Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

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.


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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Perhaps the strangest Cup photo of all time

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.

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The dog days aren’t over…

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.

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Habs win on Cole, lose on Pouliot

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?

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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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