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Entries with the tag: montreal canadiens

Friedman chronicles ‘the 23 minutes that shook the hockey world’

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman penned an absolutely fantastic feature article discussing the trio of moves that shook the hockey world on June 29th, 2016, and his article's more than worth your time:

Did they know? Did Marc Bergevin, Peter Chiarelli, David Poile, Ray Shero and Steven Stamkos know they were going to set the NHL on its ear one early summer afternoon?

“We knew what we were doing but had no idea what everyone else was up to,” New Jersey GM Shero said last weekend. “You know this is going to get out, so we’re trying to get hold of Adam Larsson. All of a sudden, you hear the other moves, and you’re like, ‘Holy (Bleep).’”

“July 1 is a landslide, but you expect it,” said Chiarelli, Edmonton’s President of Hockey Operations and GM. “The last thing you’re thinking about is someone else’s deal. We had the TV on, and the moves came across the ticker. I did a double-take. Wow.”

“In my world, none of that other stuff mattered,” laughed Poile, Nashville’s President of Hockey Operations and GM. “I still don’t know the order of the three moves.”

At 2:34 p.m. ET on Wednesday July 29 — seven minutes after intense speculation about Taylor Hall hit Twitter — his trade to the Devils for Larsson was a reality. It’s almost impossible to believe there could be a bigger one-for-one deal in the same afternoon, but 17 minutes later came an absolute blockbuster: Shea Weber for P.K. Subban.

Then, at 2:57 p.m., word came that #Stammergeddon was over. Steven Stamkos stayed in Tampa.

Friedman continues...

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  Tags: adam+larsson, david+poile, edmonton+oilers, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, new+jersey+devils, peter+chiarelli, pk+subban, pk+subban, ray+shero, shea+weber, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, taylor+hall

Pacioretty weighs in on the Subban trade

From Sportsnet's Luke Fox:

It’s a strange sight.

P.K. Subban is hustling up ice, spinning and slipping blind, backhanded passes thwack on the tape of soon-to-be goal scorers. He’s falling, laughing, and trying to trip contest-winning hockey hopefuls at Gatorade’s GCamp. He’s playfully battling Sidney Crosby, a fellow sponsored athlete, in the corners and dangling around teenagers that idolize him. Chirping, smiling, high-fiving — all gestures as blockbuster-sized as his trade one month ago. In short, P.K. is being P.K.

So that’s not the odd part. It’s what he’s wearing.

Aside from a G-splashed white-and-black sweater, Subban’s dekes and circle-backs are coloured in navy and gold. He’s rocking his official Nashville Predators helmet, gloves and pants. After nearly a decade representing Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, the visual is jarring.

“Very strange for me to see something like that happen,” Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty tells Sportsnet at GCamp, thinking back to one of hockey’s most climate-altering one-for-one trades in history. “P.K. is the person I got drafted with. He was the only remaining player I got drafted with.”

Continued

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  Tags: max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, pk+subban, pk+subban

Friedman: Why not PK for Hall instead?

Leading off a 1 AM-posted edition of "30 Thoughts" (I guess it's been that kind of day for Elliotte Friedman, too):

On a crazy day where Steven Stamkos signing in Tampa Bay could arguably be the third-biggest hockey story, the most unanswered question has to be: “Why couldn’t Montreal and Edmonton work out a Taylor Hall-P.K. Subban deal?”

The Oilers sure could’ve used Subban. We knew they were talking last week. Montreal initially asked for Leon Draisaitl, the No. 4 pick at Friday’s draft and more. That “more” included either Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, plus something else. I can’t nail down what that “something else” was, but it was not insignificant. It was a big price to pay, and Edmonton did not want to do that.

According to several sources, there was another possibility — without Draisaitl. Was Hall there? I can’t say for sure. But I do think he’s got fans in the Montreal organization. So, why didn’t it happen?

Here’s a quote from a GM on a different team: “How much are you paying Connor McDavid in two years? If you’re budgeting for $10M-11M, that’s $19M-$20M for him and Subban. Can you do it under this tighter cap?”

I would suspect that’s the reason.

With McDavid’s next contract potentially massive, Peter Chiarelli looked elsewhere. The Hall-for-Adam Larsson deal saves Edmonton more than $1.8M in cap room. No doubt that’s why it was a one-for-one trade. New Jersey GM Ray Shero could say, “I’m adding salary, I’m not giving up anything else.” He took a hard line.

Continued

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  Tags: adam+larsson, edmonton+oilers, leon+draisaitl, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, oscar+klefbom, pk+subban, pk+subban, steven+stamkos, taylor+hall

Rifts between Subban, Canadiens had been building

From an article titled, "Canada might be the loser on seismic NHL day," by the Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur:

It was the Canadiens who registered the most seismic day, though. In Montreal, it’s been an open secret that coach Michel Therrien never meshed with Subban. He would tell people that he believed he could never win a Cup with P.K., and the snubs — some ice-time battles, the triple high-five controversy, giving the captaincy to Max Pacioretty, the way teammates voted for Pacioretty over Subban for the community-minded King Clancy award this year — piled up. GM Marc Bergevin is said to be very close to Therrien; they are not just colleagues, but great friends, down to their families. Bergevin wanted to go to arbitration rather than pay Subban, but was overruled by the owner. Not this time, though.

“Too much personality,” a former Canadiens teammate said. “Saw it firsthand. They hated how much fun he had. The fact that he never sulked and pouted, win or lose, just bugged them, I guess. It made no sense to me, either.”

“I think it was blown out of proportion because of Montreal, the market we’re in,” Bergevin said. “We always look to make a story where there isn’t any. Yes, P.K.’s different, we’re not going to hide that, but there was never an issue, never a problem. I fought with my teammates in practice. It happens all the time.”

Not many believed him.

Continued

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  Tags: marc+bergevin, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, michel+therrien, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, pk+subban, pk+subban

Canadiens trade Lars Eller to Washington

From the Montreal Canadiens:

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  Tags: lars+eller, montreal+canadiens, washington+capitals

PK Subban leaves Habs game after hit from teammate

PK Subban was stretchered off the ice in Montreal after an accidental collision with Alexei Emelin:

 

added 11:53 pm, here's a better video of the incident from Sportsnet:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alexei+emelin, buffalo+sabres, montreal+canadiens, pk+subban, pk+subban

Saturday Headlines: On the John Scott trade, Ducks trade talk and more

Among Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman's Saturday Headlines:

  • The John Scott trade to Montreal was legitimate in that Coyotes GM Don Maloney wanted Jared Tinordi badly and were afraid that the deal with the Canadiens would fall apart, so they didn't wait 3 weeks to make the deal, and Scott was the "only player who could go" back to Montreal in the trade;
  • Cox states that the Canadiens got $200,000 in cap relief and a player in Nashville's Victor Bartley, who the Canadiens believe may actually contribute to their blueline;
  • The NHL offered Scott the opportunity to go to the All-Star Game as a paid family vacation, but he's not responded, and Scott isn't sure whether he's going to bow out;
  • Cox states that Pittsburgh and Anaheim made the Hagelin-for-Perron-and-Clendening deal at 3:15 AM Saturday morning, and Cox says that the Penguins are taking on 3 more years at $4 million for Hagelin, and Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still believes that his team will contend, while the Ducks' trade...makes people wonder if the Ducks are setting themselves up to trade for Jonathan Drouin;
  • Friedman says that the Ducks' Simon Despres and Cam Fowler may generate trade interest, as will the balance of their blueline;
  • Flames defenseman Kris Russell is generating interest, too, but the Flames still want to attempt to re-sign Russell;
  • Eric Staal is "still in limbo," and his agent, Rick Curran, will try to clarify his client's situation;
  • And Friedman says that the Kings still want to sign Milan Lucic to an extension if at all possible.

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, cam+fowler, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, david+perron, eric+staal, jim+rutherford, john+scott, kris+russell, los+angeles+kings, milan+lucis, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, simon+despres

Tyler Myers fined for cross-checking

From the NHL:

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers has been fined $5,000 for cross-checking San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels during NHL Game No. 638 in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Jan. 12, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 12:55 of the third period. Myers was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, tommy+wingels, tyler+myers, winnipeg+jets

Canadiens lose Gallagher to broken hand

This is very bad news for the Montreal Canadiens, via Sportsnet:

Per Sportsnet:

Gallagher, who will undergo surgery on Monday, suffered the injury in the second period of Montreal’s 4-2 win over the Islanders while blocking a shot from New York defenceman Johnny Boychuk.

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  Tags: brendan+gallagher, montreal+canadiens

Tomas Plekanec, under-the-radar star

From NHL.com's Arpon Basu:

If you ask the average hockey fan to name the top 10 scoring centers in the NHL, names will come fast and furious.

Sidney Crosby? No-brainer.

Steven Stamkos? Of course.

Henrik Sedin? Obviously.

But how many fans would know Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens sits in a tie for eighth among NHL centers in points going into Thursday's games? Or that he was tied for 12th among centers last season, alongside such superstars as Eric Staal, Pavel Datsyuk and Vincent Lecavalier?

Probably not too many, and frankly, Plekanec doesn't lose too much sleep over it.

"Of course it would be nice to get the recognition, but I like it this way," Plekanec told NHL.com this week. "In Montreal you get that recognition every second of the day. So I wouldn't say it bothers me, but of course it would be nice."

Continued

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, tomas+plekanec

Carey Price, en route to another MVP season?

From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

[Is] it possible Price has in store a season that could actually top his 2014-15 campaign, which saw him named the league's best goalie and MVP?

I mean, why not? He's 28 years old, still plenty of room to grow. Can you imagine for a moment if the best is still yet to come?

"He's one of those rare guys that you really say has the whole package,'' former Coyotes assistant GM and goalie whisperer Sean Burke said over the phone Thursday night.

"He's athletic to begin with, technically he's very, very sound, he's one of those players that has very few weaknesses, if any,'' continued Burke. "I'm sure every team says 'Let's get traffic and don't let him see the shot.' If he can see it, he's going to stop it. Mentally, that's such an advantage when you know the other team is going into the game saying, 'How are we going to beat this guy?' It reminds me of Dominik Hasek in his prime, the other team is half-beaten before they hit the ice.''

Continued

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  Tags: carey+price, dominik+hasek, montreal+canadiens, sean+burke

Canadiens extend Plekanec; 2 years, $12 million per McKenzie

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, tomas+plekanec

Habs off to historic start

Among Sportsnet's Mike Johnston's "Seven Things We Learned From the NHL on Thursday":

Canadiens make history…

Considering all the Stanley Cups, all the legendary teams, the fact it’s the only franchise in the NHL with more than 3,000 wins, it’s hard to believe the Montreal Canadiens had never started a season 5-0 before.

That changed Thursday when the Habs blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 in their home opener.

The Canadiens had started the season 4-0 three previous times (1955-56, 1970-71 and 1977-78) and each time they’ve done it they’ve gone on to win the Stanley Cup. If you’re a Habs fan who believes in good omens, you must be loving the start to the 2015-16 campaign.

Continued

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Canadiens 5-and-0, Price making big saves

The Montreal Canadiens are 5-and-0 after defeating the New York Rangers 3-0 on Thursday evening, and Carey Price made a sensational glove save on Rick Nash to keep it 1-0 toward the end of the 2nd period:

Price also said hello to Chris Kreider behind the net:

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  Tags: carey+price, chris+kreider, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Road-ice advantage?

Among the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren's "Five Takes":

ROAD SWEET ROAD?: As the Senators packed for the season opening road trip, Bobby Ryan and Patrick Wiercioch were among those who said it was easier starting the season away from Canadian Tire Centre. Now, they have some solid stats to back up that argument.

The Senators went into Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh with a perfect 3-0 record on the road, extending their undefeated regular season road record to 17 games (14-0-3), dating back to February.

The Senators aren’t alone. Montreal (4-0-0), Vancouver (3-0-0) and Winnipeg (3-1-0) also kick-started their seasons with hot road starts.

Before Thursday’s games, road teams had gone 29-19-1.

Home teams? 20-25-4. That includes the woeful start by the Los Angeles Kings, outscored 12-2 in losing their opening three games on home ice. If they keep this up, they’ll be facing a ridiculous climb to a playoff spot by the time they play their first road game Oct. 22.

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings, montreal+canadiens, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, vancouver+canucks, winnipeg+jets

NHL, Epix to continue producing ‘Road to the Winter Classic’

From the NHL:

EPIX AND NHL REUNITE FOR A SECOND SEASON OF
"EPIX PRESENTS ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC”

Produced By Ross Greenburg in partnership with NHL Original Productions,
New Season Premieres on EPIX December 16

Series Follows the Boston Bruins & Montreal Canadiens As Original Six™ Rivals Head Toward the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® On New Year’s Day

Free Live Stream of Each Episode Available to U.S. Audiences
via EPIX.com and NHL.com

NEW YORK (October 15, 2015) – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced that EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Winter Classic™ will be returning to the channel and will make its U.S. television premiere Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C.  The weekly series, consisting of four one-hour episodes, will focus on the heated rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens as they prepare for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on New Year’s Day 2016. This will be the second year that EPIX and the NHL® team up for this all-access look inside the lives of these elite professional athletes, their families and their fans. In addition, U.S. hockey fans will be able to stream each episode of EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Winter Classic live as it premieres on EPIX via EPIX.com and NHL.com.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: boston+bruins, epix, montreal+canadiens, winter+classic

LeBrun conducts a Q and A with Max Pacioretty

From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, the team's leading offensive star who takes his new leadership role seriously, sat down Wednesday for a conversation ranging from his team's fast start, to improving his own game, to what he'd do if named NHL commissioner for a day.

Pierre LeBrun: The smile comes easy these days for you guys, I'm sure. A 4-0 start, all on the road, you can't be that.

Max Pacioretty: No, it's been a great start for us. The most important win, I think, was the last game. It's tough to play four in a row on the road, and especially against a team (Pittsburgh) that has that many stars, hasn't won a game yet, and was coming home for their opener. That was a gutsy win by our group, I think. The way we came out in that third period and took over the rest of the game shows a lot about our group. It's encouraging moving forward that we have the confidence to play that way, hopefully for the whole year.

PL: Four goals in four games for you. I know you care more about the wins, but you are expected to score goals for this team. Is it nice to get that going early in terms of getting into a rhythm?

MP: Yeah, a bit. I mean, it definitely helps your confidence, but I think I've gotten some bounces early in the year. They come in bunches like that. I've just been fortunate right now. The role I'm given, I feel like is more two-way than it was in the past. A situation like last game, we're up 3-1 late in the game, you're trying to forecheck and make them play in their own end and make sure you don't give one up. I think if we have that mentality, we're going to win a lot of games.

Continued

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  Tags: max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

EA Sports predicts an Anaheim Ducks Cup win

From the Canadian Press:

The Stanley Cup is headed to Anaheim this season, according to a video game simulation of the NHL season.

EA Sports says its "NHL 16" simulation has the Ducks winning the Presidents' Trophy, symbolic of the best regular-season record, and then defeating the Montreal Canadiens in the Cup final. Anaheim forward Corey Perry claims the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

The Ducks defeat the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference final while the Habs dispatch the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East final.

EA, which develops the hockey video game in suburban Vancouver, had the Los Angeles Kings winning the Cup last season in its pre-season simulation and the St. Louis Blues the year before that.

The new simulation has the Buffalo Sabres, who finished last in the 2014-15 standings, missing out on the playoffs by just two points. The Los Angeles Kings make it back to the post-season only to lose in seven games to the Calgary Flames in the first round.

Continued

Update: Here's EA's video of their simulation:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, corey+perry, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, pittsburgh+penguins

Canadiens mark the passing of Bob Fillion

From the Montreal Canadiens:

It is with great sadness that the Montreal Canadiens organization mourns the passing of Bob Fillion at the age of 95. The former left winger, who won two Stanley Cups with the Canadiens along with Maurice Richard in 1944 and 1946, was the oldest living former Canadiens player since the death of Elmer Lach and John Mahaffy, who both passed away earlier this year.

Born in Thetford Mines, Quebec on January 12, 1920, Robert Fillion grew up playing hockey. In addition to him, his six brothers also played at a professional or senior level. Furthermore, all seven brothers (Bob, Marcel, Dennis, Georges, Nelson, Fernand and Jean-Marie) all played for the Thetford Chappies in their native city during the 1940s. Marcel Fillion also played one game in the NHL with the Boston Bruins in 1944-45.

In 1938, Bob Fillion left Thetford Mines to join the Canadiens’ farm team, the Verdun Maple Leafs, where he happened to meet Maurice Richard and Émile “Butch” Bouchard. Bob Fillion was the one who actually gave Mr. Bouchard the nickname of “Butch”.

Bob Fillion played seven seasons with the Canadiens between 1943 and 1950. He amassed 103 points (42 goals, 61 assists) in 327 regular season games. He also suited up for the Buffalo Bisons in the AHL (1947-48) and the Sherbrooke Saints of the Quebec Senior League (1950-51).

Despite his age, Bob Fillion was a dedicated fan who attended Canadiens games on a regular basis ever since the Alumni Association was created in 1983.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens

Updating Max Pacioretty’s recovery

From NHL.com's Arpon Basu:

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty's rehabilitation from a knee injury sustained last month is on schedule, according to coach Michel Therrien and Pacioretty's agent, Pat Brisson.

"Everything's going well with his rehab, honestly, so we're happy," Therrien said at his annual charity golf tournament Tuesday. "It's unfortunate [he got injured], but he's still able to train even if he's limited in the exercises he can do."

The Canadiens announced July 10 that Pacioretty would be out for 12 weeks recovering from the injury he sustained while working out in Florida. The original timeline would have Pacioretty returning a few days prior to the Canadiens' 2015-16 regular-season opener Oct. 7 at the Toronto Maple Leafs, but would have him missing most, if not all, of training camp.

"Max has always surprised us with his ability to return a little bit earlier than scheduled," Therrien said. "But right now everything's going well, he's recovering well, and that's good news."

Brisson said he exchanged text messages with his client last week and received the same progress report as Therrien.

"He progressing very well and he's going in the right direction," Brisson said. "It's August 11, one month in, and he's going in the right direction."

Continued...

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  Tags: max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, michel+therrien, montreal+canadiens, pat+brisson

Habs GM Bergevin holds high hopes for Alex Semin

Via Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin issued a list of high hopes for Alexander Semin to the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan:

When asked what led him to sign the enigmatic Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes this summer after scoring only six goals in 57 games last season, Bergevin said: “He’s high skilled … he brings something that not a lot of players do have. Obviously, things didn’t go his way in Carolina. He’s going to have a chance to prove that he is a player that he once was and he’s still young at 31 years of age. So we hope he’ll bring his skill and his compete level to Montreal.”

The Hurricanes gave Semin a five-year, $35-million contract extension in March 2013 after he had averaged a point a game in his first 30 games with Carolina (eight goals and 22 assists) after signing a one-year, $7-million free-agent contract. The buyout will cost the Hurricanes $14 million spread over the next six years.

Bergevin told reporters in Foxboro that the 31-year-old Semin, who was selected by the Washington Capitals in the first round (13th overall) at the 2002 NHL Draft, needs to show more consistency in his game.

“That was the downside that he had in Carolina and that’s what we’re looking for,” the GM said. “If you don’t score — (and) it’s hard to score in today’s game — you have to bring something else to the table. So it’s either backchecking or stripping pucks or playing solid hockey … that’s what I expect from you if you don’t score.”

Continued...

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  Tags: alex+semin, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens

Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon discusses life-changing illness

From ESPN's Tal Pinchevsky:

Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon doesn't remember much about his life-and-death struggle with a severe form of meningitis last year. The 12 days he spent in a coma after initially complaining of headaches are a blank, just a dark, empty space in his young life.

But he'll never forget March 28, 2014, the day he was discharged after spending a month at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

His scary battle with meningitis, which causes inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, left Bozon's 6-foot-1 frame withered down to 140 pounds. Being incubated and losing his strength had reduced his voice to a raspy whisper, and several days in a medically induced coma had effectively left the Canadiens' 2012 third-round pick starting his life over.

Almost 15 months later, the 21-year-old has big plans for his first season in pro hockey.

"I'm really looking forward to next season," Bozon said. "You never know if you will play in the AHL or get called up [to the NHL], but I have a lot of work to do."

Continued

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens

Don Cherry waxes nostalgic about the Nordiques-Canadiens rivalry

Don Cherry engaged in some story-telling on Wednesday afternoon:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: bill+foley, don+cherry, las+vegas, montreal+canadiens, quebec+nordiques

Hockey Canada to announce World Cup of Hockey management team on Monday

Per Sportsnet's John Shannon, Hockey Canada is going for an ecclectic mix of "old and new" to helm Canada's 2016 World Cup team:

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will lead Canada’s management team for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, reports John Shannon.

Hockey Canada will announce on Monday that Armstrong will serve as GM and have fellow NHL front office personnel Ken Holland, Marc Bergevin and Rob Blake on his staff, according to Shannon.

Holland and Bergevin currently work as GMs for the Red Wings and Canadiens, respectively. Blake is an assistant GM with the Kings.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, doug+armstrong, ken+holland, los+angeles+kings, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, rob+blake, st+louis+blues, world+cup+of+hockey

Brooks: Hawks no dynasty

The New York Post's Larry Brooks argues that the Chicago Blackhawks may be a dominant team, but are no dynasty:

The Blackhawks are a historically excellent team produced by a model hockey operation. Their three-in-six in the hard cap era is a noteworthy accomplishment. Sharp management is the constant linking this cap era with everything that came before it. That and Scotty Bowman, who keeps finding rings the way kids find Easter eggs.

But the rush to canonize these Blackhawks and include them with the dynastic Canadiens, Islanders and Oilers is foolish. Three-in-six is something, all right, but it isn’t four straight, five straight, four-in-five, or 19 straight series.

It’s the same as the Red Wings’ three-in-six from 1997-2002, better than the Devils’ three-in-nine from 1995-2003, one more than the Avalanche’s two-in-six from 1996-2001, and though those teams didn’t have to deal with the cap, they did have to deal with one another — and a perennially powerful Dallas team — at the top.

And I would take all of those teams over this Blackhawks squad in a fantasy tournament, just as I would take the Red Wings that went four-for-six from 1950-1955 in hypothetical all-time matchups.

It’s a double-edged blade. Just as the cap has made it more exponentially more difficult to keep a powerful team intact, it has also diluted the opposition. The bar just isn’t set as high. No great team, by the way, has ever faced less of a challenge than the five-time, 1956-60 champion Canadiens once Detroit ownership exiled Ted Lindsay in the summer of 1957.

Brooks continues...

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders

Blackhawks ‘more than a dynasty?’

USA Today's Kevin Allen makes quite the assertion this evening...

We don't have to debate whether the Chicago Blackhawks are a dynasty because Gary Bettman made them one by commissioner's decree. He referred to them as a "dynasty" in his remarks leading up to presenting the Stanley Cup to Jonathan Toews after the Blackhawks won the Cup with a 2-0 triumph against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"I don't know what (dynasty) means," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. "We've got three in six years. I know that's pretty good."

That makes the Blackhawks the most decorated team in the post-salary cap era, and deserving to be called one of the top teams in NHL history.

Their current run doesn't measure up statistically to the great Montreal Canadiens teams from 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Toe Blake coached the Canadiens to five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1956-60. Scotty Bowman, who is an adviser for the Blackhawks, guided the Canadiens to four consecutive titles from 1976-79. The Canadiens had a 16-3 record in those four Stanley Cup Finals. Now Scotty's son, Stan, has been general manager of the three Stanley Cup winners in Chicago.

Chicago's run also isn't as lengthy as the New York Islanders run of four consecutive championships from 1980-83. The Edmonton Oilers also have their own distinction by winning five Stanley Cups over seven seasons from 1984 to 1990.

But the Blackhawks are now in the conversation to be called one of the great teams because they have won three titles at a time when the league is in a period of undeniable competitive balance. The statistical difference between the No. 1 team in the league and the No. 16 isn't as pronounced as it once was.

Allen continues...

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, edmonton+oilers, gary+bettman, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, patrick+kane, scotty+bowman

Habs avoid sweep, take series with Bolts back to Montreal

Given the ease with which the Tampa Bay Lightning handled the Montreal Canadiens in Games 1-3, it was thought that Game 4 would yield a Lightning sweep, but instead, Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals, including this shorthanded marker, en route to a 6-2 Canadiens win that forces a Game 5 on Saturday:

Once again, Ben Bishop's glove failed him, this time on a goal by David Desharnais:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: ben+bishop, david+desharnais, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens

Open Post- Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff Games

The Tampa Bay Lightning can sweep the Montreal Canadiens this evening (7 PM EDT start on NBCSN/CBC/TVA Sports) and the Chicago Blackhawks can eliminate the Minnesota Wild (9:30 PM start on NBCSN/Sportsnet/TVA Sports 2). If you wish to weigh in on said games, here's an open thread to serve your needs.

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, tampa+bay+lightning

NHL announces start times for possible TB-MTL Game 5, NYR-WASH Game 6

From the NHL:

START TIMES SET FOR 2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SECOND ROUND EASTERN CONFERENCE GAMES SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

NEW YORK (May 7, 2015) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start times and national television information for 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round Eastern Conference games scheduled for Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10.

  • The start time for Game 5 (if necessary) of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Montreal on Saturday. The game will be seen on CBC, TVA Sports and NBCSN. 

 

  • The start time for Game 6 (if necessary) of the series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Washington on Sunday.  The game will be seen on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports.

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

‘Thumbs down’ to the Habs

TSN's Dave Hodge issues a "thumbs down" to the Montreal Canadiens:

There is seldom a way to recover from a 3-0 deficit in a Stanley Cup playoff series, and the Canadiens don't even have time to regroup. With Game 4 coming 24 hours after the most stunning loss imaginable, the Canadiens will feel as though they never left the ice.

So this is no ordinary deep hole that requires a ladder made of four straight wins. This makes down and out feel like the same thing. And the very worst of it is that the Habs can't even tell themselves things should be different. Surely they could see it coming.

Too often they've relied on Carey Price to win a game with saves that should have been won more easily with goals. With an overtime goal against Ben Bishop, this would have been another typical Montreal win - except that Price couldn't make the last save. And suddenly - 1.1 seconds later - the game was over. There was no more time and no time for overtime.

The Canadiens have been described as a mediocre team with a great goalie. Harsh as that might sound, any argument is hollow. Thumbs up and down accordingly.

Continued

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  Tags: ben+bishop, carey+price, montreal+canadiens

Sometimes an ‘ugly win’ is a beautiful thing

According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens (during the start of a slate of back-to-back games) was...lacking in aesthetic value:

The Tampa Bay Lightning played a mediocre hockey game Wednesday night capped by a brilliant play at the buzzer, leaving the Montreal Canadiens stunned and in disbelief.

Tyler Johnson’s goal with 1.1 seconds to go in the third period was the dagger moment of a series that will end, if not Thursday evening in Game 4, then certainly sometime in the near future.

"Obviously we’re excited about the win, but we’re not very proud of the way we played," Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. "They were a desperate hockey team, had more chances than we did today, they knew their backs were against the wall, they played like it, and we didn’t respond that great."

But the Lightning found a way to win in the end, which is what good teams do in championship seasons, because they can’t all be things of beauty.

Continued, and as a Red Wings fan, I certainly empathize with Habs fans who have found out the hard way that the Lighting seem to have copyrighted the "ugly rope-a-dope win."

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning, tyler+johnson

Cherry: ‘They were both wrong as far as I’m concerned’

After several days of the media expalining that Brandon Prust was in the wrong for going against an unwritten rule in telling the media about his conversation with Brad Watson, and Prust incurring a $5,000 fine, Don Cherry offered a slightly different take on the situation:

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  Tags: brad+watson, brandon+prust, don+cherry, montreal+canadiens

Last-second goal gives Lightning a 3-0 lead over the Canadiens

Tyler Johnson with the dagger, snapping a 1-1 tie with EXACTLY 1 second left on the clock:

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, tampa+bay+lightning, tyler+johnson

Kucherov the OT hero for Tampa Bay

It only took two tries for Nikita Kucherov to scored the game-winning OT goal for Tampa Bay:

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, nikita+kucherov, tampa+bay+lightning

Benn (Art Ross), Ovechkin (Richard), Crawford and Price (Jennings) win regular-season trophies

BENN, OVECHKIN, CRAWFORD AND PRICE CAPTURE 2014-15 REGULAR-SEASON TROPHIES

NEW YORK (April 12, 2015) – The 2014-15 National Hockey League regular season concluded on Saturday with Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn capturing his first career Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring champion, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin claiming his fifth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens winning the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltender(s) who play at least 25 games for the club allowing the fewest goals. Two races – for the Art Ross Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy – came down to the final moments of the regular season.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, art+ross+trophy, carey+price, chicago-blackhawks, corey+crawford, dallas+stars, jamie+benn, maurice+richard, montreal+canadiens, rocket+richard+trophy, washington+captials

Brandon Prust runs puck-playing Ben Bishop

I (George) have some strong feelings about both of the players engaging in shenanigans here, so I'm going to let the Hockey News's Adam Proteau tell this story...

Montreal Canadiens winger Brandon Prust is known around the league as a player who plays “on the edge”. Monday night against Tampa Bay, he appeared to go over that edge on a questionable hit from behind on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop that could earn him a date with the NHL’s discipline department.

The Lightning had a 3-0 lead on the Habs in the second period when the puck came around the boards toward the back of Bishop’s net. The goalie came out to play the puck, and Prust skated right into his back, knocking Bishop headfirst into the boards when Prust just as easily could’ve pulled up or avoided the collision: (video via SportsNetCanada)

 

And he continues, discussing Prust's previous "run-ins" with the NHL's Department of Player Safety.. Prust got 2 minutes for goaltender interference in a game the Lightning won 4-2...

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  Tags: ben+bishop, brandon+prust, montreal+canadiens, tampa+bay+lightning

Deadline day Garrioch

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch can only pen "'almost deal'" columns after today, so he's delivering a hum-dinger of a rumor wallop this morning. Among his trade deadline day ruminations:

A guy who isn’t being talked about much who may be attracting a lot of interest is New Jersey defenceman Marek Zidlicky. Nobody is sure if Devils GM Lou Lamoriello would actually deal Zidlicky, but teams have been calling to see what the asking price is, just in case he does decide to make a move.

...

The Maple Leafs want to be the busiest team in the league Monday. They have been trying to deal almost their entire roster, but all eyes will be on captain Dion Phaneuf and wingers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. They’ve also, for the past two weeks, been shopping centre Tyler Bozak and his $4.2-million salary. Toronto has a chance to make this a significant day if they make moves.

...

The Montreal Canadiens set up shop in San Jose on Sunday night after a long flight that left at 11 a.m. The Habs have been steadfast in their search for a defenceman since the quest for help began. They were able to help their forward ranks by picking up Devante Smith-Pelley from the Ducks earlier this week in exchange for Jiri Sekac, but the thinking is GM Marc Bergevin isn’t done. The Habs would like to get a defenceman and the belief is they’ve been eyeing Toronto’s Roman Polak and Edmonton’s Jeff Petry. Though teams have wanted draft picks in return, the talk is the Habs may be dangling goaltender prospect Zach Fucale, who was a second-round selection (No. 36 overall) in 2013.

Garrioch continues, reporting that the Sabres and Bruins may swing a Chris Stewart deal, that the Blues want to make some sort of impact and that Matt Beleskey is in high demand.

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  Tags: chris+stewart, devante+smith-pelly, dion+phaneuf, jeff+petry, jiri+sekac, joffrey+lupul, lou+lamoriello, marc+bergevin, marek+zidlicky, matt+beleskey, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, phil+kessel, roman+polak, toronto+maple+leafs, tyler+bozak

Simmons on the Franson trade, Burmistrov and Price for Hart

Amongst the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' Sunday hockey and/or sports-related notes, which mostly involve the Toronto Maple Leafs:

If you break down the Cody Franson-Mike Santorelli trade, it’s basically Franson for a late first-round pick and Santorelli for the prospect Brendan Leipsic. The Leafs had a very extensive book on Leipsic, partly because personnel man Mark Hunter had his London Knights play against him in the Memorial Cup. Leipsic is known for three things: 1) being small; 2) being ultra-competitive; 3) having ridiculous ‘he could stickhandle in a phone booth’ hands...

Coaches that interest the Leafs: Still working division: Mike Babcock, Todd McLellan; Ken Hitchcock; Dave Tippett; Out of work division: Peter DeBoer. Seemingly no interest: Dan Bylsma...

The Leafs also have some interest in Alexander Burmistrov, the troubled high draft pick playing in the KHL, whose rights are owned by Winnipeg...

I'm intrigued by Burmistrov myself--he's 23 and liberally-listed at 6' and 179 pounds, and he hasn't exactly lit it up during two seasons with the Ak Bars Kazan, but he's still fleet-footed as all hell get out, and he could be somebody's next-year reclamation project.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alexander+burmistrov, carey+price, cody+franson, dan+bylsma, dave+tippett, hart+trophy, ken+hitchcock, mike+babcock, mike+santorelli, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, pete+deboer, todd+mclellan, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Clarkson beans Gonchar, baffled about game misconduct; Gonchar day-to-day

This hit drew Paul's eye, so take note, per the Canadian Press's Kelsey Patterson:

The Montreal Canadiens picked up two points on Saturday by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in a shootout.

But they had to do it without defenceman Sergei Gonchar, who left with an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return after a questionable hit from Toronto's David Clarkson.

The 40-year-old blue-liner was playing a loose puck behind Carey Price's net when Clarkson pushed him with both hands into the boards. Gonchar fell awkwardly and remained on his knees for several seconds.

Clarkson, who was assessed a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit, didn't feel the hit was dirty and was even surprised to be sent to the dressing room early.

"I haven't seen it, but I think I got him in the shoulder," said Clarkson. "You don't like to see a guy go in awkwardly. I'm not sure of much more than that. I was just finishing my check. I didn't know I was kicked out."

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  Tags: david+clarkson, montreal+canadiens, sergei+gonchar, toronto+maple+leafs

Is this a goal or a blind-side pick?

In tonight's Montreal-Buffalo game, Brandon Prust exited the penalty box, bumped Tyler Myers off the puck, and eventually scored the 1-1 goal, but an argument can be made that Prust made a "pick" from the blind side instead of simply separating player from puck because Myers had no idea that Prust was cruising into his back:

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  Tags: brandon+prust, buffalo+sabres, montreal+canadiens, tyler+myers

Garrioch discusses the Coyotes’ fire sale and Anaheim’s attempts to snag Myers

A certain fan base that visits Kukla's Korner regularly reacted to Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney's suggestion that it would be "difficult" to part with Shane Doan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but that just about everyone else on his team's roster is available, means that OEL is  on the move, but even the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch doesn't belive that to be true--though he does have some news about the Coyotes' would-be fire sale:

In summary, captain Shane Doan won’t be going anywhere, defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is doubtful to be moved (but could be) and if teams are willing to pay the price then pretty much everybody else is on the market. However, buyers should beware.

For example, centre Antoine Vermette will be going somewhere by the March 2 deadline and he’s highly-sought after. The talk amongst NHL executives is when the Senators made a call, the asking price may have been top-prospect Curtis Lazar or another high-end prospect.

For a rental? Thanks, but no thanks for the Senators, but that doesn’t mean some contender won’t pay it.

Defenceman Keith Yandle, a year away from unrestricted free agency, is also drawing a lot of interest. The Coyotes will want two pieces and a pick in return for him but Maloney hasn’t given teams interested an idea of just how big he wants those two pieces to be.

“If you can get Yandle at this deadline you can get him for two playoff runs,” noted a league executive. “This isn’t an easy move but you’re getting a guy who can play 20-plus minutes and is pretty good offensively.”

Garrioch continues, discussing the Leafs' possible attempts to move Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel, Martin Brodeur's retirement as a Blue, and this:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, antoine+vermette, bob+murray, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, don+maloney, keith+yandle, marc+bergevin, montreal+canadiens, oliver+ekman-larsson, phoenix+coyotes, shane+doan, tim+murray, tyler+myers

Emelin boards Spezza, is tossed

I don't know what's worse on this play, Alexei Emelin's predictably ugly boarding of Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza or the apologies made for a game misconduct-worthy infraction by the Sportsnet announcers:

Spezza was OK, and Dallas lost 3-2 to Montreal because Emelin scored the game's first goal and Montreal built 2-0 and 3-1 leads.

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  Tags: alexei+emelin, dallas+stars, jason+spezza, montreal+canadiens

Garrioch talks Habs, Briere on the move, Petry and Flyers’ possible blueline sale

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has made a helluva case for Antoine Vermette as the league's most useful player available at the trade deadline (in no small part because the Arizona Coyotes forward used to be a Senator), and Vermette's far from chopped liver, but these parts of his Sunday rumor column are more interesting than Vermette talk or discussion of Team Canada WJC coach Benoit Groulx's future:

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin has been working the phones to try to get help up front. Yes, the Habs have had a great first half, but they'd still like to get a little more size among their forwards for a long playoff run. They waived blue-liner Bryan Allen and his $3.5-million contract. He was sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Hamilton and the Habs are hopeful someone will deal for him ... If a team is looking for experience, a possible option is Colorado C Daniel Briere. A UFA with a $4-million cap hit, he's being used in a fourth-line role by the Avs. Briere, 36, could be a nice fit for a team in the East and the Avs wouldn't want much more than a draft pick in return. The Islanders could use a guy like Briere. They have little experience ... A possible fit for the Wings: Oilers' D Jeff Petry. Detroit GM Ken Holland was on Edmonton radio last week and indicated he needs a right shot. Petry is a UFA and a Michigan native.

Ryan Kesler's also from Michigan, and the Wings were supposedly in trade talks for him, too, but that didn't happen. A player's Michigan ties haven't fared into the Wings,' "We want to trade for guy over the other one" decision-making process since the Jimmy Carson trade.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall is getting antsy to make deals. Philly has virtually no shot at making the playoffs, coach Craig Berube is on the hot-seat and Hextall wouldn't mind clearing out cash. While the Flyers would like to move blue-liners Nick Schultz, Carlo Colaiacovo and Michael Del Zotto, the guy teams really covet is Braydon Coburn. With a $4.5-million cap hit through 2016-17, Coburn is highly regarded and could bring a good return. There's also interest in centre Brayden Schenn, who has a cap hit of $2.75 million through next season.

Garrioch continues...

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  Tags: braydon+coburn, carlo+colaiacovo, colorado+avalanche, craig+berube, daniel+briere, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jeff+petry, marc+bergevin, michael+del+zotto, montreal+canadiens, nick+schultz, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall

Canadiens fete Koivu

As NHL.com's Sean Farrell notes, the Montreal Canadiens honored former captain Saku Koivu for his service to the team on Thursday night:

 

Watch the full 30 minute ceremony below...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, saku+koivu

Clayton Stoner hit sends Max Pacioretty to the hospital

Clayton Stoner hit Max Pacioretty during the third period of the Montreal Canadiens' 2-1 loss to Stoner's Anaheim Ducks...

And this is not good, nor is...Well...

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, clayton+stoner, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens

Farewell, Gentleman Jean

Oh my.

This is all I can get out:

 

added 7:00am, Release from the Montreal Canadiens is below...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: jean+beliveau, montreal+canadiens

Simmons devotes a paragraph to hockey on Grey Cup day

The Grey Cup is taking place today, which is why the Wings-Canucks matinee is the only NHL game on the schedule, and the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons spends the vast majority of his Sunday notebook discussing the match-up between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders (airing at 6 PM EST on TSN), but he spends one meaty paragraph discussing all things NHL-related:

I wonder if Bob McCown read his own book. In the bestselling 100 Greatest Hockey Arguments, McCown makes a case against Paul Henderson’s inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A strong case. Lately, he has been pushing the Henderson Hall of Fame agenda. Strange ... On Saturday afternoon, the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks were tied for the most points in the NHL and that has to be wrong, doesn’t it? ... The first quarter MVP in the NHL: Pekka Rinne ...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, connor+mcdavid, joffrey+lupul, jonathan+bernier, martin+brodeur, montreal+canadiens, paul+henderson, pekka+rinne, ryan+johansen, st+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs

Stamkos scores hat trick as Bolts defeat Habs

The Tampa Bay Lightning had a helluva Monday night, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 7-1, and Steven Stamkos registered a hat trick along the way (among 12 shots):

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  Tags: montreal+canadiens, steven+stamkos, tampa+bay+lightning

Martin Brodeur won’t take part in training camps, but Pat Brisson believes his client will find work

Via The Score's Katie Flynn, the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti spoke with Martin Brodeur's agent, Pat Brisson, regarding his client's status. Pat Brisson stated that his client won't attend a team's training camp on a pro try-out, but he believes that his client will find NHL employment:

"Both physically and mentally Marty is ready to have another season,” Brisson told me today. “Training camps are starting next week. There’s no rush. However, once training camp opens and once the season opens in early October, there’s going to be opportunities, I believe, for Marty. It may come early. It may come a little later. … If you look at every season, there’s always a situation that is not perfect. Perhaps, a goaltender will get an injury or a goalie that doesn’t start off the season on the right foot. Now, that doesn’t mean that any team that shows up Marty is going to go. It has to make sense to Marty.”

Brodeur has already said he is willing to be a backup in the right situation – on a team with a good chance to win – though he’d clearly love a chance to be a No. 1, as well. It’s just a matter of waiting for that right situation to arise.

Once the dust settled following the initial free agent frenzy on July 1, Brisson and Brodeur both knew things would be quiet until after training camps opened. (Players report for physicals next Thursday and begin practices the next day.)

“Nothing happens in July and August once free agency is over,” Brisson said.

Brisson also addressed the reports that Brodeur's been contacted by the Montreal Canadiens...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: marc+bergevin, martin+brodeur, montreal+canadiens, pat+brisson, vincent+damphousse

Simmons weighs in on Brodeur-to-Montreal & Seattle rumors and offers Bertuzzi notes

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons penned a week's worth of hockey, baseball, football, etc.-related observations, these ones stood out:

With Dustin Tokarski and Peter Budaj under contract, where did this Martin Brodeur to Montreal story come from? Doesn’t make any sense ... The NHL may be obsessed with putting a franchise in Seattle, but the hockey people I trust most in that city don’t think there is any impetus for the NHL in the market.

...

The book somebody should write: The decade post-Bertuzzi. What happened from the day of the incident to the day of the eventual settlement. It could be Grisham-like ... Name to remember, by the way, Tag Bertuzzi. Todd’s son is considered one of the rising stars in Michigan minor hockey.

Simmons continues and discusses the Leafs, as you might expect, as well as the concept that "centres [are] the key to the Cup"...

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  Tags: dustin+tokarski, montreal+canadiens, peter+budaj, todd+bertuzzi

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