Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Quick Habs notes

A few quick notes as we head towards the frenzy on Friday:

Captain Kirk beams up to…Milwaukee: Kirk Muller has left the Canadiens for the Nashville Predators system as he takes over as AHL coach for the Admirals. Muller, ever the go-between for Jacques Martin and his players, will be missed by many in Montreal, and joins the long list of coaching talent that have left the pressure-cooker that is the Bell Centre for calmer seas.

It’s Ben fun: Benoit Pouliot was not qualified by the Canadiens, making him an unrestricted free agent as of Friday. Pouliot was due $1.35 million had he been qualified by the Habs. Benny has speed, he’s tough and he has soft hands. Mentally, however, he seems to drop the ball, making glaring errors that result in penalties or goals. He also seems to have balance issues, as he falls down as lot. Pouliot has has had a tough few years, losing his father to a terminal illness quite suddenly late in his junior career. Best of luck Benny, I’ll miss your tenacity.

bye-bye Tom: Now this one caught me by surprise. Tomy Pyatt wasn’t qualified Monday, and I think Montreal will miss him. Pyatt was your prototypical defensive forward, a speeding demon on the PK but nowhere else. His hands reminded me oef the great Turner Stevenson - and that isn’t a goo thing. My bet? Pyatt catches on with a contender to play fourth line as a defensive specialist.

Alex Picard was also let go. Who will replace these three? Well, Anthony Stewart might be a good start. Not qualified by Winnipeg, Stewart is a big, tough winger who can score 15-20 goals. In other words, exactly what Montreal needs. However, my bet is that he signs to play with his brother Chris in St. Louis.

And hey, whatever become of the Jagr saga? It’s alive and well, with a decision expected Friday. The smart money is on Pittsburgh or Detroit, but Jagr’s agent has met with Pierre Gauthier this week. The caveat? Petr Svoboda is also the agent for former Habs defenceman Roman Hamrlik. The likely outcome? A huge letdown, as the Habs re-sign Hamrlik and lose out on Jagr. But hey Habs fans, don’t fret, this would be nothing new. We are used to letdowns. Our biggest acquisition in event years was Scott Gomez! So don’t worry, everything will work out fine? Who knows: maybe someone looking to hit the cap floor will trade for Mr. Gomez and his exorbitant contract.

A guy can dream, right?

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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com