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Category: Montreal-Canadiens

Subban Had To Go

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

The odour of mendacity still clings to the seventh floor of the Bell Centre, where Bergevin claimed he had not been shopping Subban’s considerable talent around the league. Sure, you just whip up a deal for two of the league’s premier defencemen in 48 hours because someone happens to call. If you believe that, have I got a swamp for you.

The whole episode reminded me of one of my favourite country song titles: “Get Your Tongue Outa My Mouth Cause I’m Kissin’ You Goodbye.” Good luck, P.K., and we hope you like country music.

Of course no one is saying so for attribution, but Subban is gone because the club had issues with his character, which is subtly different than character issues. Somehow, Subban had made himself unpopular in the room and in the executive offices through what would appear to be an excess of personality.

Subban was too ebullient. He was too happy after losses. He may have stayed out too late at night. He may have joked that Drew Doughty was going to win the Norris because he had a better supporting cast.

That Subban’s behaviour never included the sort of very real character issues you get with the Raising Kane Brothers (Patrick and Evander) didn’t matter. He was cocky and brash and a little too involved in his own world, so he had to go.

Whatever Subban was like in the room or in the clubs after hours, when the puck dropped, no player on this team battled harder. Subban gave this team all he had every night, so if he wanted to bounce around the room and crow after a loss, he has earned the right. If some of his teammates worked half as hard, there would not have been so many losses to mourn in the proper fashion.

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

The Bottom Line Is The Montreal Canadiens “Were Not Very Good”

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Marc Bergevin, the GM Poile ripped off, is 16 years younger than his Nashville counterpart. But by trading Subban for Shea Weber, Bergevin played the old-school part of Mr. Strickland, the no-nonsense principal from “Back to the Future.” There was nothing progressive about the way Bergevin and coconspirator Michel Therrien approached the singular Subban, whom they considered a problem more than a solution.

Without Carey Price, the Canadiens dive-bombed to 13th place in the Eastern Conference last season. Bergevin and Therrien may believe it was because Subban caved in the dressing room with his Mont Royal-sized personality, which undoubtedly did not gain the approval of some of his more conservative teammates.

“Yes, P.K. is different. We’re not going to hide that,” Bergevin told Montreal reporters. “But there was never an issue, never a problem. I fought with my teammates in practice. It happens all the time. I think it was blown out of proportion.”

The truth of the Canadiens is that they were not very good, from their perpetual absence of a go-to center to the mish-mash Bergevin collected for his bottom six forwards to the unimaginative approach the dictatorial Therrien adopted on the bench while his team smoldered on the ice.

more plus other hockey topics...

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

The Radulov Gamble

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

The big news was the return of Radulov, who played his junior hockey in Quebec and logged 154 games with Nashville before bolting to the KHL. If there were any doubts about wanting to return to North America, he could have made $1 million more if he remained with CKSA Moscow.

“It’s a gamble and that’s why I was firm on a one-year term,” said Bergevin. “There are a lot of teams that sign players to long-term deals and end up buying them out. I sat down with Alex and I also talked with Sergei Fedorov and Shea Weber and our scouts saw him play a lot. He’s a hard worker and he’s one of the most skilled players available in the draft, certainly the most skilled outside the NHL.”

Bergevin said he was willing to offer longer-term deals to other free agents.

“This was the most aggressive I’ve ever been,” said Bergevin. “There were some players who said they didn’t want to play in Montreal but there are others who want to play here.”...

Weber, who was Radulov’s teammate in Nashville, told Bergevin that Radulov’s problems earlier in his career were the result of immaturity.

“It wasn’t a character issue,” said Bergevin. “He was 21, 22 and now he’s married with a kid and he’s almost 30.”  


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

Alexander Radulov To Montreal

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Friday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year contract (2016-17) with free agent forward Alexander Radulov.

Radulov, 29, played 53 games with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow in 2015-16, leading his team in goals (23 – tied for fifth in the league). He ranked second in the KHL in assists (42), points (65) and differential (+28). The 6'01’’ and 205 lbs winger served 73 penalty minutes, registered 177 shots on goal and averaged 21:06 of ice time per game. He finished tied for third in the KHL playoffs with 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) in 20 contests, helping Moscow reach the Gagarin Cup finals.

Radulov appeared in 154 regular season games with the NHL's Nashville Predators, contributing 102 points (47 goals, 55 assists). He scored nine goals on the powerplay and six winning goals, with a +29 differential and 74 penalty minutes. In eight seasons with Ufa and Moscow (KHL), Radulov collected 492 points (169 goals, 323 assists) in 391 games. He won the Gagarin Cup in 2011 with Ufa.

A product of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts, Radulov collected 227 points (93 goals, 134 assists) in 127 games in the junior ranks. He helped the Remparts win the 2006 Memorial Cup tournament, ranking second in the tournament with nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) in four games.

On the international stage, Radulov suited up for Russia at the U18 World Championship in 2004 (gold medal); at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships (two silver medals); at the World Championship in 2007 (bronze), 2008 (gold), 2009 (gold), 2011 and 2013; as well as at the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 in Vancouver and in 2014 in Sochi.

Pierre LeBrun reports $5.75M.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+radulov

Al Montoya To Montreal

BROSSARD – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Friday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent goaltender Al Montoya.

Numerous media types say $950K

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: al+montoya

The Problems With P.K. Subban And The Montreal Canadiens

from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

Subban’s trade to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber proved one thing: don’t believe anything Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin says. Bergevin’s nose probably grew a bit when he told reporters at the NHL Entry Draft he wasn’t shopping Subban and simply had to answer the phone when other GMs called. When asked if it was realistic that a trade could happen, the GM said: “I would say no.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie — the best at what he does — called the GM out when he told Vancouver’s TSN Radio 1040: “The Canadiens obviously don’t want it out there: ‘We’re trying to dump P.K. Subban.’ And in fairness to them they’re not trying to dump P.K. Subban. But I mean they’re not playing tiddlywinks on these calls, either. These are serious calls and they’re entertaining offers on P.K. Subban.”

Maybe Bergevin should buy another fancy new tie with Pinochio figures on it.

You knew Canadiens management had a big problem with Subban last February in Colorado after the defenceman lost control of the puck just inside the Avalanche blue line and fell down. It resulted in an unthreatening three-on-three the other way, but when captain Max Pacioretty gave up on his back-check, Jarome Iginla scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Avalanche.

After the game, coach Michel Therrien pointed the finger directly at Subban for the loss, calling it an “individualistic” play. It didn’t seem to matter to the coach that his captain stopped back-checking.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban

The Subban Trade And Reaction

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

It’s time to chill out, take a deep breath, keep things in perspective. After all, we didn’t just vote to leave the EU and hurl an entire continent into chaos.

What happened in Montreal late Wednesday afternoon is that a hockey player was traded. A great hockey player, much loved by a significant portion of the fan base was traded for another great player.

The sad part is why P.K. Subban was traded. He is gone today because the Canadiens always wanted Floyd Patterson — and they got Muhammad Ali. They wanted shy and humble, they got brash and confident. I remember when Subban first showed up at camp as a second-round pick, talking like a cross between Ali and Johnny (the Ordinary Superstar) Rodgers.

Even then, the Canadiens seemed uncomfortable with their young prodigy. And even then, you could sense that, like Ali and Rodgers, Subban was going to walk the walk.

But the Canadiens spent the past six seasons trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They stuck him with some of the most conservative coaches in the business and when (predictably) it didn’t work out, it was Subban who was gone, not the coach.

In hockey terms, it might work in the short term — but no one wanted to hear that on Wednesday. It was all about P.K. Subban departing for Nashville, not about Shea Weber coming to Montreal.

read on

Habs fans react...

from John Meagher of Hockey Inside/Out,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, shea+weber

The Made In Canada Trades Today

from Scott Stinson of the National Post,

Where the Subban trade becomes sad is that he was beloved in Montreal and donated $10-million to the local children’s hospital. Better get rid of that guy because he doesn’t play the boring style preferred by the coach.

Over in Edmonton, the trade of Hall was at least sort of understandable if you squinted at it a certain way. Yes, Hall was the Oilers’ leading scorer last season, though he would not have been if Connor McDavid had stayed healthy, and yes, Edmonton has for years now needed to improve its defence even as they kept adding forwards at the top of the NHL draft. So the trade of Hall for New Jersey Devils defenceman Adam Larsson at least addresses a key need. But Hall is also under contract for another four years at the fantastic price of $6-million per season, and he is just 23. In theory, he was a very valuable trade chip, one that should have acquired a better haul in return.

more on both trades

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, taylor+hall

Goodbye P.K. Subban

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

The Canadiens threw P.K. Subban under a Greyhound bus headed to Nashville.

In a deal which lent credence to the rumours that Subban’s larger than life personality was a problem in the Montreal dressing room, the Canadiens traded him to the Nashville Predators Wednesday for defenceman Shea Weber.

“Obviously, it’s a bit surreal but it happened.” Subban said in a conference call.

While Subban was diplomatic enough not to criticize the Canadiens, he hinted that the situation was less than ideal in Montreal.

“I’m just happy to be in a situation where I can excel and feel good about myself coming to the rink,” he said. He went on to say that he felt closer to winning a Stanley Cup in Nashville.

Earlier in the day, he tweeted that it was good to go to a team that wanted him. He said he felt embraced by the Montreal fans from the time he was drafted in 2007, but skirted around his relationship with the team other than to say: “They paid me a lot of money two years ago.”

In one respect, it’s a trade of equals. Both are all-stars and while Subban has won the Norris Trophy as the best defenceman in the NHL, Weber has been a finalist on two occasions.


added 6:35pm, Below, Watch Subban on the trade....

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, shea+weber

The Moves Today

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

So, where to begin with one of the most dramatic half hours in NHL transaction history?

A head-swirling span that saw a swap of two premier defensemen in Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and included the trade of a No. 1 overall draft pick in Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils that was followed by the news that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos re-signed with the team for the next eight years.

Let's just say the collective hockey heart rate is still beating in the red line, even as we begin to consider all that transpired in that magical 30 minutes.

Let's dive in with a swap of Norris Trophy-worthy defenders and marquee players in Weber and Subban, whose names were not once connected in the ever-swirling trade rumor mill leading up to Wednesday's blockbuster but whose swapping of teams will have repercussions in both cities for years to come.

Subban is 27 and under contract through 2021-22 with a $9 million cap hit. So much for Nashville being a small-market team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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