HI/O Show: Should Therrien think about making Plekanec a healthy scratch?

Montreal Canadiens Tomas Plekanec takes a shot against the Vancouver Canucks during third period of National Hockey League game in Montreal Wednesday November 2, 2016.  (John Mahoney / MONTREAL GAZETTE)

Should Canadiens coach Michel Therrien consider making offensively challenged centre Tomas Plekanec a healthy scratch?

On this week’s Hockey Inside/Out Show, our hockey insiders — Gazette sports columnist Jack Todd, former Canadien and TSN 690 radio host Chris Nilan, and CBC Daybreak columnist Andie Bennett — discuss Plekanec as well as these questions:

Do you think Max Pacioretty is criticized too much by the fans and the media?

Would it be a good move to replace Paul Byron with Pacioretty on the top line?

And (our HI/O viewer question of the week) how much of a raise do you think it would take to sign centre Alex Galchenyuk to a long-term deal?

Be sure to subscribe to our Montreal Hockey Inside Out YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/HabsInsideOutVideos) for bonus content and send your HI/O Show question of the week to dpeters@postmedia.com

And check out our spirited Canadiens-centred discussion every Thursday at 8 a.m., exclusively at www.hockeyinsideout.com

Photo: John Mahoney/MONTREAL GAZETTE

This week’s HI/O Show:

(Note: We’ve updated the show below due to a technical glitch in a segment. We apologize for the inconvenience.) 



  1. DipsyDoodler says:

    You mean bench Plekanec for Chris Terry?

    Not even John Tortorella would do that.

    Stu Cowan is just trolling.


    • Dallas Cowboy Jim says:

      Carey must be pulling his hair out watching these pylon forwards … trade Pacioretty ASAP and see if we can get a Coke and a bag of chips for Desharnais tomorrow morning before the game.

  2. DipsyDoodler says:

    Michael McCarron has 3 goals in 20 games in the AHL, and is second worst on his team at -7.

    How on earth is he ready for the NHL?


  3. cbhabsfan says:

    So much talk on the interwebs these days about Bergevin being all-in this year, mostly due to the huge contracts we will be forced to hand out next season if we want to keep our core group intact.

    But what exactly does “all-in” mean to our mysterious GM, especially when a quick glance at the lineup reveals glaring holes at scoring line centre, top four lefthand defense and maybe (maybe) scoring line left wing? (I actually think we are in pretty goood shape at scoring line left wing, but I realize I’m in the minority here.)

    The problem is compounded by the fact that our NHL roster is delicately balanced in that it all turns into a “rob Peter to pay Paul” situation when you start looking at Habs roster players who might actually get you what you want on the trade market.

    I doubt if the 2016-17 Montreal Canadiens are going to position themselves for a Cup run by packaging the likes of Pacioretty or even Bealieau for the roster additions we need.

    Instead, I see us using some of those second-round picks we’ve stockpiled to acquire the necessary missing pieces, along with whatever prospects that need to be sacrificed.

    I’m thinking that the recent callup of Hudon was more for showcase purposes than anything else, with his unfortunate injury coming at a really awkward time.

    If Bergevin really is serious about making this lineup more than just Carey Price showing why he’s an MVP candidate each and every night, be prepared to potentially say good bye to any draft pick we now might have, along with any of our top prospects not named Sergachev.

    • CaliHabFan says:

      Is any team “all-in” if you play DD at center on your third line and he is sent out with 4 precious minutes to go in the game against Anaheim? Do they not see all the zeros beside his name in the box-score game after game?

      • cbhabsfan says:

        We really and truly don’t have anyone else to do the job at the moment, hence the trade talk for someone bigger and better. And nothing in the AHL is ready yet.

    • Scottym314 says:

      I have now realized it is not so much our current talent but the system Empty uses. For a small team, this dump and chase does not fit. How can we possibly recover pucks when we are continually pushed around. We have speed, so we should use it. Enter all zones with speed and puck control. I watch other teams with speed and they are all backing defensemen up when coming hard up ice. We are all standing still in the neutral zone, waiting for someone to tip the puck in or shoot it in. Boring to watch, too.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      How exactly do you “fill the holes”? We can’t really trade for Malkin or Giroux can we?

      And if the solution is to trade our best forward over the past 5 seasons, I’m not sure what problem is being solved.


      • bwoar says:

        I’d be curious what NJ might want for Travis Zajac.

      • cbhabsfan says:

        No, we can’t. And I don’t think we need to.

        I didn’t think my post suggested trading Pacioretty, but on re-reading it, I can see how someone might get that impression.

        If Bergevin is in fact going all in this syear, I’m sure he wants Pacioretty to be part of it.

    • on2ndthought says:

      I don’t think Bergevin sees this team as turning from a pretender to a contender with the addition of, say Hanzal. Tavares or Seguin might be a different story, but we are not getting one of them without losing a significant piece now and in the future.

      I hope Bergevin has the same confidence that I do. That building slowly through the draft and allowing players to develop is the best way to contend, at least long term.

      I’ve been calling for McCarron, perhaps JDLR and Scherbak, to get the call up. Change the dynamic of the team. Truth is, the later this happens, the better. Also, doing it just to change the dynamic is futile. They have to be ready to improve the squad. Their size is an improvement, but if the skills aren’t there, it is largely irrelevant (pun intended).

      I’m guessing MB is ahead of us on this curve, has a better idea of team needs, and of players’ readiness. We have two more years of Price guaranteed, and I hope we get more; but I’m not worried about which way we’re headed in either event.

      Free Front.

      • Gerry Pigeon says:

        Well said. But I am a little worried about us getting those two years from Price, and even more worried about after that.

        I think Price will stay, but who knows for sure? But I think it will cost too much to keep him…

        When I say cost too much, I’m not thinking Price will actually want north of $10M, he doesn’t seem the mercenary type that needs money to feed his ego. I’m thinking Price will want a reasonable salary that says “I’m a good goalie, I’ve earned this pay, and I want some money left over to help the team”. And what that amount is, is the part that worries me.

        Let’s say it’s $8.5M, minimum. Honestly, I can’t see Price taking less than Stamkos did to help his team. Price is worth more to the Habs than Stamkos to TB. How many teams have won the Cup lately while paying their goalie $8.5M? None. Or a fairer question, as salaries are always increasing, how many teams have won the Cup lately with their goalie as the highest paid player? Not Chicago, not Pitt, maybe LA? Not Boston. With Chicago proving lately that you can win the Cup with just a very capable goalie between the pipes (Niemi, Crawford), I think we’re focused on the wrong end of the ice. Red Wings won with Vernon in net, damn it! Pitt won last year with a rookie in net, faced SJ who also had a young goalie in net. Teams can get it done without paying the huge money to a star goalie.

        I love Price, but I still think my crazy Playstation trade proposal for Seguin makes sense from a philosophical standpoint. Trade Price at his highest value, get that second young, offensive centre, and build around him and Chucky for years to come. Offence wins Cups. Think Habs 70’s dynasty, Islanders dynasty, Oilers dynasty, they could all score at will. Think Crosby/Malkin, Toews and Kane. I’d love to include Chucky/Seguin, or Tavares/Chucky, in that group someday.

  4. --Habs-- says:

    Anyone know how Mike McCarron is progressing. I’m not asking about points and +/- but overall status of things being worked on in his game?

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  5. FlyAngler says:

    The Bruins won in a shootout last night because they were able to tie the game in the dying seconds of regulation with an extra attacker. The take away is the fact that they were able to tie the game because David Backes was parked in front of the net when the Carolina defender inadvertently kicked the puck past Cam Ward while attempting to cover Backes before he reached the loose puck. McCarron could and would bring that kind of net presence and at his height, goalies are not going to be able to see over him which of course is not the case with the diminutive Davey D…….

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

    • piper says:

      Agree. Would the coach use him in that situation though. I’d bet DD would be out there before McCarron.

      • FlyAngler says:

        Sadly Piper, I think that you are absolutely right which at this point is way beyond pathetic. DD is eleventh in scoring on the Habs right now despite regular PP time. He brings nothing to the PP. To the argument that there is no-one else to play that role, I say B.S. Shaw can play center or they could bring up McCarron if he is ready. He had a good camp and it seemed as though the reason that he got sent down was that he could get sent down without having to clear waivers…..

        “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  6. Strabo says:

    Making fun of us Easterners tsk tsk tsk
    You have it all mixed up, Price is going to be traded to the now named Dieppe Commandos who are moving to Edmundston in North “WEST” New Brunswick in 2017/2018 season. Such an easy mistake to make confusing the two places.


    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

    • bwoar says:

      I’ve been to Edmundston! Honestly, I don’t lump in the Maritime provinces with my assessment of the Middle East.

      I hope thay continue to call the team the Dieppe Commandos, though. Edmundston Commandos doesn’t have the same ring.

  7. mrhabby says:

    Coyotes will be asking for 1ST round pic guaranteed for Hanzel.
    If you think Habs can dish players like Pateryn, DD for him it will not happen. Stop the play station trades.

    • bwoar says:

      Who the f is gonna give up a 1st for Hanzel though?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yup, the days of NHL GM’s giving up 1st round picks at the deadline for Paul Gaustad and company are over. I think the last bad 1st round deal at the deadline was Vermette, mind you Chicago won the Cup and he scored a few big goals. But the Cap has finally sunk in with most sane GM’s and they know more than ever how valuable the 1st round pick is.

        Has to be a pretty good player now to pry a 1st.

      • mrhabby says:

        theres always some desperate GM.

        • bwoar says:

          I could see a first if there were a reasonably-priced extension in there but like Burly says nobody pays a 1st to rent #3 C these days (Good old Paul Gaustad!)

    • Dust says:

      We could send them DD but he would be in addition to the 1st round pick if we needed the cap room.

    • New says:

      Really? McCarron was a pretty late first rounder and has everything Hanzel has except age. Put him on every PP and tell him to go slug it out in front of the net and you have the same stats for him and the team likely.

      Hamilton, Duclair, Drouin, are really overvalued by fans. But it is always like that with someone.

      Now Couture and Vlasic, there is something to talk about. What does it take to get key players like those?

  8. bwoar says:

    “Price is going to sign out West in Edmonton”

    – said a bunch of half-witted easterners who don’t know their geography and couldn’t find Edmonton on a map

    • The Jackal 76 says:

      Well, if they’re easterners then Edmonton is pretty out west, lol.

      Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • twilighthours says:

      Edmonton is Canada’s northernmost provincial capital.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      If Seattle had a franchise I could understand the sentiment. Agree Edmonton doesn’t make sense, I’m not even sure Vancouver would, especially with that franchise in year 3 of 40 as they roam the desert waiting for Manna to fall from the sky. (Price parachuting in)

      • bwoar says:

        Until the Aquilinis are out of the picture the Canucks are banished to Suck City with a dead dog’s tail down their pants. The way they treated Luongo, I can’t see a single elite player purposely going there.

        It’s one thing to spend off-seasons in Kelowna – but entirely another shacking up in Deadmonton for a season or 6.

        (Somehow people are making a connection there, and I can only assume it comes from not knowing where those two places are and what they’re like. Hence my grump.)

        (Also I stayed up to watch a PVR’d Jets game and they shoulda pulled Hutch after the 4th goal, grrr…)

        (But man, is Patrik Laine fun to watch)

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I like Maurice as a Coach, comes across as a good teacher and a guy the players respect. But I can’t help but wonder if another coaching change happens there to get that team over the hump.

          (Will Hawerchuk be that guy? I still think he ends up coaching that team)

          Hopefully with Little back in lineup that team can start winning with some more consistency. Laine is indeed a stud.

          • bwoar says:

            I think that’s a fair assessment. I like Maurice, but he was easy to like because I utterly loathed Claude Noel.

            If I were Ducky I’d steer clear for another 2-3 years, see if any of these young goalies steps up, and then casually drop a few hints.

            No answer last night for the Lucic-McDavid-Draisaitl line.

          • Dust says:

            I have two feelings for Hawerchuk.

            1) he deserves to coach in the nhl as he has done such a great job with the Barrie Colts.

            2) as a fan who attends Barrie Colts games I would rather see him continue to be the coach of the Colts since he has done such a good job.

    • arcosenate says:

      Western Canada is comprised of Manitoba , Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.


      Us half-witted Atlantic Canadians have been helping build the place for the last half-century. We know where it is.

      • bwoar says:

        You guys are far-easterners, y’all are good. The smartest. It’s the Middle East of Canada, Upper & Lower… it’s like talking to Texans.

        “North America is made up entire of Texas, with small parts set aside for the continental United States, the island of Canada and Mexico to the south”

  9. Cal says:

    It’s that Holiday time of year again and time to habify a few tunes. First up, Bing and Bowie sing a classic.

  10. 24 Cups says:

    San Jose’s probable starting line-up:
    (Montreal hasn’t won a game in San Joe this century. Last time they did, Theodore was in net!)

    12-Patrick Marleau 19-Joe Thornton 8-Joe Pavelski

    27-Joonas Donskoi 39-Logan Courture 42-Joel Ward

    89-Miukkel Boedker 50-Chris Tierney 62-Kevin Labanc

    68-Melker Karlsson 40-Ryan Carpenter 38-Micheal Haley

    7-Paul Martin 88-Brent Burns

    44-Marc-Edouard Vlasic 61-Justin Braun

    4-Brenden Dillon 5David Schlemko

    31-Martin Jones

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    As Stu notes in a recent tweet, two years ago to the day we lost Mr. Jean Beliveau. I don’t think anybody will ever transcend competitiveness and humility like our number 4 did throughout his career and life.

    So often we see words like great and legend associated to players, but in his case those words fit.

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