Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

And now a distraction from lockout talk: Subban rumours

Well, it was only a matter of time until the trade rumours really started, given that PK Subban still has yet to sign with the Habs. 

 

Slam.ca is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers have asked about a deal involving Subban, and ony can only wonder if this is the first step before a potential offer sheet to the restricted free agent. You'll find a link to the article here

 

As you'll see, the article speculates that Sean Couturier would likely be a central piece going back to the Habs. While there is no doubt that Couturier would provide much needed size, speed, youth and physicality down the middle, taking Subban out of the Habs already thin defensive core could be a death blow to any playoff chance they have in whichever year the NHL decides to play. But hey, at least we've got a rumour to chew on that doesn't involve revenue splits and dollar figures. 

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Subban signing close: TVA Sports

TVA Sports reports this evening that a contract between PK Subban and the Montreal Canadiens is close to complete. Few other details have emerged, but you'll find a translation of the article by clicking here.

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Subban speaks, Bourque on the mend

In what has been a down time of late for Habs fans and hockey fans the like, two bits of news today from Montreal. The first, which you've likely already heard, is that Rene Bourque tore his abdominal wall and will be out the next 8-12 weeks recovering. 

The second bit of news is, well, it isn't really news at all. However, it's an interview with PK Subban, in which he details his intention and desire to stay with the Canadiens.  The interview was conducted by venerable Montreal journalist Abe Hefter, and can be listened to in full at the link below:

http://abehefter.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/pks-message-to-habs-fans-nhl/

For the record, I still believe PK will sign, and soon. However, the CBA business may need to be sorted out first, in which case, soon could turn into a while. 

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No news is Habs news…

It’s been a slow news month and a half for the Habs, other than the odd contract signing and personnel addition. Two predictions: 1) I think the NHL and NHLPA will settle soon. I just can’t believe the owners would risk alienating fans with another lockout. 2) PK Subban will sign soon. With the Canadiens. Just a hunch. But I think it’s coming.

Until then, a good article from today’s Montreal Gazette on the state of the Canadiens and Quebec born players (a somewhat hot topic during an election campaign):

Without the French factor, the Canadiens just aren’t the same

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Habs news: Max Pacioretty extension

As being reported by various hockey personalities on Twitter, including Brian Wilde of CTV, Max Pacioretty has signed a 6 year contract extension with the Habs. Details to follow.

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The latest on Subban

The bad: still no contract, still open to an offer sheet. The good: he says he doesn’t want to leave Montreal.

Subban optimistic he’ll have long career with Habs

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Shane Doan visiting Montreal

Well now this is getting interesting, isn’t it? NHL veteran power forward Shane Doan will visit the city of Montreal next week, according to various media including TSN. Montreal is said to be one of the teams Doan is seriously considering playing for, and it’s worth mentioning that Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is Doan’s cousin. Now, is Doan really thinking about a Montreal tour of duty, or is he simply driving the price higher? Only time will tell.

Report: Free agent Doan to visit with Canadiens next week

Consider this, however: the Habs have $6 million in cap space, and Shane Doan would likely cost between $5 and $6 million a year, on a 3 or 4 year deal. However, the Habs also have Scott Gomez, Tomas Kaberle, and Rene Bourque on the roster, and all are players that could very well be exiled to Hamilton of the AHL next season, should it be necessary.

Would Doan be a good addition to the Canadiens? He’d certainly provide second line depth, something sorely lacking in the absence of Gomez, the departure of Andrei Kostitsyn, and the lack of scoring provided, at least thus far, by Lars Eller. Some will say this is a building year and the Canadiens shouldn’t be adding Doan-type players. To me, that’s a fatuous argument.  The NHL is parity central. Every team has a shot. If you can add a player of Doan’s skill and experience, you jump at the chance.

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Habs sign Galchenyuk

The Montreal Canadiens have signed first round draft pick Alex Galchenyuk.

Galchenyuk signs three year deal

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English Sports Radio in Montreal faces its end: Save TSN 990

As Montrealers probably already know, TSN 990 is on the chopping block. Due to CRTC rules in Canada, which limit ownership of stations in English and French, the CRTC is forcing Bell to change TSN 990 from English to French in order to comply with ownership restrictions once Bell’s takeover of Astral Media proceeds. Well, actually, Bell has applied to do it, because, they say, they’re being forced to. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is a sports institutions in Montreal will disappear.

Now, I’ve been waiting a few days to post on this, because there was a rush of support when it was announced. Now, our hockey loving friends in Montreal need help.

Who’s the bad guy here? Bell? Astral? The CRTC? Who cares. The bottom line is that TSN 990 is a huge supporter of all things hockey, both inside and outside Montreal, and they are an important cornerstone of the English community. The good news is that individuals, anyone really, can submit an application to oppose the ruling. Should the CRTC receive enough (and to date, they’ve been flooded), they will revisit the decision, and could insist on TSN 990 remaining on the airwaves. So there is hope.

To give you a full summary of the situation, I am attaching a recent Montreal Gazette article on the situation. It takes two seconds to post your comment to the CRTC, and it goes a long way. If enough people respond, this could very well get reversed. TSN 990 is hugely important culturally to Anglophone Montrealers - there aren’t many English media outlets left in Quebec - and its survival is also important to hockey fans. Not just English, but Francophone as well. I know many Montreal residents who speak French all day but listen to the quality programming that TSN 990 consistently provides.

Five Ways to Save TSN 990

TSN 990 is a quality broadcaster, and an important cog in the culture of Montreal. Don’t let it go without a fight.

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Habs sign Diaz

The signings continue in Montreal, as the Canadiens announced the signing of defenceman Raphael Diaz this afternoon to a two year deal, avoiding potential arbitration.

Diaz had 3 goals and 16 points in 59 games for the Habs last season, and slots in as the likely #5 or #6 defenceman in Montreal come October…or November, or whenever we have a CBA.

More details here: Canadiens re-sign Raphael Diaz

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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

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