Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Habs have new farm team, Markov on skates, Beliveau turns 79, and more...

Habs Inside/Out - New farm club
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36658

Markov back on skates
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36657

Jean Beliveau: True class turns 79
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36657

RDS - Andrei Markov a recommencé à patiner
http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/305327.html

Spector's Hockey - NHL Rumors - August 31, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1767:nhl-rumors-august-31-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Prédictions poolers 2010-2011

Par ZoneHabs

Avec la saison des poolers qui arrive, l'équipe de Zonehabs.com a décidé de vous présenter
ses prédictions pour les joueurs du Canadien en 2010-2011.
Laissez-nous VOS prédictions dans la section commentaires au bas de l'article!

L'équipe du Centre Bell prépare la patinoire pour la saison à venir. (vu sur le twitter officiel du Canadien)


Mike Cammalleri Parties jouées: 78 Buts: 39 Passes: 36 Points: 75

À l'écart des blessures, Cammalleri devrait finir dans les 20 premiers buteurs de la ligue
et terminera premier pointeur chez le Canadien.


Scott Gomez Parties jouées: 81 Buts: 14 Passes: 53 Points: 67

Après une première moitié de saison plus difficile, Gomez a su trouver son rythme
et s'adapter à sa nouvelle formation. Il augmentera sa production de l'an passé pour
terminer au deuxième rang des pointeurs de l'équipe.


Tomas Plekanec Parties jouées: 79 Buts: 25 Passes: 41 Points: 66

Avec un nouveau contrat en poche, Plekanec continuera d'être un des joueurs les plus
polyvalents du circuit. Sa production offensive diminuera mais la présence de Cammalleri
sur son trio lui permettra de maintenir des chiffres intéressants.


Brian Gionta Parties jouées: 73 Buts: 33 Passes: 25 Points: 58

Sa complicité avec Scott Gomez et son flair autour du filet lui permettront de
dépasser le cap des 30 buts.


Andrei Kostistyn Parties jouées: 76 Buts: 29 Passes: 27 Points: 56

Écoulant la dernière année de son contrat, l'énigmatique attaquant connaîtra sa
meilleure campagne.


Andrei Markov Parties jouées: 68 Buts: 11 Passes: 38 Points: 49

Bien qu'il manquera quelques parties, Markov restera le meilleur joueur de l'équipe
et obtiendra une récolte de points à la hauteur de son talent.


Benoit Pouliot Parties jouées: 75 Buts: 21 Passes: 21 Points: 42

En jouant régulièrement sur le premier ou le deuxième trio, Pouliot obtiendra
une bonne saison sans toutefois dépasser les attentes.


Lars Eller Parties jouées: 75 Buts: 16 Passes: 25 Points: 41

Le nouveau venu démontra de belles habiletés offensives et laissera entrevoir
un avenir prometteur avec le bleu-blanc-rouge.


P.K. Subban Parties jouées: 73 Buts: 10 Passes: 25 Points: 35

La nouvelle coqueluche du Centre Bell continuera sur sa lancée du printemps
dernier et devrait occuper un poste important sur l'avantage numérique du
Tricolore dès le début de la saison.


Jaroslav Spacek Parties jouées: 74 Buts: 7 Passes: 23 Points: 30

Sa production offensive sera encore décevante en vertu du contrat qu'il a signé
avec l'équipe. Plus à l'aise du coté droit, il connaîtra quand même
une meilleure campagne qu'à sa première saison avec le Tricolore.


Maxim Lapierre Parties jouées: 79 Buts: 12 Passes: 17 Points: 29

Finalement remis de sa blessure qui la ralentit la saison dernière, Lapierre
redeviendra la petite peste du CH.


Dustin boyd Parties jouées: 68 Buts: 10 Passes: 15 Points: 25

Obtenu en retour de Sergei Kostistyn, le centre de 25 ans pivotera le 4e trio.


Travis Moen Parties jouées: 79 Buts:8 Passes: 13 Points: 21

Joueur de soutien constant, ses mises en échec sont plus importantes que sa
production offensive.


Tom Pyatt Parties jouées: 75 Buts: 6 Passes: 14 Points: 20

Continuera de se développer lentement sur le 4e trio mais avec un
peu plus d'opportunisme, il pourrait surprendre.


Roman Hamrlik Parties jouées: 73 Buts: 4 Passes: 15 Points: 19

Dans ce qui devrait être sa dernière année avec le Canadien de Montréal,
le défenseur vieillissant jouera un rôle plus défensif étant donnée l'arrivée
du jeune P.K. Subban à la ligne bleue.

RFA List, Sam Gagner, Price, Thornton, Zajac, Kovalchuk deal to be ok'd?

Habs Inside/Out - Anything happen?
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36655

The Hockey News - THN.com Blog: Chelios and NHL lockouts – looking ahead to 2012
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34894-THNcom-Blog-Chelios-and-NHL-lockouts-looking-ahead-to-2012.html

Sportsnet.ca - Kypreos: Kovy deal should be okayed
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/08/30/kovalchuk_deal/

Spector's Hockey - Updates on Thornton and Zajac
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1765:updates-on-thornton-and-zajac&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Louis Leblanc = Mike Richards? World Hockey Summit ends, Player's revolt? Rumours, and more...

Habs Inside/Out - Today's news roundup
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36654

TS - World Hockey Summit wraps up in Toronto
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331743

The Hockey News - VIDEO: THN Puck Panel - Will players revolt if NHL opts out of Olympics
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34892-VIDEO-THN-Puck-Panel-Will-players-revolt-if-NHL-opts-out-of-Olympics.html

Spector's Hockey - Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup - August 29, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1761:sunday-nhl-rumor-roundup-august-29-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Habs roundup, Guerin to Canadiens? Kovalchuk new contract, Hockey in Quebec, and more...

HabsAddict.com - Montreal Canadiens Round Up: Price, Markov, Hamrlik, Eller, and Subban
http://www.habsaddict.com/2010/08/montreal-canadiens-round-up-carey-price.html

Habs Are The Same Heading Into Camp, But Need One Minor Change
http://aa.habsaddict.com/2010/08/one-minor-change.html

Habsworld.net - Situation of hockey in Québec: Habs should take a leadership role
http://habsworld.net/article.php?id=2116

TSN - The End is Near
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331817

ESPN.com - New Ilya Kovalchuk contract submitted
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5504380

Hockeybuzz.com - No Brainer: Habs Should Offer Guerin a Contract
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/No-Brainer-Habs-Should-Offer-Guerin-a-Contract/82/29914

Spector's Hockey - NHL Rumors for Saturday, August 28, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1758:nhl-rumors-for-saturday-august-28-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Montreal Canadiens Round Up: Price, Markov, Hamrlik, Eller, and Subban

by Kamal Panesar

With the new NHL season only 40 days away, the excitement over the upcoming season is slowly starting to build.

I just finshed doing a live chat with my Hockeybuzz.com colleagues Eric Engels, Steven Hindle, and about 500 Canadiens fans, during which a few themes seemed to continually resurface.

Since the same few questions seem to be on everyone's minds, I thought I would take this opportunity to help answer some of these questions in blog-form for everyone to read.

So here goes!


Carey Price
As of the typing of these lines, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price remains the lone unsigned player on the team. The rumour mill is reporting that a possible two to three year deal averaging between $2.5 to 3 million a season is imminent.

While it remains to be seen when and for how much Carey Price will sign, let me assure you of one thing: he is not being traded.

So close your ears and stop listening to the rumours out there, because Price will sign—likely in the first week of September—and he is here to stay.


Andrei Markov
Reports surfaced a few days ago that Andrei Markov's rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery is progressing faster than expected. Originally projected to be on the shelf until November, it is now looking like he might actually be ready for the start of the season.

His agent, Don Meehan, said as much on the Team 990 yesterday afternoon and went so far as to say that if Markov was not ready for the start of the season he wouldn't return too long after that point.

This is great news for Habs fans who were dreading another Markov-less beginning to the regular season.

The other question mark with Markov is his contract status. Entering the final year of his five-year deal this October, Markov will undoubtedly become one of the most highly sought after UFA's in next summer's market.

That is if the Canadiens let him go to market.

I think that like Price, there is no way the Canadiens can afford to let Markov walk or to trade him.

While the trade route might seem appealing given the high value that Markov could fetch on the open market, he is simply far too valuable to the Canadiens to get rid of him.

Not only is Markov—as Eric Engels pointed out—the only constant to a top ranked powerplay over recent years—Sheldon Souray, Mark Streit, Marc-Andre Bergeron have all come and gone—but he has grown up in the Canadiens' system and has been a Hab his entire career.

While there is a slight concern about the series of injuries that have befallen him over the course of the last few years, he still remains one of the best puck-moving defenseman in the NHL and the Habs simply cannot do without him.

I can see Pierre Gauthier putting together another five-year deal with Markov for around $6.5 million per season and calling it a day. Keep in mind that the Canadiens have about $20 million dollars coming off of the books this offseason.


Roman Hamrlik
Overpriced? Yes. Completely useless? No.

Despite being hated by a huge swath of Montreal Canadiens fans, Hamrlik remains a good soldier on the back end. More importantly, his experience working with and shaping young defensemen like Dion Phaneuf will be invaluable to the Habs and young P.K. Subban this season.

Expect the two of them to be paired together again, and expect P.K. to lean heavily on the experience of Hamrlik.

While many would be happy to see Hamrlik traded for a dog and then see that dog shot, he simply will not be moved before training camp.

Entering into the final year of his $5.5 million per season contract, Hamrlik could be moved closer to the trade deadline, but that depends largely on how well—or poorly—the team is doing at that point.

Don't be surprised, however, is Roman simply plays out the final year of his contract before sailing into the sunset.


Lars Eller
How good is he? Where does he fit on the team? How many points will he score?

All are good questions and before I answer them, let me start by saying that Eller will surprise a lot of people this season. Mark my word.

Right now, Eller seems destined for the third line center position. If that ends up playing out, that would give the Canadiens an interesting line of Max Lapierre, Lars Eller, and Travis Moen.

Speed, grit, and skill would be the make-up of that line and it could easily help Lapierre get back to the 15-goal range.

While Eller looks like a good fit for the third line center's position, he also provides a nice intangible of motivation to Benoit Pouliot and Andrei Kostitsyn.

Both Pouliot and Kostitsyn are playing for contracts and knowing that there is a big, skilled youngster nipping on their heels should help give them that extra boost they need.

If either of them falters, look for Eller to get a shot as a winger in the top-6.


P.K. Subban
How will Subban follow-up an excellent playoff run? By challenging for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

I am not saying that he will win it, mind you, but I think that he will definitely get a nomination.

P.K. will fit nicely on the right wing of Roman Hamrlik as the second defensive pairing and, as mentioned above, he should benefit for Hamrlik's experience.

Quite possibly playing on the first powerplay pairing with Markov, but more likely manning the second wave, Subban should see enough ice-time this year that he could crack the 40-point mark.


---

Well that's enough food for thought for now but tell me what you think. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Think I should stop hitting the crackpipe so hard?

I am going on vacation next Tuesday and won't be back until September 10th so you might not hear much from me between those dates.

If you have any other questions or want to know my thoughts on any other subject, feel free to email me or send me a Tweet and I'll do my best to put together another question/answer piece before I leave.

Enjoy the weekend all!

Habs Are The Same Heading Into Camp, But Need One Minor Change

By Willey

With training camp right around the corner and the start of the NHL season about 40 days away, NHL rosters are coming into form.

Closer to home with 21 players already under contract, the Montreal Canadiens will be looking to add to the success they experienced in the 2010 campaign.

With $4.0 million in cap space remaining and with only number one goalie Carey price remaining to sign, the team looks to be icing much of the same core line-up that took them to the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Finals.

There has certainly been some tweaking with our bottom six forwards losing NHL veterans Glen Metropolit, Dominic Moore and Georges Laraque as well as disgruntled prospect Sergei Kostitsyn and replacing them with a younger and bigger group of forwards which include Dustin Boyd, Lars Eller and Ryan White.

However the overall team core has gone virtually unchanged and the newly added elements, on paper at least, certainly make the team harder to play against.

With that being said I am not completely satisfied with how this roster is built.

Don’t get me wrong I am sticking by this team through thick and thin and I think that the moves that were made this off season were all for the better. However there is still an element that is lacking on this team; size and toughness.

Like any arm chair GM sitting at home reading this, when a number of UFA names became available I drooled at the thought of adding them. Players like Colby Armstrong or Raffi Torres or Evgeny Artyukhin, but ultimately none of these guys will be heading to the Bleu Blanc Rouge.

There is, however, a player that is still available who ultimately would make us better; Bill Guerin.


By the Numbers
At 6’2, 220 lbs and 41 years of age, Guerin is a 19-year NHL veteran who has already played for eight NHL franchises, amassing 429 goals and 427 assists in 1263 games. Although not Hall of Fame numbers, he has scored 21 or more goals in 10 of his last 11 seasons and in 17 of his overall 19 seasons as an NHLer.

Guerin has furthered his success in the post-season having played in 140 playoff games netting 39 goals and 35 assists—with of course one Stanley Cup ring as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008-09.

More importantly however, despite netting a consistent 20+ goals per season Guerin is willing to play for a limited salary, having been paid just $2 million in 2009-10.


Familiarity
Getting accustomed to a new NHL city is often difficult so relying on players whom you are familiar can have a very positive effect.

Guerin has played 19 seasons in this league and in that time he has become very familiar to current Montreal Canadiens players Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, and Hal Gill.

Having played with them in various International settings including three Olympic games and two World Championships.

Guerin has also played part of one season in San Jose in 2006-07 with Josh Gorges and Mathieu Darche and in that same season played more than 60 games alongside current AHL goaltender Curtis Sandford while in St-Louis.

Having been part of this league for such an extended period of time it is also a pretty safe bet to say that he has likely had more than one conversation with guys like Jaroslav Spacek, Roman Hamrlik, Mike Cammalleri and many more.


No Right Wingers
In 2009-10 the Habs went into the season with only three right wingers who were NHL ready; Gionta, Matt D’Agostini and Georges Laraque.

The remaining 10 forwards were all Centers or Left Wingers.

As a result of this need, players like Andrei Kostitsyn were forced to switch to the right side in order to make room for and accommodate new-comers like Cammalleri to top line minutes.

Unfortunately this season as the roster takes shape we appear even thinner on the right side with D’Agostini and Laraque no longer part of the team and with no other natural right wingers added to replace them.

By adding a player of Guerin’s ability it would mean that players like Kostitsyn would be able to return to their natural wing, which he has played at for more than 20 years.

This of course would also have a trickle down effect throughout the organization.

With Guerin playing RW on the first line, Kostitsyn would slide down to LW on the second. This would therefore dictate that Benoit Pouliot slide down to the third and Travis Moen to the fourth.

Furthermore having Pouliot on the third line will, in my opinion, pay the biggest dividends for this team. The reason I say this is because Pouliot is a big body but he is not a grinder and does not play overly well along the boards.

Pouliot is a slot presence who can score when people get him the puck. It is absolutely crucial to pair someone of his ability with two players who work hard and who can fore check like Maxim Lapierre and Lars Eller. This would ultimately allow Pouliot to concentrate on what got him drafted fourth overall in 2005; scoring.

Truth be told, there is also the little kid in me who envisions a line of Pouliot-Eller-Lapierre, where Big Max would be the smallest guy on the ice.


Lack of Size
And here is the big one.

I realize that most fans overlook the weaknesses of their team and ultimately look at the positives, but from what I can see with this team, size is a major concern.

As mentioned earlier our bottom six forwards all look more than capable of competing against any group of forwards in the league. However our top-six is undersized and this impacts the game in a multitude of ways.

Carey Price faced the 8th most shots per game out of all goaltenders in the league during the regular season, last year. This issue was further echoed in the playoffs when Jaroslav Halak once again faced more rubber than any other goalie.

It is my belief that this issue can be based primarily on a lack of size.

In the defensive zone our forwards (specifically our centers) lack the size to physically compete with the much bigger bodies in the league. As a result of this, Martin’s system requires our wingers to drop down even lower in the defensive zone to out-number the opposition down low.

As our wingers drop down below the harsh marks the defensive zone points free up in space resulting in shots coming in from all angles and, more often than not, with the goaltender unable to see the puck through the traffic.

On the defensive side of the puck, having a player of Guerin’s size would allow physical containment because there would be less of a need to out-number the opposition while battling below the goal line or along the boards.

Ultimately if there is no need to out-number the opposition then it would allow our forwards to cover the points a little closer, which would certainly reduce the amount of shots and traffic in the slot.

Common sense dictates that the less shots against and with the opposition more closely watched, the time spent in our own zone will certainly diminish. Moreover, our forwards will have the ability to focus their energy on scoring rather than wasting most of it in defensive physical battles.

On the offensive side of the puck Guerin knows his role and knows what it takes to be successful. He keeps his game simple, drives to the net and creates space for his linemates.

When five of your six forwards have trouble getting on all the rides at LaRonde and who also lack the physical stature to create turnovers using their body, simply put, Guerin is needed.

A forechecking presence will ultimately free up loose pucks, allow the smaller forwards to look for open ice and consequently expose the opposition to turnovers because of the lack of time to make the perfect play.

---

I will end this piece by explaning my simple organization philosophy:

For years I have been saying that the Habs rarely give our young players a chance at the NHL level. When push comes to shove I would much rather see a roster spot go to someone we have drafted and developed rather than a player who is acquired for a year or two.

With that being said, adding a player like Guerin—despite his 41 years of age—is a necessity. We have limited cap space and still need a top-six forward with size.

Guerin is familiar with almost half of the roster, has been a model of consistency throughout his career, and can be had with a very inexpensive contract.

Guerin needs to be a member of the blue blanc rouge come October.

------
Willey was the shinning light among the wicked growing up as the lone Habs fan in Toronto. Pray to Holy Ghosts of the old forum and all shall be answered I was told, and just like that my family was transferred back to Montreal and away from the damned. Olé Olé Olé.

Habs tickets on sale Sept. 11, More on Fehr, Kovalchuk deadline, Rumours and more...

HabsAddict.com - Live Habs Chat today at 2pm!
http://www.habsaddict.com/2010/08/live-habs-chat-friday-2pm-40-days-til.html

Habs Inside/Out - From Fehr to Fischer
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36652

Single-game tickets on sale Sept. 11
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36653

Hockeybuzz.com - Boring Off-Season Fading, Training Camp Around the Bend
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Boring-Off-Season-Fading-Training-Camp-Around-the8230/82/29902

TSN - Kovalchuk deadline set
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331738

ESPN.com - Is Donald Fehr the right choice for NHLPA?
http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl/id/5500618/is-donald-fehr-right-choice-nhlpa

Spector's Hockey - Report: Kovalchuk Could Consider KHL
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1752:report-kovalchuk-could-consider-khl&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

Update on Bobby Ryan & Marc Staal
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1753:update-on-bobby-ryan-a-marc-staal&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

Sportsnet.ca - Fehr the future
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/08/26/spector_fehr_fear/

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

LIVE HABS CHAT: Friday, 2pm - "40 Days 'til puck drop"

Join Eric Engels, Steven Hindle, and myself tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm for a live Montreal Canadiens Round Table chat!

With little more than a month to go until the 2010-11 season kicks off, this will be a prime chance to kick off all of the debates about the Habs and their potential for success this year.

- Please feel free to submit your questions for us in the thread as we will try to tackle as many issues and subjects as possible, but also want to know what you would like to hear about.

Note: As we had an overwhelmingly large crowd on this Hockeybuzz.com chat last time, we will be fielding your submitted questions first, so ask as many as you'd like in the threads and we will address them by question and username.

For you regular HabsAddict.com-ers, you can send me a Tweet (@KamalPanesar)or email with your questions, and I'll make sure they get in the mix.

Delmas at Habs camp, Fehr as NHLPA head, Bettman on Olympics, and more...

RDS - CH : Delmas invité au camp des recrues
http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/305001.html

TSN - The New Boss?
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331680

Bettman says sending players to Olympics is a 'mixed bag'
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331624

Spector's Hockey - NHL Trade & Free Agent News - Thursday, August 26, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1748:nhl-trade-a-free-agent-news-thursday-august-26-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

The Hockey News - Season Predictions
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34718-The-Hockey-News-201011-NHL-regular-season-predictions-No-1.html

The Daily Habs-it - Will past be prologue?
http://dailyhab-it.blogspot.com/2010/08/will-past-be-prologue.html

Cowhide and Rubber - Why Montreal's Media will Fail
http://www.cowhideandrubber.com/how-montreals-media-will-fail
(Another non-hockey piece about mainstream media and social networking.  Must read!)

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Markov talks not yet begun, Bieksa, Kovalchuk, New media article by The Active Stick, Rumours, and more...

Habs Inside/Out - Markov talks yet to begin
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36651

TSN - Bob McKenzie - Better to introduce hitting at a later age
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331558

Fasel voices concern for game at hands of North America
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331552

The Hockey News - Big-ticket goalies still worth the price
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34842-The-Boylen-Point-Bigticket-goalies-still-worth-the-price.html

The Active Stick - Blowhards, bloghards and genuinely awesome people
http://theactivestick.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/blowhards-bloghards-and-genuinely-awesome-people/
(No this is not a hockey article, but it is a great read on social networking)

Spector's Hockey - Latest on Kovalchuk and Bieksa
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1743:latest-on-kovalchuk-and-bieksa&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HabsAddict.com Podcast, Huet, World Hockey Summit, Lafleur, Rumours, and more...

HabsAddict.com - Podcast - Kamal Panesar on the Team 990's The Franchise - Aug. 22, 2010
http://pc.habsaddict.com/2010/08/kamal-panesar-on-team-990s-franchise.html

Habs Inside/Out - Breezer, Summit, a yodelling Huet
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36650

RDS - René Angélil négocie pour Guy Lafleur
http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/304905.html

TSN - World Hockey Summit
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331472

Spector's Hockey - NHL Rumors for Tuesday, August 24, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1737:nhl-rumors-for-tuesday-august-24-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Kamal Panesar on the Team 990's The Franchise - August 22, 2010

Welcome to the HabsAddict.com podcast section!

We are kicking off this new section with the audio of my interview on the Team 990's The Franchise weekend morning show.

I was invited to discuss the Habs with Gary Whittaker, Nick Murdocco, and Amanda Stein.

So, without further ado here is the audio from the entire show:
http://sites.habsaddict.com/podcasts/habsreport082210.m3u

To hear my segment only, skip to about the 40 minute mark. Please feel free, as always, to send me your feedback. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Qui sera le futur capitaine du CH?

par Zone Habs

Suite à la promesse par l'organisation du Canadien de débuter la saison avec un nouveau capitaine, 
l'équipe de Zonehabs.com a choisi de vous faire patienter avec un bref portrait des candidats 
qui, selon nous, auraient le potentiel de porter le C sur leur uniforme. À moins d'un mois de
l'ouverture du camp d'entrainement du Canadien, voici donc les pour et les contre des principaux
aspirants au titre de leader du Canadien de Montréal.

Brian Gionta

Pour:
  • L'exemple parfait du guerrier, il se présente tous les soirs et est toujours prêt à payer le prix. Même dans les pires moments, Gionta n'abandonne jamais et a prouvé au cours de sa carrière qu'il performe dans les moments importants.
  • Il a gagné la coupe Stanley avec les Devils en 2002-2003.
  • Il contribue offensivement et se retrouvera parmi les meilleurs marqueurs de l'équipe pour les années à venir.
  • Il est sous contrat avec le Tricolore pour les quatre prochaines saisons.
  • À l'âge de 31 ans, Gio est un vétéran établi dans la ligue qui a déjà prouvé son leadership et qui gère bien la pression médiatique de Montréal.
Contre:
  • Il ne fait pas partie de l'organisation depuis longtemps n'ayant disputé qu'une seule saison avec le Canadien.
  • Il ne parle pas français.

Mike Cammalleri

Pour:
  • Mike est probablement le meilleur joueur offensif de la formation.
  • Il est extrêmement habile avec les médias montréalais.
  • Cammalleri est un joueur acharné qui possède une éthique de travail exemplaire.
  • Âgé de 28 ans, il est à son apogée et il possède un contrat pour les 4 prochaines saisons avec l'équipe.
Contre:
  • Il n'a pas toujours été reconnu comme un grand leader dans les autres formations  il a évolué.
  • Signé comme joueur autonome l'été dernier, Cammalleri n'est pas avec l'équipe depuis longtemps.
  • Tout comme Gionta, il ne parle pas français.
Andrei Markov

Pour:
  • Andrei Markov est certainement le meilleur joueur de la formation.
  • Repêché au 162e rang par le Canadien en 1998, il s'est développé au sein même de l'organisation. Avec l'équipe depuis maintenant 12 ans, il est le joueur le plus ancien à porter l'uniforme bleu-blanc-rouge.
  • Les autres joueurs de l'équipe et de la ligue ont beaucoup de respect pour lui.
Contre:
  • Il a été affligé de sérieuses blessures au cours des deux dernières saisons.
  • À moins d'un renouvellement de contrat, il deviendra joueur autonome sans compensation à la fin de la saison 2010-2011.
  • Il ne semble pas être très à l'aise avec les médias.
  • Tout comme Gio et Cammy, il ne parle point le francais et, pour sa part, très difficilement l'anglais. 

Josh Gorges

Pour:
  • Gorges est le prototype parfait du joueur d'équipe. Il est extrêmement dévoué à l'organisation et se présente chaque soir.
  • Il ne se défile jamais et accepte toujours de répondre aux questions des médias.
  • Il est avec l'équipe depuis quelques années et représente un visage connu des partisans.
  • Ses coéquipiers l'adorent.
Contre:
  • Malgré qu'il soit un excellent défenseur défensif, Gorges ne produit pas offensivement et n'est donc pas un joueur d'impact chez le Tricolore.
  • Il deviendra lui aussi joueur autonome sans compensation à la fin de la saison 2010-2011.
  • Comme tous les autres candidats, Gorges ne parle pas français.


En somme, on peut déjà affirmer qu'à moins d'un miracle le prochain capitaine ne parlera pas français.
En analysant les pour et les contre de notre recherche, l'équipe de Zonehabs.com croit que le prochain capitaine du Tricolore sera Brian Gionta. Le petit attaquant possède tous les atouts nécessaires pour remplir ces fonctions.

Peu importe quel joueur sera choisi, la dernière saison nous a permis de douter de l'importance d'un capitaine au sein de l'équipe. Le parcours spectaculaire lors des dernières séries éliminatoires nous a démontré qu'une équipe sans leader précis peut tout de même aspirer aux grands honneurs.

Mais puisque Jacques Martin a déjà confirmé qu'il y aura un capitaine pour la prochaine campagne, la seule chose dont nous pouvons être certain est que le successeur de Saku Koivu devra composer avec l'immense pression reliée à son mandat.

Four weeks to till training camp, Lapierre, Moen, World hockey summit, KHL, Rumours, and more...

Habs Inside/Out - Four score and four years ago
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36648

Four weeks less a day till training camp...
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36647

TSN - World hockey summit opens Monday in Toronto
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331330

The Hockey News - KHL still no rival for NHL
http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34826-THNcom-Blog-KHL-still-no-rival-for-NHL.html

Spector's Hockey - Updates on Souray and Kennedy.
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1732:updates-on-souray-and-kennedy&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

More season previews, Lafleur looks to the future, Rumours, and more....

Habs Inside/Out - Yet more preview stuff...
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36646

RDS - Soulagé, Lafleur regarde vers l'avenir
http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/304752.html

TSN - NHL to change tiebreaker system
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=331308

Spector's Hockey - Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup for August 22, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1730:sunday-nhl-rumor-roundup-for-august-22-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boivn's Son Named Director of Hockey Operations and a Quick Plug

According to RDS, Habs President, Pierre Boivin's, son Patrick has been named Director of Hockey Operations.

Pierre Gauthier will assume the role of GM of the Hamilton Bulldogs—from departed Julien Brisebois—and Larry Carriere will be in the role of Assistant GM.

Here is the RDS and TSN articles on the subject.

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On another note, I've been invited for some Habs talk on The Team 990's weekend morning show, The Franchise.

I'll be on at 7:40AM so if you're awake, be sure to tune in. If not, I'll be posting the audio file on my site later this week.

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Leblanc, Montreal Juniors, Waiting for Price to sign, Rumours...

Habs Inside/Out - Juniors: More than just Habs' Leblanc
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36645

Update: Habs outgrow Teen Ranch
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36643

And while he waits to sign...
http://www.habsinsideout.com/main/36644

Spector's Hockey - NHL Rumors for Friday, August 20, 2010
http://www.spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1726:nhl-rumors-for-friday-august-20-2010&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

He Said/She Said: Who Should Be The Montreal Canadiens Next Captain?

With the 2010-2011 NHL regular season about 50 days away, our He Said/She Said columnists, Willey and Tyg, thought it would be a good time to debate who the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens should be.

It has been said that with so much leadership in the Habs' dressing room, you could throw a stone in there and hit someone with captain potential.

But who will our columnists choose, and who do YOU think should be captain?

Here is what they had to say:

He Said: Who Should Be The Montreal Canadiens Next Captain? by Willey

She Said: Who Should Be The Montreal Canadiens Next Captain? by Tyg

Let them both know what you think about their choices in the comments sections and on Facebook. Join the discussions today!

She Said: Who Should Be The Montreal Canadiens Next Captain?

by Tyg

Why Brian Gionta should be the next Habs captain
Having gone without a captain last season, Coach Jacques Martin has promised Habs fans that he will announce his choice to wear the big 'C' during the upcoming training camp. While there’s a strong leadership core from which to choose, I’ve personally maintained for the past year that my pick for the job is Brian Gionta.

Naturally, my choice was initially personal. Being a mere five foot two myself, I can relate to Gionta’s constantly being underestimated because of his size. After watching him play a season with the Habs, I’ve developed other reasons which have only served to reinforce my pick for Gio as the captain of my fave hockey team.


A nice balance with Coach Jacques Martin
While I’ve never admittedly been a huge fan of Martin’s, Gio has been quoted as saying he’s got a lot of respect for his coach. With Martin coaching a defensive game of hockey, it’s important to have a captain who will help balance that by leading the charge offensively.

Despite being labeled a smurf, Gionta has proven to be a consistently hard working, intelligent, and level headed hockey player. He’s first to defend a teammate, isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas to fight for the puck, and often comes up with it no matter the size of his opponent.

Gionta knows his job, and he’s forever on the attack. He offers a terrific energy to balance Martin’s defense-oriented style.


Tenure with the team
In naming a captain, I think it’s important that the new captain be around with the team for more than a year or two. I’ve heard Josh Gorges, Hal Gill and Andrei Markov proposed as candidates for the captaincy, and while I like these players, none are guaranteed to be here after next season.

Gionta’s signed for another four years in Montreal.


Desire and ability to handle the media and the fans
In the RDS post-season interviews, Gionta was practically giggling with delight when asked about the possibility of his being named captain. In a city with the intense media scrutiny that Montreal has, it’s important to have a captain that will not shy away from the newshounds or the fans.

Gionta’s already gotten pretty good at working the constant cameras and microphones in his face without saying anything he doesn’t really want to. Just rewatch any of his post-season interview clips if you need a reminder.

He’s aware of the pressure of the Montreal media and truly humbled by the franchise’s history. He’s one of the few players who doesn’t take a regular beating from the fanbase.

He’s comfortable with the press, he’s really good at dealing with the Montreal fishbowl, and he seemingly wants to do it. I say let him.


Maturity and experience.
One of the reasons I prefer Gionta over younger leaders like Mike Cammalleri and Josh Gorges is the simple fact that Gio has a Stanley Cup ring. He has the knowledge that helped fuel the Habs post-season run to the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF), and I fully expect he can continue to draw upon that to help them time and again.

Some of the younger players, like rookie PK Subban, will no doubt benefit from Gio’s work ethic and experience both on and off the ice.


The players themselves
When interviewed on TSN's Off The Record (OTR) former Hab Georges Laraque said that while Gill was the most vocal in the dressing room, it was really Gionta’s team.

On l’Anti-Chambre, Mathieu Darche said that if it were up to him he’d name Gionta as captain.

At a recent fan meet-n-greet, centreman Tomas Plekanec picked Gionta, maybe Gill, but Gill’s only got a year left on his contract. I don’t speak Czech, but I have it on good authority from a fan that does that this is the gist of the interview.

Yeah, Laraque is gone now but he was there long enough last season to observe the team interaction in the dressing room and form an opinion. Since I’ve never been in the Habs dressing room, I suspect he knows more than me.

And who am I to argue with the players themselves?

Really, I think it’s hard for the team to go wrong with any of the guys who formed the leadership group last season and carried the Habs into their unexpected post-season run. Still, when I stack them up against one another, Gionta’s my clear choice.

Scott Gomez’s contract makes him open to constant attack by the fans and the media, which could easily set him up to be a scapegoat in Montreal’s incessant spotlight—so he's not a good choice.

Gill, Gorges, and Markov are only guaranteed to be Habs for the next season. Also Gorges and Markov don't have Gio's experience, and Markov doesn’t like the media glare all that much.

Cammalleri doesn’t have a Cup ring either. This lack of experience versus Gionta is really my only strike against him when assessing the candidates, so he’d probably be my second choice for the job.

Brian Gionta is a little man who always plays big. He has the respect and ear of his coach and teammates and he’s proven to be a leader both on and off the ice with a strong work ethic and can-do attitude.

I believe he possesses all the heart, drive, experience and talent necessary to lead the Habs to their 25th Stanley Cup.

Read the He Said counter-point.

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Tyg used to frequent the old Forum during her early childhood when her father was a corporate season ticket holder, where she fell in love with Larry Robinson, so her lifelong obsession with the Habs is entirely his fault.