not enjoyed the services of the Sedin brothers, Teemu Selanne or Corey Perry. Zach Parise would have been another “smurf” for Habs fans to lament.

        Apart from Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev, the Habs have tried to field a second tier team for the past decade in terms of offensive forwards. Kostitsyn was the kind of high risk, high reward pick you need to try once in a while if you are going to find that diamond in the rough. 26 teams passed over Corey Perry because of his attitude and lack of defensive game as an 18 year old. 26 teams regret that today.

        • Maritime Ronn says:


          It’s hard to really know why AK didn’t pan out.
          We are always told about the personal issues, yet how well was he mentored/taken care of off the ice/well coached?
          I believe he played under 5 different coaches.
          His stats weren’t awful. In his first 4 full years, he averaged 21 goals per year having missed 36 games in those 4 years.

        • boing007 says:

          Bring back AK47. Maybe he learned his lesson.

          Richard R

    • NDG BOY says:

      Burke traded for Kessel,if I were mb I would trade subban if we get a proven power forward and prospect and a 1st rounder these are the trades we must do. I would of traded for Seguin and a Boston prospect and a first rounder. Would u guys of made that trade?

      We are not as far as u think

      • JUST ME says:

        NDG BOY we traded away a guy that never played in the NHL Mcdonaugh and will hear about it for decades . Now you are suggesting we trade away a Norris trophy winner ? With all due respect are you nuts ?

        Seriously i fail to see the logic behind that idea ,it`s the same thing about those talking about Max Pac. You draft the guys,groom the guys,invest time and money in them and as soon as they reach their prime you will trade them away for value sake ? It makes no sense, as soon as they will be gone you will look for a player having the exact same qualities.

        I would never trade away a first round choice never. The Kessel deal remains to bring results for the Leafs not that it was a bad one. But seeing Seguin go even if he did not make it in Boston, i would have given him time and built around him as every team must do around a first round choice being taken in the first 3 picks.

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        “Would u guys of made that trade?”

        HAVE, IT`S HAVE, NOT OF.

        Now let me think about your question. How about no because I´m not an idiot?

        • NDG BOY says:

          I’m not an idiot? Is that a question my English teacher? Or a statement? The kings traded their youth Simmons and schenn and how did that work out for them? You have to have balls to make a trade especially when your team ducks like my beloved montreal Canadians that I followed for 40 years. You must explore all options is what I’m saying. Takes a team to win not one individuals and all the smurfs we have.

          We are not as far as u think

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            Simmonds and Schenn? Wow, a second line winger and a second or third line center. Subban is the best dman in the world…

            We need to get rid of Briere, Murray, Bouillon and possibly Desharnais to make this team stronger. As long as the first three are part of this team (which is laughable) I´m not interested in some weird trade scenarios involving Subban or Pacioretty.

          • Bob_Sacamano says:

            And Seguin, a prospect and a first rounder for Subban would make us a weaker team for at least the next three years. P.K. as a Bruin would kill us meanwhile. Seriously, what a ridiculous idea…

      • Habfan17 says:

        I believe that Burke made a big mistake making this trade. Sure Kessel puts up points, but 2 solid players would be more important to the leafs. They still aren’t very good. Some guys crap on Bergevin for not having turned around the Habs yet, it has been about 2 years. Look at the leafs after Burke’s tenure. What was it, 5 or 6 years?


        • NDG BOY says:

          Hey Bob scamano. The guys u wanna trade will get u nothing in return. Maybe a bag of pucks. U better be very patient to win the cup cause your formula doesn’t work,remember our so called great rookies that were to bring us the cup? Higgins,hossa,ribero,latendresse.the goof ball defenseman that bolted for Toronto as a free agent,oh ya my favorite Theodore. What happen with the untouchable?

          We are not as far as u think

    • Cal says:

      The Game, having reached its 30th anniversary, is a great hockey book written by a great Habs goalie so let’s disparage it, shall we?
      The New Year’s Eve game in ’75 is considered by some to be one of the best games ever. I disagree. This game was the coming out party for a great Habs dynasty, but that’s not here and now, right?
      Speculation about PK and Patches during the trade freeze is seemingly more relevant? Stubbs, Farber and Cowan don’t report on rumour. They report on facts.
      I agree they could have mentioned the World Juniors and the Habs prospects.

  30. CH Marshall says:

    Just watching the replay of CAN-GER game. Just picturing Mantha wearing CH and driving down the right wing with the puck and 6’5 frame. What’ll it take to pry him from the Red Wings? 1st rounder and a 24 pack of beer?

  31. sCOTT1243 says:

    Went to the Bulldogs vs Marlies today… I can tell you Beaulieu, Tinordi or Pateryn could make the Habs hands down.

    Beaulieu can skate and control the puck , reminds me when I saw Subbey years ago with the Bulldogs. Kid is good. We need Tinordi s size.

    Leblanc was invisible, Nittenan (not sure the spelling) was very good. Dietz dropped the gloves. Ellis played solid also and is a big boy.

    • commandant says:

      I thought Beaulieu had a poor game today. I liked Tinordi and Pateryn today.

      Beaulieu has been up and down this season, and today he seemed to make poor decisions with the puck and in his own end.

      I still think he’ll be a very good defenceman when he learns, just didnt like what i saw today.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Thank you for the report. I am glad that Nattinen is doing well. When they drafted him he was a big centre with a winning faceoff percentage around 64%, something the Habs really need. I wish Pateryn would get another call up and this time actually play.


    • The_Truth says:

      In my book, if you can’t be better than average in the AHL, you shouldn’t be in the NHL. Subban just completely dominated the AHL as a 20 year old and never looked back. Bealieu, Tinordi, Leblanc not so much. Barely average.

  32. commandant says:

    A look at some of the lesser hyped names on Team Canada as they try to end the Medal Drought

    A look at a division rival, the Leafs, and why they need to re-sign Dion Phaneuf.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  33. Mavid says:

    two for two..GO CANADA GO!!

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  34. HabFab says:

    Sweden beats Swiss 5-3 at the WJC. De la Rose with 2 assists and Collberg held scoreless.

  35. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs beat Marlies 2-1 in OT after out shooting them 40-19.

  36. Ian Cobb says:

    Did everyone read this great Christmas post?
    HIO is more than just a community, we are family!!
    HI/O community finds special Christmas gift for child, montrealgazette.com
    Today’s posting on Hockey Inside Out in the Montreal Gazette.

  37. Mavid says:

    could they possibly fit anymore ads on the players jerseys? I hope this never happens in the NHL

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Habilis says:

      It’s already begun. Many teams have ads on their pratice jerseys. Probably just a matter of time.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m on your side, I hate it like poison. But revenue is revenue. That being said, the NHL is obviously doing pretty well right now and doesn’t need to do it. But I could definitely see it being a sort of “ace up the sleeve” for Bettman or whatever master negotiator takes his place.

      If the league ever runs into financial trouble again, it could get ugly. Literally.

    • Buzz Lightbeer says:

      I’ve always thought the reason for the “no tuck” rule now is because in a few years they will slowly start to place some ads on jerseys.
      I sure hope not as well.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Spangle Cup? A parade ground of vulgarity. The Players with their Gaudie uniforms and The coaching staff with their horizontal striped shirts look like the were dressed by Walmart. It’s nauseating. And what’s up with the face washing and chirping after every second whistle? You would think grown men dressed like that would at least show some dignity and drop their mitts.

  38. CH Marshall says:

    Nice! Glen Metropolit playing in the Splenger Cup tourney

    Plus lovin’ the larger ice surface

  39. frontenac1 says:

    Wish they still made those Carter”s Little Liver Pills.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Headmaster has a big football game to watch today with Manchester City hosting Liverpool.

  41. ont fan says:

    After taking a poll in Russia, ” If we only win one gold medal which one. ” Hockey was picked overwhelmingly. Putin agreed

  42. DipsyDoodler says:

    The NHL revenue sharing agreement calls for the wealthiest teams (basically us, Toronto and the Rangers as the main contributors) to pay into a pool that is redistributed to the small market teams. In a good playoff year the Habs could contribute $20M to this pool.

    The money gets redistributed to the teams that have no fans: Nashville, Phoenix, Florida, Islanders etc …

    My proposal: if the sad sacks want to accept the revenue sharing they have to swap first round draft picks with the major funders.

    So if you draft top 5 take the talent OR the money, but not both.

    • Mavid says:

      I really like that idea..I think its shitty that we have to support teams that have no fans..we should get something out of it..

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Not a bad idea Dipsy, I also like the idea of every team who don’t make the playoffs have the identical chance at number 1 pick. In fact the entire order of teams not making the playoffs should be pulled out of a hat. Eliminate any concept of tanking being rewarded.

      • Chuck says:

        To further promote ‘non-tanking’, I’d like to see the lottery run in rounds, like this. Each round would be it’s own mini-lottery with each team in the round equally-weighted in the draw.

        Draft positions 1 through 8 go to the teams eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
        Next come the teams that didn’t make the playoffs.
        Next come the teams eliminated from the second round.
        Next come the teams eliminated from the third round.
        The winner of the Stanley Cup will always draft last.

        Anything is possible.

    • habcertain says:

      other revenues do make some of these teams profitable, maybe not to the level of the Habs, without sold out arenas. Without small market teams, you are basically left with the Yankees syndrome. Not interested in that, remember the Expos?

    • The_Truth says:

      The idea of revenue sharing is to keep the teams that don’t have as much revenue, competitive to pay players. If we then take their #1 pick the big teams will always be a step ahead and the small market teams will never have a chance at being a contender. It defeats the purpose of trying to have some sort of parity system in the league.

      It will be just like baseball, where you have your Yankees and Redsox and Dodgers and a whole bunch of teams who have little chance of ever competing. Good for the Habs, since they are one of the big boys, but very bad for the league as a whole.

      • Mavid says:

        good point

        Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        The difference with baseball is that baseball is America’s pastime. There are fans in small towns, but those teams are hampered by virtue of being in small towns. Taking a team away from KC or Milwaukee would hurt those towns. Taking hockey away from Phoenix would actually improve their municipal finances.

        Hockey is the 6th or 7th sport in most towns that have hockey teams, behind the three major pro sports and several college sports.

        The only reason there are teams in the South is that the NHL wants to increase the number of fans. But it isn’t working.

        As a Canadian hockey fan I don’t care how many people in Arizona or Tennessee watch hockey. Having teams there doesn’t do anything for me.

        And if there were 25% fewer teams all of those 4th liners would be doing something else.

        No one is paying to watch Travis Moen do his thing on ice.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        And just how many championships have the Yankees/RedSox and Dodgers won recently? Yah they have won a few but hardly dominating considering they don’t have a salary cap. The NHL has seen Tampa, Carolina, L.A., Anaheim etc win the CUP. This would be like MLB watching Tampa, Montreal, Seattle etc winning the cup in Baseball.

        The NHL has more than enough parity, and needs to stop rewarding poorly managed teams both financially and with draft help.

        • The_Truth says:

          That’s the point. Those hockey teams you mentioned can win because of the system in place. Take revenue sharing away and change the drafting sytem and they have little chance of existing, never mind winning.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Barack Bettman’s socialist redistributionist hockey?? Your idea makes sense. Finish low, draft high, entertain no one AND take the money, does not.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

  43. Habfan10912 says:

    I love McDavid. How do we get him?

    @Eddie. Dumba should wear #76.

    • The Oilers, Sabres, Panthers, and Flames are way ahead of us in that department. His draft year is 2015, and the above teams suck just that bad to have a chance to get him.

      TSN Olympic Goaltending Update

      1. Carey Price
      2. Mike Smith
      3. Martin Jones 😆
      4. J Bernier
      5. J Reimer
      6. B Holtby
      7. The Leafs third string goalie
      8. TSN’s producer’s assistant’s assistant.
      9. CBC’s Glen “I love Me” Heals Healy
      10. Whomever Don Cherry says (see #1)

      God Bless Us everyone……

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      Custom Sports Figures
      Summit Member

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Finish last and pray?

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk but … there is fighting in hockey.

    • Chris says:

      Zero chance. Whoever gets him (my money is on Calgary or Buffalo) instantly becomes the next Penguins.

      If Buffalo gets him, with all the other players they are going to draft, we’re sunk for a decade.

  44. Hoegaarden says:

    I wish Mantha was a Hab. His grand-father wore the CH proudly.

    • third generation haber says:

      I’m a glass half-empty guy and have been for a longtime.

      If it weren’t for our inflated regular season result last year, we could have drafted 5 spots earlier and gotten Mantha at 20th. Instead we got McCarron; (happy to have him, but….) he didn’t even make the U.S. squad.

      IMHO, finishing the year proportionate to our play-off potential is very important for the habs. Having Price steal many games for us, when we’re nowhere close to cup contention, is detrimental long-term.

      j.p. murray

    • Habfan17 says:

      Trade Bennett and Gorges to get him. Detroit needs defensive help!


    • CH Marshall says:

      100% with you. I knew next to nothing about him, and then watched a bit of that Q series vs Russian juniors. It would be sweet to have him as a Hab. I hope MB is targeting this guy.

  45. BJ says:

    Talking about the crowds at the World Juniors. For those who may not know soccer is considered the number 1 sport in Sweden.

  46. Mavid says:

    I love James Duthie..they showed this shot of outside and there was this random lamp out there I was just thinking why the hell is there a lamp outside and he says “can someone tell me why there is a lamp outside” too funny

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  47. FlyAngler says:

    Interesting Sports Illustrated list of 10 worst NHL player surprises so far this season. Among those listed- Burrows and Edler from Vancouver, Gagner and Yakupov from Edmonton, and Heatly from Minnesota. Would the Habs perhaps have an interest in Burrows and Edler and what might it take to get them?

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Sports Illustrated might be a little unfair.
      Burrows has only played 17 games this year and is on injured reserve for the last month because of a broken jaw.
      Edler is also another guy that is on injured Reserve and hasn’t played in a month.
      He is a 27 year old Top 4 and isn’t going anywhere.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Good points Ron. I just wondered whether the Tortorella factor might be in play as well. I’ve always liked Burrows and wondered what it would be like for him to come home and play for the Habs.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    Hudon definitely got better as game went on, very heady player on the ice. I like that line of Drouin, Hudon and Mantha.

    • Habfan17 says:

      He did look better! If memory serves correctly, he had back issues, I hope he isn’t pushing it. He may end up being a solid 2nd line left wing with the Habs one day. It would be a shame to put the future at risk.


    • third generation haber says:

      Lots of heart and natural talent, but, seriously, do we have a corner on the market for undersized players???

      Check-out this goal by Hudon during his call-up with the bull-dogs last season (wicked release!):


      j.p. murray

      • Habfan17 says:

        Hudon is 5’11”, that is no way like Gionta or DD. That is the same size as Datsyuk, Alfredson, Zetterberg, Plekanec, Duschenen and many other very good players.


        • habstrinifan says:

          I love Hudon and has been a big fan of his before the draft. but his 5′ 11″ is on a very frail frame. If he can bulk up (subban for instance is 6″ but bulked), but some people unforunately just cant and unfortunately for us Hudon seems one of those.

  49. Eddie says:

    Dumba remind you of anyone? Hahaha!

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    McDavid starting to take over this game, Amazing how he just knows where everyone is and makes such heady plays.

  51. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    Looking at the empty seats reminds one a home exhibition (or season) game in Phoenix.

    Too bad these WJCs don’t get played in Canada/northern USA all the time.

    Stephane Leroux tweeted that there are a maximum of 600 spectators and probably 350-400 Canadians.

    Compared to last year:
    ” The Calgary- and Edmonton-hosted tournament set the tournament attendance record by attracting 571,539 fans through the turnstiles of the Saddledome and Rexall Place over the 11-day event — an average of 18,437 per game.

    The previous record was also set in Canada. Ottawa drew 453,282 fans during the 2009 championship, an average of 14,622 per day.

    Attendance through the years:

    2012: Alberta 571,539
    2011: Buffalo 329,687
    2010: Saskatchewan 301,944
    2009: Ottawa 453,282
    2008: Czech Republic 103,179
    2007: Sweden 63,493
    2006: British Columbia 325,138
    2005: North Dakota 193,256
    2004: Finland 116, 556
    2003: Nova Scotia 242,173
    2002: Czech Republic 111,128
    2001: Russia 84,100
    2000: Sweden 41,693

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While it is great to watch games with sellout crowds, the purpose of this tournament is to be a world wide championship for the kids. It is amateur sport, so I don’t really care if the tournament makes big money.

      I love watching these games no matter the crowd and the opportunity for the kids to play in Europe on the big ice is a great once in a lifetime chance.

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        I understand the world wide thing, yet if there is little interest outside NA for the WJC, why bother?
        Surely the players prefer to play when there are actually people in the stands vs. crowds that go out to see Atom hockey.

        Yes, for the most part it’s amateur, yet several of the draft choices playing have already signed ELCs and have collected signing bonuses.
        Take Anthony Mantha-Drouin-Horvath and several others-signing bonus of $92,500.

        • habsinthegap says:

          I think the intention is to Generate interest, promote the junior game internationally (which enlarges the prospect pool for the pros). You certainly don’t want to kill whatever little interest exists by never going there, and if you want it to grow in those areas you have to go there fairly regularly. I’m sure the ridiculous amount of money they make in Canada helps subsidize the European tournaments.

    • Mavid says:

      wow interesting stats..my hubby was commenting on how there was hardly anyone in the stands..its it a shame..the worlds are so great to watch..I went to a couple of games when it was here in Ottawa..Sweden is a pretty good hockey country you would think they would draw more crowds I realize its early but still looks like there is only a few hundred fans.

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • JUST ME says:

      During the radio broadcast the were saying that hockey is not that big in Sweden and that they would rather practice than look at it. Handball is the thing down there and anything winterish like cross country skiing .

    • Chris says:

      Because an international tournament played on Canada’s rules and in our rinks puts the other countries at such a complete disadvantage that the “competition” becomes a farce. I think it is already brutal that North America gets it every other year, but so be it. Money talks.

  52. Mavid says:

    Holy hose out

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  53. BJ says:

    End of the second 6-2 good guys.

  54. HabinBurlington says:

    The opportunity for puck possession and passing is so obvious with the international ice surface. Along with the fact that going for big hits on that surface can take you completely out of the play if you miss. I so very wish the League/Owners had recognized the opportunity they had 15 years ago when so many teams were building new arenas. The games to me in the NHL would be so much more enjoyable if played on this surface. Skating and Skills would be premium and rewarded.

  55. BJ says:

    Mantha with the trick CDN 6-2

  56. HabFab says:

    Mac Bennett’s interview with the school newspaper concerning Michigan’s season so far;

  57. HabinBurlington says:

    DOn’t know how McDavid didn’t score on that 2 on 1 break earlier.

  58. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld puts a WJC tracker together. Also an interesting part at the end listing all the Hab players plus prospects and their WJC playing records;

  59. BJ says:

    4-2 (posting like this with no one around makes it seem like I’m talking to myself, which I probably am).

  60. BJ says:

    Sustained pressure 3-2 good guys. Mantha wraps one around for his 2nd of the first period.

  61. BJ says:

    Whoops! Germans tie it up 2-2 on the PP.

  62. BJ says:

    After going down early Canada comes back strong and makes it 2-1 half way through the 1st.

  63. BJ says:

    Good morning Canada from Germany. Great time of year. Good memories from this tournament as I covered a number of them as a photographer for my agency and the IIHF. So as usual Go Canada Go!

  64. Ian Cobb says:



  65. JohnBellyful says:

    Boxing Day today — is that when you get to return unwanted players to Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Million Dollar Store, Scrap Heap?

    • Strummer says:

      Sorry John- no returns on Boxing Day- we’re too busy selling more unwanted players at DEEPLY discounted prices. Doors open 4AM.

      “It’s Christmas- not “The Holidays”

  66. Cal says:

    Great show, gentlemen. The HIO show is very good tv, coming a long way from that very first nervous episode. SUMO had a suggestion for the show, in which we here in the commentariat would pose a question for the panel or for the guest. Please consider it- HIO-Q would probably take about 2 minutes of air time including set up.

    On another note, the great thing about having a chronic bad back is that you wake up in plenty of time during the Holidays to watch the Juniors go about their business.
    GO Canada GO! 🙂

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Mornin’, Cal.
      I trust you and everyone here enjoyed a quiet, contemplative Christmas.
      Remember, it’s not the number of gifts you received, nor the worth of each. It’s whether you can return them …

      I’ll be keeping this one, however, an HIO measuring stick, double-sided, of course, with the units marked as follows:

      Side 1

      1 – Okay
      2 – Better
      3 – Nice!
      4 – Sweet!
      5 – Well-done
      6 – Excellent
      7 – Ooh!
      8 – Wow!
      9 – Amazing
      10 – Unbelievable!

      Side 2

      1. Meh
      2. Blah
      3. Ho-hum
      4. Borrrriiiiiiiing!
      5. ZZZZZZ
      6. Ugh!
      7. Yecch!
      8. Sheesh!
      9. Omigawd!
      10. Unbelievable!

  67. Alvin says:

    Canada’s Juniors will not win gold…or whatever hardware that is awarded the tournaments champion.

  68. JF says:

    According to TSN, it will be Paterson rather than Fucale to start for the Juniors tomorrow. I thought Fucale looked bad on the first Finnish goal, but for the rest of the game he was very solid. Guess Sutter liked what he saw from Paterson more.

  69. JUST ME says:

    For the year 2014 here are resolutions that we intend to take

    -We will never panic.
    -We will not discuss endlessly of trade rumors.
    -We will treat each other with the outmost politeness…
    -We will not lose our mind over a losing streak
    -We will not want to trade our goaler after an easy goal
    -We will not ask for more size and muscles.
    -We will respect Boston,Toronto,Ottawa and all our opponents.
    -We will not question the coaches decisions.
    -We will treat every player equally whatever language he speaks.
    -We will value skill over physical toughness and thus height of the athlete is not important.
    -We will accept graciously whatever faith is ours at season`s end.
    -We will not judge any trade before the athlete has played his first game for the team.
    -We will not either blame the Habs for trades done by other teams that could have been…
    -We will not be negative fans.
    -We will praise the NHL and it`s zebra reps.
    -We shall not play the blame game over ticket prices,beer prices and players wages…

    We shall not write comments when booze modifies the way we see things and think HIO really is….Oh..Wait !

    Ok then in the wise words of Roseanne Roseannadanna of SNL fame : never mind !

    Stay safe and enjoy the celebrations !

  70. CH Marshall says:

    Nice undone tie Stubbs.

    Still need to read The Game by Dryden. On my ‘eventually I’ll get around to it’ list.

  71. The Jackal says:

    Merry X-mas HIO, hope you all have a great holiday season and many happy returns.

    I was just thinking… remember last season when some were calling for us to trade Price and then acquire Bernier? God that was nuts.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • The_Truth says:

      If you think about it, was it really? Bernier will be a very good goalie in this league. In his first full season, his stats are very comparable to Price’s on a much worse defensive team. It didn’t take very much to get him from LA either. A real steal by the Leafs.

      Imagine the return the Habs could have received on Price? Long term, I think it isn’t unreasonable to think aquiring Bernier and with the return on Price, the Habs would have been a better team. I’m not saying we should have done it, but it would have been a very interesting consideration, depending on what Price’s return could have been.

      • The Jackal says:

        It was nuts in the sense that it was a kneejerk call to can Price after a rough stretch.

        And indeed I do think it would have been a bad move. Goalies don’t attract as much as people think in terms of value, that’s why Bernier was able to be moved for so little. Yes, he had good start and he is actually a decent goalie, but he has never had the job as the bonafide #1 – he remains unproven there. Not only that, he has not been able to mask the deficiencies in the Leafs’ defence.

        Price, on the other hand, has made our defence look way better than it actually is. Sure, we are giving up less odd-man rushes and we are about average overall in our own end, but Price has been excellent and has bailed out the poor D so many times. We’re way better off with Price than with the player we may have gotten and Bernier. It would have been a media frenzy but that’s the only interesting aspect of that idea.

        Goalies like Price don’t grow on trees, he is an elite goalie and he has always had the talent. He’s truly blossomed now and management believed in him all along. Bernier may turn out to be a good #1 but he has never been in that role and he is not as good as Price. The way Price is playing right now is exactly what we need from goaltending to win a championship, and that ability is not one you ever want to trade away – that’s why we have stuck with Price through the bad, because he is a proven performer at every single level he has ever played in.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • The_Truth says:

          To be Devil’s advocate, Price has proven very little at the NHL level in the big games. He has had some good half seasons before and right now is playing better than we have ever seen.

          If you think about Playoffs, He and Bernier are pretty close to equally unproven, even though Price has been a starter for years.

        • JF says:

          Good post. I absolutely agree.

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