Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
When the Montreal Canadiens make the transition from Bob Gainey to Pierre Gauthier later today – presumably on an interim basis to start – I suspect the one question that everybody wants answered is one that won’t be; and that is, what was the plan that Gainey actually had in mind for the 2009-10 season and not the one that was actually put in place, which involved throwing a lot of money at Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. I suspect two things: One, that it wasn’t – and that the moves that he put in place were a fallback plan after his pursuit of Vincent Lecavalier fell short; and two, we won’t hear the definitive answer in a public forum, even if it would a lot of last year’s machinations into their proper perspective.
But like a lot of Habs watchers, you had to think that Gainey knew the value of putting a French-Canadian superstar such as Lecavalier in a Montreal sweater, and not just because of his heritage either.
via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Rumors are rampant Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Habs. I have asked the principals involved to confirm or deny. NO response.
The Canadiens have called a 4:00pm ET press conference.
added 12:37pm, Another tweet from Bob,
Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Canadiens. Pierre Gauthier is taking over.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Last Sunday, Lorelei O’Byrne succumbed to cancer at age 56, her spirit strong, but body no longer able to resist her disease. At her bedside in Victoria was her husband, Dave, and her daughter, Krystal….
“My dad called the rink to leave a message. ‘Call home,’ it said,” O’Byrne recalled yesterday, speaking quietly after Canadiens practice.
“It’s the phone call you’re expecting, but it’s one you dread. It was a sad day. It had been a long battle for my mom, a long fight.” He cleared his throat once, then again. It had been only five days since his mother had died, but O’Byrne was ready to share these memories.
“I knew she was going to pass away, but it always comes sooner than you hope,” he said. “She put up a long, hard battle. She was a strong woman.” O’Byrne had gone home to Victoria last month, his 10-day leave from the Canadiens described then as “family reasons.” His plan had been to spend four or five days with his mother, who by then was in the final stages of her illness.
But his general manager suggested otherwise.
“Bob Gainey told me to take a step back and take more time with my family,” O’Byrne said. “He encouraged me to take as much time as I needed.
from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
If it was a joke, it probably wasn’t funny.
Asked about the game-winning goal Tomas Plekanec scored 9:14 into the third, Luongo was both flippant and inaccurate.
“Unfortunately, on the last one, I stopped the first four (shots),” Luongo said. “I got a piece of the fifth one. But not enough.”
That’s not, however, what happened and Luongo knows it. Granted his defence didn’t have a good night, but it is still down two top-four starters. And on the play in question, Luongo took himself out of the play and made just one save, not four.
Mike Cammaller will have an MRI on his leg and resuls won’t be known until Monday, but it sure doesn’t look good for him.
Let the video play, you’ll see multiple angles at the end.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
At the NHL level, the margin between winning and losing is razor-thin. The great ones have what Roy had: a ferocious will to win. It might be worth no more than a half-goal a game, but ultimately it’s the difference between Halak’s 14-9 record this season and Price’s abysmal and embarrassing 11-21.
A few fans last week accused me of “hating” Carey Price. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I was proud to cover the first regular-season game Price played for the Canadiens, on the road in Pittsburgh, because I thought I was seeing history. Like many others, I was fooled into believing that he might be a great one.
By now, I am heartily weary of the whole Price/Halak debate, especially of the obscene verbal abuse and mind-numbing justifications Price’s defenders trot out every time their overgrown baby draws a little flak.
But while I no longer believe Price has the inner stuff to be a great goalie, I still think he could be a good goaltender. I simply believe that it’s bad for Price and bad for the club when he’s handed a job he hasn’t earned - not once, but over and over again.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
For those Nervous Nellies in Montreal who are now yapping for general manager Bob Gainey to trade laconic 22-year-old Carey Price and anoint 24-year-old Jaroslav Halak as the No. 1 goalie, please take a giant step back from the situation. Maybe Price doesn’t blossom into the Second Coming of Ken Dryden, but it is still far too early to tell in a profession rife with late bloomers such as Miikka Kiprusoff, Tim Thomas and others who have had a far skimpier portfolio than a fifth overall draft pick.
more plus additional hockey topics, including a look at the Coyotes…
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
A Swedish newspaper this morning reports that the NHL has blocked Georges Laraque’s intended move to AIK Stockholm. “It’s a complicated situation we can’t resolve for the moment,” the boss of the Swedish club says.
The problem seems to revolve around Laraque’s no-movement clause, which is puzzling since he’d presumably waive that clause if he wanted to play in Sweden. If BGL waived it, then it’s the league or the Canadiens that have an issue with this.
Tampa Bay with a 3-0 shutout of Montreal tonight, highlighted by Vinny’s goal.
from Jack Tood of the Montreal Gazette,
But now, with this curious up-and-down season coming up on the Olympic break and then the short, furious scramble for playoff spots that is sure to follow, you have to wonder. Will the battling Slovak finally be given the job he has legitimately won a half-dozen times?
Or will Jacques Martin and Bob Gainey go on with business as usual, giving Price the bulk of the work and trotting him out every time Halak has the misfortune to lose a game?
To tell the truth, Price has been much better this season than I thought he would be. He’s been better - but he hasn’t been as good as Halak.
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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