Kukla's Korner Hockey
CBC reports on the issues facing the Montreal Canadiens.
Somewhere in Tampa lies Montreal native Vincent Lecavalier and he’s thinking to himself, “You know what? Maybe life here in Florida ain’t so bad after all.”
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. More from Pierre on all things Montreal.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The NHL on Friday will send security officials to Montreal to meet with local police following reports linking a number of Montreal Canadiens players with an organized crime investigation, sources said.
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
The Canadiens took one of a possible 12 points on their road trip.
They are clinging to a playoff spot, and the future of their most talented player is uncertain.
Things couldn’t possibly get worse, right?
La Presse columnist Richard Labbé is on 110% (TV show) promising a blockbuster story in Friday’s edition of the paper.
It pertains to the suggestion, by former coach Jean Perron, that some younger Canadiens have been enjoying too much of Montreal’s celebrated nightlife.
Boys will be boys, right? This is a great party town.
Labbé says this is more than a few beers, a few shots and some late-night skirt-chasing. He’s hinting at behaviour that brings criminal charges.
continued & the site is getting hit hard, so it may be slow to open…
added 2/20/09 at 8:55am, Read the La Press (translated) story.
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette quoting Guy Lafleur,
- “If I were in (Alex Kovalev’s) skates, I’d have played my last game for the Canadiens.
No player with his talent would accept being humiliated like that. ... I don’t know what (Bob) Gainey is trying to prove in front of everybody.”
- “If you’re paying guys $4 million, $5 million a year, give them the tools to make sure they’ll produce. You just can’t switch lines and try things every night and hope something will come out of it.”
- “I don’t think this club has a team spirit. They don’t play for each other. They’re not playing as a team and they’re not ready to sacrifice themselves to win.”
Alexander Ovechkin scores a goal from his back last night against the Canadiens.
added 11:12am, Japers’ Rink breaks down the goal.
According to a report in Montreal’s La Presse, Habs’ forward Alex Kovalev is not expected to rejoin the team after he was sent home on Tuesday by general manager Bob Gainey.
Gainey is reportedly in the process of attempting to move the veteran forward prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 4th.
“Bob called everybody about Alex Kovalev,” one unnamed agent told La Presse. “This player is on the market for the next two weeks; it’s not a secret around the hockey community.”
added 8:35pm, TSN has updated the same link after speaking with Kovalev directlty.. The story has now changed since it was first posted.
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
Although few people at the time noticed it, the first real chink in the previously unpierceable armour of the Montreal Canadiens occurred not on a hockey rink but on a baseball diamond. Just days after the National Hockey League began its 1999-2000 season, the New York Yankees won the World Series. In doing so, the Bronx Bombers claimed their 25th championship and succeeded the Canadiens as the most successful franchise in the history of North American sports.
Time ticks on, and in Montreal this year it does so according to a clock that may as well be attached to a bomb. The most storied and historic club in hockey – in fact, one of the most storied and historic clubs of any sport anywhere in the world – have just four months to avoid the tolling of yet another ominous bell. Failure to win this season’s championship will make this the only decade since the advent of the modern NHL that the Canadiens have failed to win the Stanley Cup.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
If Bob Gainey really wanted to trade Alex Kovalev right now, the Russian winger wouldn’t be “resting.” He’d be packing.
Sunday’s loss in Vancouver wasn’t necessarily No. 27’s final game in a Canadiens uniform. Unless he shows up on the upcoming off-day Friday dragging the Stanley Cup behind his car – a la George Costanza with the World Series Trophy in Seinfeld – Kovalev will play for this team again.
This is part of Gainey’s three-pronged attack to warn the roster that no one is secure, that spoiled behaviour and indifferent play will no longer be tolerated. Add Kovalev’s banishment to Sergei Kostitsyn’s demotion and the trade for Mathieu Schneider and what has Gainey done? He’s rattled everyone without permanently getting rid of anyone. And that’s critical to the point here.
from the CP via TSN,
Struggling veteran Alex Kovalev has been given some time off by the Montreal Canadiens.
General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won’t be on the team’s trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
His status for a home game Saturday against Ottawa remains uncertain.
Gainey said Kovalev is not suspended and will still be paid. He said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.
added 4:27pm, via Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Gainey said he hasn’t spoken to any other teams about trading Kovalev, but when asked if he would be willing to move the vastly talented 36-year-old, he said “this is the trading season.”
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