Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
In Quebec, they were howling for Olli Jokinen. They were screaming for Jay Bouwmeester. But neither player made sense for the Canadiens and Gainey knew it. He knows the truth. His team is not good enough to win….
For Gainey, either move would have been irresponsible. The honest truth is that with either Jokinen or Bouwmeester, the Canadiens wouldn’t be good enough to win. Heck, I’d argue that adding both of them still isn’t enough.
Only a bad GM would panic and waste precious young players/draft picks in such a deal - and Bob Gainey isn’t a bad GM.
more and other deadline notes…
From Jim Hughson at CBC.ca:
Here’s the difference between Hockeytown and a hockey town. The Montreal Canadiens leave Alex Kovalev at home for two games to rest and get his head together and it’s front-page news. President Obama’s visit to Canada paled in comparison.
The Detroit Red Wings take goaltender Chris Osgood out of the lineup for a week to rest and get his head together and it’s greeted with a yawn and so what.
Goaltending is the biggest obstacle between the Red Wings and another Cup and if he was in Montreal, you can bet GM Ken Holland would be vilified for refusing to address the obvious deficiency. Yet, in Detroit, he gets a free pass.
What will the reaction be if the Wings repeat the collapse of 2006 when they lost in the first round to Edmonton because they couldn’t get a save?
read on for comment on other issues & teams
On the same day winger Steve Begin was traded, sources say Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Dandeneault may be the next to go.
The 33-year-old has politely informed Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey he would like to be moved and according to source, Gainey has agreed to help him out.
Steve Bégin was traded to the Dallas Stars on Thursday afternoon.
Update 4:49pm ET: From the Dallas News, Mike Heika further clarifies that the trade moves D Doug Janik the other way in the deal.
From David Singer at HockeyFights.com:
Yesterday there was a lot of talk about Georges Laraque expecting to be traded from the Canadiens. Laraque was asked if he was frustrated about not playing the last couple of games for the Canadiens. He said he was and there were reports that he said he wouldn’t have signed with Montreal last summer if he knew he wasn’t going to be a regular in the lineup.
He confirmed with us that he did not ask for a trade, and added that he won’t.
I asked Laraque hypothetically where he’d want to go if he was traded. His reply was “nowhere, I would retire.”
Knowing Big George’s love for the game, I have my doubts about that, but I do think it shows his frustration, not just with his lack of playing, but with the media attention what he says is a misinterpretation of what he said.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Slightly used hard man for sale, still feared, no reasonable offers refused. Inquiries should be directed to B. Gainey, Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.
Yup, Georges Laraque says he’s on the trading block, assuming the Canadiens can find a taker for the $3-million remaining on the three-year contract he penned in the off-season.
“I haven’t asked for a trade, but with my salary and the way they’re using me, I’m definitely expecting it. The coach has told me he doesn’t like tough guys, he said I’ll be in and out (of the lineup) until the end of the season,” a dejected Laraque said after practice today.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Lang suggested that, if all continues to go well and the Canadiens hang around the playoffs for a spell, his season might not yet be finished.
“If everything’s perfect and the team plays long enough, then it’s possible, yes,” he said of a postseason return.
“If everything goes according to the rehab protocol, it could be 10 weeks, 12, maybe 14, who knows. I have no idea when I’ll be able to skate, but it is possible to come back and still help the team if we stay in the playoffs.
“Get to the playoffs and hey, anything can happen.”
Fourteen weeks from the date of surgery is May 11, one month after the Habs’ final regular-season game.
Below are some comments from Roman Hamrlik talking about his situation in Montreal, specifically his relationship with Pasquale Mangiola (more on the background available here). Hamrlik was apparently concerned about how his situation has been reported in the Czech press, so the Canadiens gave him permission to speak to one media outlet in his home country.
Here’s the link to the original Czech (including video), but below is the English translation of a segment, provided by a friend of KK who regularly translates material for us.
Canadiens players are not allowed to talk about this to media but Hamrlik was given permission to speak to one Czech TV station and he has chosen TV NOVA.
Lets start with what Hamrlik is saying [about Pasquale Mangiola]:
“When you come to a new city, you don’t know where to go after the games. Sometimes we went for a dinner and that was everything. I provided him with some tickets for hockey games. I didn’t know he was doing some bad things, I didn’t know he has something in common with a, b, c, or d. Drugs or guns or whatever he did. I didn’t know he was involved in this. I didn’t meet this guy this season because I have already known he talks too much about hockey players and he draws attention to himself that he knows us. I didn’t meet him this season. I think this is really big lesson for my next life.”
Important Note: Any errors in this translation are ours, and should not be attributed to anyone else. But it is our belief this is an accurate translation.
added 2/27/09, Here is a little more thorough translation of the video found at TV Nova…
I provided him with some tickets for hockey games. I didn’t know he was doing some bad things. Where do I know him from? One hockey player introduced us but I wont tell his name. This man used me a little bit, he took pride in knowing me and other players. I think it is difficult to find the right friend here in Montreal - everyone loves you just because you are hockey player, because you play in NHL and because you have money. They dont like you because of who you really are and what kind of person you are. I didn’t know he has something in common with a, b, c, or d. Drugs or guns or whatever he did. I didn’t know he was involved in this. It is sad what happened here but life goes on and nobody is perfect. I know I made mistake that I was somewhere with him but I didn’t meet this guy this season because I have already known he talks too much about hockey players and he draws attention to himself that he knows us. I didn’t meet him this season. I think this is really big lesson for my next life. Every day we learn something new and all of this is unpleasant because of what has been written about me. Nobody knows the truth, just me. I made quite good hockey career during all those years and now it is not good for my name, for my family and especially for my daughter. She doesnt deserve to read those absurdities about her daddy. I am really sorry there are lies in Czech newspapers. When you come to a new city, you don’t know where to go after the games. Sometimes we went for a dinner and that was everything.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
One last point on Kovalev, though. Here’s what one GM told me Monday: “You can’t trade Alex Kovalev, pure and simple. The East is wide open. With all due respect to Boston and Washington, all eight teams that make it in the East have almost an equal shot at making it to the Cup finals. That’s why you can’t trade Kovalev. You won’t be able to replace him for these playoffs.”
read on as Pierre and Scott Burnside discuss trading Kovalev…
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Tonight, the Canadiens will attempt to notch back-to-back victories for the first time in more than a month, and they’ll do it with Jaroslav Halak between the pipes.
Habs coach Guy Carbonneau said he wants to ride the hot hand, and explained his decision in terms that could foreshadow a goaltending controversy in Montreal.
“I think I’ve given enough chances to Carey [Price] and enough time to come back from his injuries … now it’s up to Jaroslav to show what he can do,” Carbonneau said, adding “we have no choice” but to play the Slovak.
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.
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