Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

A little bit o’ hockey for your TIFF

As the film festival rages in Toronto, a little bit of controversy yesterday, as stars Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen sported Canadiens sweaters before their movie premiere.

Ok, it wasn’t so much as controversy as a little bit of fun. The names on the sweaters? Lafleur and…

 

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Happy Labour Day: One week to rookie camp, fantasy hockey thoughts, and a wee bit o’ fundraising

With one week to go until rookie camp, hockey really is in the air. Cool and crisp here today. I am starting to get fairly excited. Have to pick up McKeen’s this week.

On that note, a few fantasy hockey thoughts that pertain to the Habs:

PK Subban - Anchoring a power play that has a big, proven body up front, I suspect Subby Doo will top 50 points. Call me crazy, but I think he’s going to break out in a big way.

Max Pacioretty - People forget that he led the Canadiens in scoring after the all-star game before his injury. 20 goals and 50 points aren’t out of the question.

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Wade Belak gone at 35

According to QMI and various other sources.

How many enforcers have to die before the NHL recognizes that post concussion syndrome is a serious, serious issue?

Rest in peace Wade. You were one of the good guys.

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Just another Saturday in August

Hurricane on the East Coast, state funeral in Canada. Best wishes to all those hunkered down in Irene’s path, as well as those mourning the loss of Jack Layton.

As for Les Glorieux, it’s August 27th. Six weeks to hockey that means something. My musing for a Saturday morning: the Habs could use one more forward. A second or third line guy, preferably someone who can chip in 15-20 goals, play a little bit of power play, and is responsible defensively. A few names spring to mind off the list of remaining unrestricted free agents. They are, in no particular order:

Cory Stillman

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The Crosby effect: when a brain injury is a brain injury

Just a quick thought as the sun shines down on a beautiful August afternoon: the news from CTV Atlantic that Sidney Crosby is still suffering concussion symptoms, and is unlikely to start the season with the Penguins, doesn’t surprise me. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ever had a concussion. Why? Because it’s a devastating injury to the brain. A brain injury.

When will the NHL, and other sports in general, recognize this?

I know I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s important, so I’m taking time out of the sun to mention it again. The brain is a pretty important part of the body. I think we can all agree on that. Yet the NHL continues to use archaic terms like “upper body injury” and “concussion.” Wouldn’t people take these situations more seriously if we acknowledged the severity of the injuries?

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Lots of Habs from your living room

You’ve probably already seen the television schedules that came out earlier today, but for all those Habs fans across Canada, from Carbonear to Englishman’s River, a quick recap:

15 games on TSN nationally: NHL on TSN

28 games on HNIC: HNIC 2011-2012

As a relocated Montrealer, I’m not sure I could be happier. Sure, I can watch them all on RDS, but it’s nice to have the different options. And I’m a sucker for tradition: there ain’t no hockey like Hockey Night in Canada.

So when does it all start?

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Hannan to the Flames, Gauthier asleep at the wheel?

A simple comment on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon: Scott Hannan for a million bucks is a good deal. One that Habs GM Pierre Gauthier should have been in on.

Why?

Depth on defence is a must for any playoff team, and while the Habs have quite a few defencemen, many of them are young and unproven. Would taking a million of the unused cap room and putting it towards Hannan really have been such a bad idea?

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AK blows off some steam

It’s the summer, and a Hab with the initials AK has made some misguided comments to the media in Europe, apparently thinking they’d never be recirculated to North America.

Sound familiar? Somewhat ironic that Alex Kovalev made questionable comments of his own earlier this week. Maybe Andrei Kostitsyn was just following his mentor’s lead. Regardless, we’ve got an issue, and as this is Montreal, despite the fact it’s August, it has the potential to blow up.

Oh great.

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Quiet days

These are the quietest days of the year for hockey, and the Montreal Canadiens are no exception. I got nothing. Nada.

Except the news today, via Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, that neither Brent Sopel or James Wisniewski received a phone call from the Habs after the season. Not even a thank you.

Sopel, as you have probably read, recently signed in Russia. Wisniewski is ready to ply his trade as a Blue Jacket.

But no contact from the Habs at all?

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Habs ink Gorges, add two coaches

Josh Gorges gets inked for one year. I had figured they’d try and go longer term, but no, one year, $2.5 million. Pretty reasonable if you ask me.

The Canadiens also added two assistant coaches, promoting Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur from Hamilton. Clement Jodoin returns to the fold to coach the Bulldogs.

What does this all mean?

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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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