Kukla's Korner Hockey
"It's already an honor just to be in the conversation, but I know I have to step up and help lead this team no matter if there's a letter on this sweater or not. I feel like I'm ready for it. When Gorges and Gio were here, you don't want to step on any toes, you want the leaders to lead and want them to be able to do their thing. But now that they're gone, I think there's a big gap to fill right now. I hope to be able to do so. Whoever does have the 'C' on their sweater, he's going to have a lot of help. We know a lot of guys in the room that can lead, guys who have been on Stanley Cup teams. So I think whoever gets the letter, he'll get help."
-Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadians on his name being mentioned as one of the possibilites of being named captain. More from Pacioretty by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
The Montreal Canadiens showed some interest in free agent goaltender Martin Brodeur over the summer, according to RDS hockey analyst and former Canadien Vincent Damphousse.
Damphousse appeared on the season debut of the RDS program l'Antichambre on Monday, saying that Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin met with Brodeur's agent Pat Brisson in July to discuss the possibility of the future Hall of Fame goaltender as a fit.
"He's a good veteran," said Damphousse, noting that the Canadiens are looking to fill the leadership void with the departure of Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges. "He would be able to surround the captain and assistants. He could keep things calm. He's always smiling and jovial."
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens icon Jean Béliveau is recovering at home from a recent bout of pneumonia.
Élise Béliveau, the 83-year-old Hall of Famer’s wife of 61 years, was surprised in recent days to be informed by a friend of at least one French-language Internet report last week stating Béliveau was in critical condition.
A post on Twitter two days earlier had described Béliveau’s dramatic weight loss in graphic detail, adding he was “very ill.”
“I just thought: ‘What the heck is that?’ ” Élise Béliveau said Sunday. “Jean has been sick. He’s had pneumonia, he’s recuperating from it, he has his good days and his bad days and that’s it.”
Typical of the Internet, one report sourcing an unnamed person “close to the Béliveau family” quickly gathered steam. Rumours and further unsubstantiated reports soon suggested Béliveau was in his final moments and that his wife, their daughter, Hélène, and granddaughters Mylène and Magalie were at his bedside.
Élise Béliveau said Sunday while her husband rests and continues to recuperate, receiving a number of close friends to visit, the family is going about its normal routine.
from QMI AGENCY at the Toronto Sun,
Goaltender Martin Brodeur says he'd be willing to finish his Hall of Fame career with his hometown Montreal Canadiens.
The 42-year-old has previously said he's “80% sure” he’s coming back for a 21ST NHL season and told QMI Agency this week that he would have no problem backing up Carey Price in net.
"I would like to play one last season before retiring and I want to have fun doing it," said the three-time Stanley Cup winner.
"If the Canadiens made me an offer, it goes without saying that I would listen to what they have to offer me."
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is not among the NHL executives who has contacted Brodeur this summer.
from Caitlin Thompson of the Coast Mountain News,
The gymnasium of the Anahim Lake School was packed last week as community members turned out to honour one of their own: superstar NHL goalie Carey Price.
In town to promote his new role as First Nations Ambassador for the Breakfast Club of Canada, Price was excitedly received by his biggest fans: the Ulkatcho community.
Price’s remarkable story is well known by now. Of both Ulkatcho and Nuxalk descent, Price was raised on the ice of Anahim Lake, which was little more than backyard creeks and outdoor rinks, with his goalie father always by his side.
“It was just me and my dad a lot of the time,” Price said. “We would spend hours out on the creeks, in the cold.”
At age nine his dad decided he should join a team, so they made the nearly 700-kilometre round trip to Williams Lake a few times a week. It got so taxing that Price’s father Jerry, who had his pilot’s license, bought a small plane and the commute was cut to a more reasonable 45 minutes.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
... as the Canadiens move inside a month of training camp for the 2014-15 season, they are without a captain for the first time in four years.
That, according to the legendary Yvan Cournoyer, isn’t something that necessarily needs be remedied before the puck drops Oct. 8 in Toronto for the Canadiens’ season-opener vs. the Maple Leafs....
A lot of guys liked Gionta and he was a leader here and in New Jersey before that. So the players elected him at least a little bit,” Cournoyer said.
“Being captain is something among the guys. It’s a little bit of everything, on the ice and off for the players, off it for the organization.
“I think they could start the season without a captain and let the chemistry build, naming him after that. Maybe the players and management can have a meeting together.
“I don’t know what any one guy can do, it’s hard for me to say this guy should be captain,” Cournoyer said, not going out on a limb with his choice for the coming season.
“I might know that he’s a good player who can do something on the ice, but what can he do to bring the team together? That’s my main thing about the captain. In my day, if things were going bad, or if the players were having problems, it was up to the captain, and the guys together, to figure it out.”
Just in case you don't know who Yvan Cournoyer is or maybe you just want to see the 'Roadrunner' in action, watch the Legends of Hockey feature on him below...
from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,
Entering this season, as much as Bergevin and Therrien might try, it will be difficult to temper expectations in Montreal.
The Canadiens are built around a young star at each of the three positions in goaltender Carey Price, 27, left wing Max Pacioretty, 25, and defenseman P.K. Subban, who is also 25 and signed the richest contract in franchise history over the offseason at eight years and $72 million, making him the defenseman with the highest salary-cap charge in the NHL.
All three of those cornerstone players are signed at least through the 2017-18 season, when Price is due to become an unrestricted free agent, and they are supported by emerging young forwards Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk.
The Canadiens' clock to contend, while far from expiring, has begun to tick.
"I like the progression of our team, I like the direction our team is taking," Therrien said. "We had an enormous challenge when we arrived here two years ago, but I like the commitment and the way things have gone so far. But we haven't reached the goal yet."
Watch below as E.J. Hradek and Don Rosen of NHL.com take a look at the Canadiens...
"He's a good player, but he remains a dangerous defender. It can get five goals, but allow five so the score would be equal. I always compare it to Brian Leetch because he also wants to play a more attacking style. It does not always take the right decisions and plays just like he did on the streets as a child."
-Alex Kovalev on P.K. Subban. More at RDS (translated).
thanks to The Score for the pointer
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
Don’t get me wrong: I agree with (Jacques) Demers. In the room and on the ice, Markov might be the best choice to replace Brian Gionta as captain. He has the talent, the respect, the calm demeanor, the experience and that mysterious quality of leadership the position demands.
Markov would be (with his buddy, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals) one of only two Russian captains in the NHL. I just think he’s too smart to take the job....
And if the ‘C’ doesn’t go to Markov, where does it go? The Canadiens are fortunate to have several potentially good possibilities, even with Gionta and Josh Gorges in Buffalo.
Assuming that Markov wants no part of the job, the club could do worse than to pin the letter on the broad chest of Brandon Prust, as natural a leader as you can find. If he can stay healthy and contribute as he did during his first campaign with the Canadiens, Prust would make an excellent captain.
Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien also have about 72 million reasons to make P.K. Subban captain – and as many reasons not to make him captain, if you believe that the extra duties constitute an unwelcome distraction.
from the Montreal Canadiens,
On Saturday, general manager Marc Bergevin announced that the Canadiens had agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension with the 25-year-old rearguard that will keep him in bleu-blanc-rouge for the foreseeable future.
“My family and I are extremely happy to know that my future is going to continue with the Montreal Canadiens. That’s all I’ve ever wanted, and that’s exactly what happened. It hasn’t really settled in yet,” offered Subban, who spoke to members of the media via a conference call on Saturday evening. “During this process, I know a lot of different things have been said, but it’s been a healthy and respectful process. It’s been about making a deal that’s comfortable for myself and comfortable for the Montreal Canadiens. We accomplished that.
“I’ve had a great relationship working with Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin through this process,” added Subban. “It’s been very respectful. Committing to me this way says a lot. I’m just happy to know that I’m going to be playing under Geoff Molson and Marc for the next eight years.”...
“This whole process has been an educational one for me. I’ve never been through a process like this before. I have to give total credit to Marc and his group that worked so closely to put this deal together. It’s not easy to negotiate an eight-year deal like this, and ultimately it was what both sides wanted,” explained the four-year NHL veteran, who registered a career-high 43 assists and 53 points in 82 regular season games in 2013-14, before pacing the Canadiens with 14 points in 17 postseason tilts en route to a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. “Going through the arbitration hearing is a part of the process. It’s a part of learning. It’s a part of the game, and it’s a part of the CBA. We followed every step in terms of the process. I’ve always felt strongly about being a Montreal Canadien, and I never thought I’d end up anywhere else. I’m happy that this deal is in place. Now, I can focus on winning a Stanley Cup and trying to help my team win hockey games.
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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