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Entries with the tag: montreal canadiens
These are exciting times to be a hockey fan in Winnipeg, heat wave be damned – from the announcement of True North’s purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers to the draft party at the MTS Centre and the naming of the team, there has been no shortage of exciting developments in regards to Winnipeg’s return to the NHL.
I went to my fair share of Jets games in my time, and like almost every aging hockey fan in town was a huge fan of the team. I was upset when the original Jets were relocated to Phoenix back in 1996, but couldn’t deny the reasons the team left – no local owner, no new arena, etc.
Fast forward fifteen years and the Jets are back – sort of. There’s a new arena and owner (thank goodness), and the team, once again, is called the Jets (to the absolute delight of most). But until the team skates out on to home ice, I think I’ll continue having a hard time calling them “my” team.
August is almost here and one mystery Canadiens fans would like solved is a contract for starter Carey Price. Now the anointed number one goaltender, little to no information has leaked from either side as Price’s representatives negotiate (we presume) with Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier. Is it possible Gauthier has made a fatal error only months into his new tenure as the decision maker in Montreal?
Let’s consider his course of action in dealing with the goaltending “crisis” that afflicted the Habs coming into the offseason. Firstly, the media largely fabricated this “crisis” - it’s not a crisis when a team possesses a plethora of young talent, it’s simply a decision for the future. After all, both goaltenders were on the record that they would be happy to share the load another year. Secondly, crowd favourite and playoff saviour Jaroslav Halak, like Carey Price, was a restricted free agent, s so while the possibility of an offer from another team loomed, his rights were protected. Yet Gauthier chose to cut bait rather than fish out the month of June.
Once upon a time Georges Laraque was one of the most feared enforcers in the NHL. He was even unanimously awarded the ‘Best Fighter’ award from The Hockey News in 2003. In 2008, Sports Illustrated named him the number one enforcer in the league. During his days an an Oiler, Laraque racked up the penalty minutes, 826 in 490 games, while scoring the occasional goal here and there. Also known as “Big Georges” or simply “BGL”, Laraque even scored 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 2001-01 with Edmonton.
BGL’s good old days:
After short stints with the Phoenix Coyotes and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bob Gainey signed BGL to a 3-year $4.5M contract on July 3rd, 2008. Gainey needed to add toughness to a small corps of forwards as his team had been outplayed physically in the 2008 playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.
With the recent suspensions to Montreal Canadien Tom Kostopolous and Ottawa Senator Jarkko Ruutu for head shots, the NHL’s disciplinarian, Colin Campbell recently sent out a memo to all 30 teams reminding them that the league is not going to take head shots lightly.
An excerpt of the memo stated, “We cannot and will not tolerate blows to the head that are deliberate, avoidable and illegal.”
There is always a lot of talk about how the league doesn’t approve of head shots and that they need to stop, but yet it seems that every week a player is being helped off the ice with a concussion after a dirty hit to the head. It’s time for the NHL to step up to the plate and do something about it as opposed to sitting in the dugout hoping for a rain delay.
When looking for someone to blame, it’s easy to blame the player who committed the hit but it’s time for the NHL to look into the mirror and take responsibility themselves. They have the ace up their sleeve that can trump the entire situation. Take out the instigator rule.
As it is now, people skate around like dogs without a leash taking runs at people because they can get away with it. Players know they have free reign to do whatever they want to an opposing player and the opposing team cannot do anything. Sure they can stick up for their teammate but the player will just turtle and take the five minute penalty while the injured player is forced to leave the game. Penalizing players for sticking up for their teammates contradicts everything teams preach