The Upper Canadien
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
It’s 9 pm and 45 Celsius outside with the humidity. We Canadians sure do like our extremes.
Speaking of extreme, I know this isn’t Montreal Canadiens related, but it’s too good to pass up. The link below leads to, perhaps, the greatest Stanley Cup celebration photo of all time - and a pretty good story to boot. Ok, maybe not the greatest photo. The strangest? Regardless, well done Tomas Kaberle. More power to him. He won the Stanley Cup. He can do whatever he wants.
40+ with the humidity today, and a serious lack of Habs news lately other than the jettisoning of Mathieu Carle to Anaheim. Can we expect another move or two from GM Pierre Gauthier before the heat subsides? My theory is yes.
So the frenzy has come and gone for Les Canadiens, and the outcome, surprisingly, isn’t all that bad. I’m actually pretty impressed with Pierre Gauthier. He went out and got, arguably to be sure, the best free agent available. Not only that, he identifies the immediate need of the team: a power forward. When’s the last time you can say the Habs did that?
Canadiens fans wait patiently as Jaromir Jagr, apparently, moves closer to his decision. Will it be Pittsburgh, Detroit - or Montreal? And if not Jagr, who else might the Habs go after to,or row during the frenzy?
I’ll be posting my reactions after the ball drops at noon. My off-season post gave some idea of what I would be were I in charge. Size, grit and scoring are the three things the Canadiens need more of. Let’s see what Mr. Gauthier can do.
A few quick notes as we head towards the frenzy on Friday:
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? firstname.lastname@example.org