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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Jonathan Drouin Is Prepared For The Pressure In Montreal

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

When the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning hooked up for one of the off-season’s biggest trades — a one-for-one swap that sent Drouin north and drool-inducing defence prospect Mikhail Sergachev the other way — everybody knew the Habs were getting a 22-year-old with all kinds of raw ability. A true rink rat who often had to be ordered out of the arena as a teenager, Drouin faced his share of doubt and disappointment on the road to becoming an impact NHLer. The journey, somewhat infamously, took a little longer than Drouin would have preferred, but anyone who questions his commitment should share a beverage with the people he suited up for and beside on his way to The Show. Now, everything he went through should help him handle the preposterous expectations that go with being the Canadiens’ first Francophone scoring star in 20 years.

In 2004, the AAA Lac St. Louis Lions organization put together one of their first Jr. Lions teams, a spring squad for 1995-born players. Technical director Karl Svboda and GM Raz Saltarelli coached the team, which ended up encountering a nine-year-old who would eventually become a fixture in Lac St. Louis. “The story goes either they win 8-7 or lose 8-7, but there was one kid on the other side who scored all the goals for his team,” says Jon Goyens, coach of the Lions midget club.

After seeing what a wee Drouin could do, the Lions extended an invite to attend one of their skills camps. Soon, making the roughly 80-minute journey from his home in the Mont-Tremblant region to Lions headquarters in Montreal’s West Island became a regular part of Drouin’s minor hockey experience. Once there, he made the most of his time. “Let’s say he was already peewee age,” Goyens says. “He’d come on with the atoms and demo drills, but [he’s doing it at] 100 miles-per-hour. Then he goes on with his own age group and he already felt pushed to be the best, so he’d go 101 miles-per-hour. And then he’d be that little brother tugging at your jacket saying, ‘I want to go on.’ He goes on with the older guys and now he’s going 105 miles-per-hour because he wants to keep up.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

Morning Line- Mark Streit

“Goodbye Switzerland. A flight to Philadelphia, where I will retrieve my belongings, the eight-hour drive to reach Montreal, where I will find myself, with my family, in a house located on the island of the Sisters. This is not the most pleasant time of the year."

“I also know that in a week, I feel good where I am. Montreal is a beautiful city with a strong european culture. I’ve lived there and I know that I’ll love my second stay in this metropolis where hockey is a religion."

“I can assure you that I feel in very good shape, he assured. Once my coup de blues of leaving the country digested, I’ll be looking forward to the show.”

-Mark Streit of the Montreal Canadiens via the Sherbrooke Times.

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  Tags: mark+streit

Geoff Molson Satisfied With The Moves The Montreal Canadiens Made

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

After finishing with the best record in the Atlantic Division last season, the Canadiens underwent some significant changes during the off-season.

Three of the top-six defenceman are gone and so is winger Alex Radulov, while the newcomers include Jonathan Drouin, who is being counted on to provide a needed boost on offence.

It will take a while to properly assess the changes, but team president Geoff Molson said he’s satisfied with general manager Marc Bergevin’s off-season machinations.

“I think Marc did a nice job with his signings and some of his transactions,” Molson said Thursday as he participated in the unveiling of Place Bell in Laval. “Obviously, losing a player like (Andrei) Markov after playing his full career with the Montreal Canadiens, it’s disappointing to see because he really is a true Montreal Canadien at heart. But I think he made his decision and he’s moving on and we’re going to overcome that loss. But we’re grateful for everything he gave to us.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: geoff+molson

Gordie, Boom Boom And Le Gros Bill

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Wrong Way To Build In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

When Bergevin signed Price to a long-term deal this summer, the Habs’ GM’s strategy was crystal clear. He’s hoping the Canadiens’ all-world netminder performs the kind of heroics he’s often showcased and bails out the middling team in front of him.

With Anahim Lake, B.C.’s most famous citizen signed through 2025-26 with an annual salary of US$10.5 million, the franchise’s next decade is going to be built around Price.

And that, in my humble opinion, is a big mistake. The big news in hockey this week was the Edmonton Oilers signing centreman Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year US$68 million deal. There was a lot of chatter about the fact that the Oilers are paying Draisaitl all this dough and will also be paying his teammate Connor McDavid a few Brinks truckloads of greenbacks (US$100 million over eight years) as well in the coming years.

But here is the $168-million question — would you rather have Draisaitl and McDavid locked-up to long-term deals or Price and Shea Weber? To ask the question is to answer it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mad In Montreal

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

I love the passion of the Habs debate, but this is crazy. I feel like there’s a level of bitterness to the discussion of the Canadiens this summer that’s unprecedented and, honestly, most of that anger is coming from the fans in the pro-Bergevin camp.

They simply cannot accept any criticism of Habs general manager Marc Bergevin or his team. It is downright bizarre.

I have been a journalist for a very long time, mostly writing about arts and culture. Yet, I have never seen anything like the abusive commentary that has been tossed my way since I started writing What the Puck in this space at the beginning of 2016. I’m a big boy and can handle it, but still....

Whatever happened to civilized debate? Let me just say this loud and clear, once and for all: I am a Habs fan. You can’t take that away from me. You can say I’m an idiot — as you often do — but you can’t say I don’t love the Canadiens.

What is odd is this notion that you can’t be a Habs fan and be vehemently opposed to the direction the team’s going in. Some claim I have invented this division amongst Habs fans. But that’s absurd.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fans Losing Interest In Their Beloved Habs?

from Dan Delmar at the Montreal Gazette,

There is no doubt the legacy left by the Montreal Canadiens will remain an important part of this city’s heritage for decades, even generations, to come. However, there are signs the modern incarnation of our beloved NHL franchise is devaluing fandom, to the team’s own detriment.

Like most, my rift with the Habs did not happen overnight. My disinterest was cultivated over years of mediocre performance and myriad blunders; the latest disappointment being the failure to re-sign reliable 16-year veteran Andrei Markov, so devoted to the franchise that his recent wedding was somewhat Habs-themed.

To think that my interest in Canadiens hockey may prove to have been fleeting feels like sacrilege. I only take comfort in the fact that I am far from alone.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line- Jack Todd

I don’t understand why GM Marc Bergevin didn’t make more of an effort to hang onto Markov. Perhaps the organization saw a decline in his game that wasn’t obvious to mere mortals. In any case, the Canadiens have never had the knack of easing their most honoured veterans into retirement. From Rocket Richard to Guy Lafleur, from Robinson to Saku Koivu, things have always gone south before that final game — Jean Béliveau is one of the few exceptions to that rule.

With the Habs still sitting well under the salary cap, you have to believe Bergevin has some major move up his sleeve. If not, he’s boxed himself in. The usual knee-jerk suspects are all over the GM for losing Markov: They’d savage Bergevin if he picked up Sidney Crosby on the waiver wire.

-Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette where you can read more on Andrie Markov and the Canadiens...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Arpon Basu On Andrei Markov

If you missed it earlier today, Markov announced he will play in the KHL.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Andrei Markov Will Not Return To Montreal

MONTREAL - Andrei Markov will not be back with the Canadiens for the 2017-18 season. The veteran defenseman will be available to speak with reporters via conference call on Thursday afternoon (the release note says at his request).

Markov has spent his entire 16-year NHL career to date as a member of the Canadiens. Narrowly missing the 1,000-game milestone with 990 career games under his belt, the Russian rearguard sits sixth on the franchise's all-time leaderboard for games played. He has also suited up for 89 postseason tilts during his time with the Habs.

Since making his NHL debut in 2000, Markov has racked up 572 regular-season points, including 119 goals. He finished his final Canadiens campaign tied with Hall-of-Famer Guy Lapointe for second place in team history for points by a defenseman, and is ranked third for goals from the back end.

The 38-year-old blue-liner was drafted in the sixth round, 162nd overall by Montreal in 1998 and became a Canadian citizen in July 2010.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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