Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Habs Top Six, Alfredsson Returns, Leblanc, History and More

Rene Bourque - Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens
Good AM!

Our Sean Lloyd argues that the Montreal Canadiens top-six is set as it is.

In other words, Rene Bourque will slide in on the second unit and Shane Doan is but a foolish pipe dream. Oh, and be sure to watch for an amazing pun during the article.

In fact, Sean has recently defended the oft criticized Bourque.

Personally, his halfhearted play last season greatly soured me on Bourque, even though, as Sean points out, he was traded mid-season from one bad team to an even worse one.

Habs and Hockey News

- Derek Lachine draws a line between Marc Bergevin and Sam Pollock.

- Over at HabsWorld, the boys contemplate Louis Leblanc's potential.

- Finally, in Habs-related reading, Travis Yost argues that the Habs have the potential to shake up the Northeast Division. Considering he is HockeyBuzz's Ottawa Senators blogger — and hence unbiased towards the Habs — I find his take to be extra interesting.

- Speaking of the Ottawa Senators, Daniel Alfredsson has confirmed that he will play a 17th season in the NHL in 2012-13. Other than the six times his Sens will meet the Habs, I think most would agree this is good news for the game.

- The Hockey News' Ken Campbell wonders if Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry will return to superstar form.

- Swedish blueliner Douglas Murray — yes, Swedish — has been linked to Tiger Woods' ex Elin Nordegren. Must resist... making... joke about... "scoring"...



(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)

Montreal Canadiens Set with Top Six

Habs Top 6 All Accounted For

The Habs offensive situation seems to have their fanbase in a panic. We are well into summer and aside from some free agent pickups — forwards Colby Armstrong, Brandon Prust and defenseman Francis Bouillon — that have made the Habs tougher, nothing has been done to address the team's need to fill the back of the net.

With each passing day, the Habs faithful sit waiting, hoping that Marc Bergevin will come up with that big sniper we've been waiting for, the missing piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle.

The fact of the matter is, it's not going to happen. The Canadiens will head into the 2012-13 season with a top line of David Desharnais centering Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty and a second unit of Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta flanking Tomas Plekanec.

Making Lemonade

When life gives you lemons....

In this case, the Habs lemon appears to be Rene Bourque. After accumulating just six points in 38 games, the city of Montreal is ready to cast Bourque aside.

When following the team from the comfort of your own home, it's easy to just toss Bourque away and replace him with anybody linked to the Habs in the rumor mill.

The reality of the situation, however, isn't so simple.

Bourque has four years left at a $3.33 million cap hit and is coming off of a bad season. GM's aren't exactly lining up to welcome him to their rosters.

Besides, doesn't it make sense that the return of Brian Gionta alone could help Bourque's stats?

A line of Plekanec — a smart, skilled playmaker —  Gionta — a speedy goal scorer —  and Bourque — a big bodied, two time 27 goal scorer —  has potential.

Gionta is coming off a season in which he was limited to just 31 games and is surely itching to prove he can still play. Plekanec is the least of the lines worries and will no doubt produce. Just look at his 52 points last season playing alongside a struggling Andrei Kostitsyn and bottom sixers Ryan White, Travis Moen and Michael Blunden among others.

Maybe new coach Michel Therrien, who has a tough reputation, can even encourage Bourque to incorporate his size into his game. Pacioretty seemed to take a cue from Cole, if Bourque can do the same it shouldn't come as a shock if he returns to his nearly 30 goal scoring form.

Doan Even Think About It

There will no doubt be those who remain skeptical after reading this and so here's a question: Who else is there?

And before you answer Shane Doan, just think about his asking price. Here's a 35 year old grinding style player who is looking for a $7.5 million dollar payday for four years.

I have nothing but respect for Doan. He is a leader, he plays hard and has proven to be loyal by giving the city of Glendale plenty of time to figure their whole mess out with hopes of staying with the Phoenix Coyotes.

But anybody who would be willing to pay so much to a 35 year old player who may not last another four years immediately loses their right to complain about Gomez's contract.

Does the state of the Habs top six require a desperation signing? Is Bourque really that bad that a measley 38 games should be enough to give up on him?

What do you think?


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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.


(Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images North America)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shane Doan's Demands, Past Habs Glories, Sunday Shinny and More

Shane Doan - Phoenix Coyotes v Columbus Blue Jackets
Happy Monday Hab fans!

As I am sure many of you have already seen, it has been reported that Shane Doan is seeking a four year, $30 million contract in order to leave the Phoenix Coyotes.

In the end, it is not great surprise that Doan wants a sweet deal if he is to leave Phoenix, but those are some pretty rich numbers!

Would you make that offer to the 34-year old Doan?

Habs and Hockey News

- Our newest writer, Derek Lachine, contributes his first piece. He takes an itneresting look at the parallels between the legendary Sam Pollock and new GM Marc Bergevin.

- Speaking of new writers, don't forget to check out Amos Legault's first piece concerning David Desharnais' line.

- Kamal Panesar joins the gang on TSN 990 for Sunday Shinny.

- The HabsWorld crew discuss what it takes to build a winning franchise in the modern NHL.

-  On the topic of Shane Doan, Hockey Inside/Out offers the latest on the situation.

- Stu Hackel wonders if Alex Semin was worth 7$ million. He probably won't be worth every penny, but he has the potential to be. At worst, it is a one-year deal that can easily be moved at the deadline.

- Kevin Allen of USA Today overviews the many pressing issues still facing the NHL amidst the dog days of summer.


(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

Remembering Past Glories: Bringing Back Sam Pollock

Before I lead you all in a short salutation on the highs, lows, and legends of General Managers past, and present, I wanted to thank Louis and Kamal on the opportunity to join a great team of Montréal Canadiens fans, and an even greater team of writers that hope to give you, the loyal fans of les glorieux, a voice on all things Habs.

With that said, despite my age — 22 — my passion for the Canadiens began with the cup win in 1993, and was cemented by former Habs Captain, and current Anaheim Duck, Saku Koivu. Despite the muddy atmosphere of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Saku’s dedication to the game, his battle with cancer and his return to the ice on April 9th, 2002, epitomizes the spirit and history of the Canadiens: winning, respect, determination and dedication. It is these four qualities that I hope to elaborate on, using the history of franchise to demonstrate a definitive winning culture in Montréal.

Considering the way Pierre Gauthier finished his tenure as the General Manager of the Montréal Canadiens, it seemed fairly easy for new hire Marc Bergevin to outshine his ill-equipped predecessor. It’s easy to retrospectively analyze Gauthier’s oft-criticized regime, yet when Habs fans were taken on a whirlwind tour of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, Bob Gainey and his then Assistant General Manager and Director of Professional Scouting were mildly heralded for bringing in a ‘wealth’ of undersized offensive talent in Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri.

These acquisitions, as well as the heroic netminding of Jaroslav Halak, enabled Gainey and Gauthier’s creation to exceed expectations and battle through the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in a David vs. Goliath fashion.

However, despite the magic of the 2010 playoff run, their lack of size and strength down the middle proved vital in their demise; the same, of course, could be said of their heartbreaking game seven loss to the Boston Bruins the following Spring. Nevertheless, both Gainey and Gauthier  only momentarily adjusted the fate of Québec’s storied institution.

Gauthier and Gainey were the masters of the quick-fix: ‘improvements’ that would allow their club to venture into the post-season and collect the extra revenue that forever accompanies playoff home games at the Bell Centre. And, though a fair share of their acquisitions allowed the Canadiens to temporarily avoid the basement of the Eastern Conference, the 2011-2012 season proved to finally reveal the deteriorating state of the Canadiens’ upper management team. In no particular order of ridiculousness, the Kaberle trade, the Cammalleri situation, the coaching firings and the ‘apology’ by Geoff Molson. Each separate event demonstrated how disorganized and out-of-sync the once perceived “classiest organization in the NHL” actually was.

On March 29, 2012, Molson made an announcement that shook Montréal.

Though Canadiens fans fathomed a release of Pierre Gauthier, when Molson officially announced the decision — pardon my eloquent wordiness — he sparked a cosmic and euphoric eruption in Montréal. The boo-birds were back in their nests, and hopeful sentiments began to resurface outside the Bell Centre. In the weeks following, rumours of the next Canadiens GM ran rampant: names like Patrick Roy, Jim Nill, Claude Loiselle, Pierre Mcguire, and even Scotty Bowman were making rounds. Yet, in the end, it was a former Chicago Blackhawk and Montréal native that outshined the other candidates, and on May 2, 2012, Bergevin was named General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Montréal Canadiens.

This decision alone began a new era of the Canadiens. Not only did Bergevin bring a certain aura of respectability and swagger to Montréal, but he also brought a breath of fresh air that settled the stench of Gauthier’s previous regime.

Communication. Communication. Communication.

That’s the main difference between Montréal’s former and current General Manager. It is this sense of communication with the media and fans that allowed the franchise’s loyal followers to sigh a sense of relief that the rebuilding management team would put enormous stock in player development and pro scouting.

And it’s at this time that my drawn out analysis of the Bergevin hire turns to a Canadiens legend, a regime that culminated in a dynastic and heroic representation of the NHL’s most storied franchise. Before the dark days of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, and before rookie Patrick Roy took the Canadiens on his back for a momentous Stanley Cup Victory in 1986, Sam Pollock was appointed General Manager of the Montréal Canadiens, effortlessly succeeding the late and great, Frank J. Selke.

Before I get into the first of a three part series on Pollock, my interest in the Hall of Famer was sparked by reading D’arcy Jenish’s The Montréal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory. Ironically, though including an introduction by former Canadiens Captain and General Manager Bob Gainey, the book delves into a myriad of issues that have both plagued and glorified the franchise. In respect to Pollock, Jenish’s notes on the former GM paved way for a mildly seamless association with Bergevin.

Though it’s premature to anoint Bergevin as the saviour of Les Glorieux, it’s easy to estimate where he’ll excel with the Canadiens: communication and player development. The latter of which is only further solidified through head amateur scout Trevor Timmins, who, if you haven’t already realized, took the NHL by storm on June 23rd with his selections in the 2012 NHL Draft. Though the Bergevin and Timmins selections were great, for this first article I want to introduce the partial similarities that Bergevin and the late Sam Pollock share regarding communication and loyalty.

In Jenish’s book, Jacques Lapperiere describes the extent at which Pollock initiated a sense of team unity and full-disclosure: “[He] demanded of each of one us that we always give the best of ourselves. But he was at the same time a man who knew how to be understanding and fatherly. When it wasn’t going well, he would come and see us in our rooms or sit beside us on the bus or train and give us advice and encouragement” (180). It seems, then, that permeating from Pollock’s management techniques is an affable quality of communication; a sense of team unity that not only encompasses the players on the ice, but also reflects the way management interacts.

Sound familiar?

“It takes everything to make a winning team. It takes a team effort, a team identity, everyone has to contribute and put everything on the table. You have a lot of little pieces working together to make a winning team.”—Marc Bergevin (May 2, 2012)

It is that sense of unity and communication that allowed Pollock — as well as his monumental trading techniques — to reach such a high level of success in Montréal. For Pollock, he had only one objective: victory. For Bergevin, building a foundation of a winning culture starts at the top; it not only seeps into the mindset of the players and fans, but it also helps establish a certain swagger that’s been lacking since Pollock took charge in ’63.

“My vision is to put the right people in place. The goal is winning, we will do the best we can for the fans.”—Bergevin (May 2, 2012)

There will never be another Sam Pollock, but if Bergevin can resurrect parts of the Hall of Famer’s philosophy to reinstate a winning culture in Montréal, then his and Molson’s effort to restore the class and respectability of the Canadiens will be in full motion.

Next up: Player development and maintaining young assets


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Derek is a Queen’s University student, and contributing writer for OTwinner, and HabsAddict.com. His passion for the Canadiens was solidified on April 9, 2002, when Saku Koivu returned from Burkitt’s lymphoma and became an emblem of perseverance and strength.

Follow Derek on Twitter

Sources:

Jenish, D’Arcy. The Montréal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory. Canada: Anchor Canada, 2009. Print.

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)

The Sunday Shinny - July 29, 2012 - Semin, Subban, Nash, Thomas and more

I was back on TSN 990 yesterday, with the gents from The Franchise weekend morning show. We discussed a variety of NHL goings on such as...

Rick Nash now a NY Ranger
-Safe to say the Rangers are the most improved team in the East?
-Does any team come close to their arsenal?
-But did they get less tough?
-Which other team in the East can stop them from reaching SCF?

Where in the world is the contract for PK Subban
-What’s the holdup?
-Don Meehan says no offers.. believe him?
-What about Habs new “transparency” policy?
-are worriers worrying for nothing?

What an Alexander Semin worth to you?
-did Habs make a mistake not going after him?
-Should he have been offered lower rate for higher term?
-Are points more important than longterm team building/chemistry?
-Can he “change”?

Tim Thomas
-Does he have the right to speak his mind freely

Click play below to listen in:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Canes not done yet, Kings add Payne, Flyers sign Voracek and more

Morning puck addicts!

More tumbleweed this morning on the NHL news front. I bet you can't wait for P.K. Subban to finally sign with the Habs so all media, new and old, can descend on the story!

Um, ya.

At least the Olympics are on, so they provide for some distraction. I'm not sure about you, but I've always been a fan of the Olympics.

It is the one event that I can just turn on first thing in the morning and lose an entire day watching.

On a personal level, I'm jumping on TSN 990 this morning with the kind old folk from the weekend morning show. If you're up, tune in live from 9 - 10 AM as we discuss Rick Nash, Shea Weber, Alexander Semin and much more!

Hockey News

-Apparently the Carolina Hurricanes are not done yet. Having already added Jordan Staal and Alex Semin, it seems they want to add more.

Any why not? It's not like they had the 25th worst goals-against in the league last season. Oh wait, they did.

-The Los Angeles Kings added former Blues coach, David Payne, as an assistant.

-A bunch of teams re-signed existing roster players, starting with the Rangers who reup with Anton Stralman.

The Flyers were the other team in action, re-signing Jakub Voracek.

-Finally, ESPN did a little Q and A with Hall of Famer Eddie Olcyk.

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Doan wants big payday, Jets sign Enstrom, Alumni coaches, Rumours and more

Morning puck addicts!

With all the pomp and pageantry of the Olympic opening ceremonies last night (and they were quite spectacular) there is not a ton of NHL news this morning.

But little news does not mean no news!

Top on the list of interest for Habs addicts is the fact that Shane Doan apparently wants four years and $30 million if he leaves Phoenix.

Umm, how much?

If you're doing the math, that works out to $7.5 million per season. And this for a 35-year-old who is clearly on the downside of his career. Now Doan is still a useful player. Big and burly and still capable of potting you 20 goals.

But $7.5 million per over four years?

So my question to you this morning is simple. Would you still like to see Doan in a Habs uniform if it meant signing him for those kind of numbers?

Hockey News

-The Jets have extended Tobias Enstrom.

-The Sens bought out Bobby Butler.

-The NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate a new CBA. But this time, with the league having given the final details of their proposal, the PA came back with a few issues. Namely ice conditions and training camp issues.

Nothing ground shaking but the good news is that the tone, at least publicly, from both sides seems to be rather positive. That is a marked change from the last time this happened.

Still, the PA has not yet tabled a counter-proposal of their own. When they do, the real games begin!

-If there is no lockout the Red Wings and Leafs are scheduled to play in the Winter Classic this year. As such, the two teams announced the coaches for their alumni games.

-The good folks at Habsworld.net have gotten together to discuss how to build a modern winning team.

-THN's Ken Campbell takes a look at whether or not the league would contract the Phoenix Coyotes.

-Lastly, Spector's gives him usualy rumour roundup.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Friday, July 27, 2012

David Desharnais Profile, Tim Thomas on Facebook, Semin, Voracek and More

Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals - Game Six
Good morning Hab fans!

What a delight.

After making controversial comments on Facebook before and skipping out on his team's visit to the White House, Tim Thomas has now chimed in on the gay marriage debate.

Once again, via Facebook... you know, because he wants to protect his private life and be grumpy with reporters.

Thomas' story of perseverance and success was something to behold at first, but it now seems like his accomplishments have gone to his head wee bit, no?

Habs and Hockey News

- Our newest Addict, Amos Legault, recently asked if David Desharnais' line should be split up. It is now Sean Lloyd's turn to chime in, contemplating the future of the young center in his latest player profile.

- Much maligned Alex Semin signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Say what you will about the salary and the player, it is a short contract that could provide significant rewards for the Canes.

- Jakub Voracek signed a four-year, $17 million extension with the Philadelphia Flyers. As our Fred Poulin alluded to on Twitter, that sure seems like a lot of dough for forward who has only hit the 50 point plateau once. Meanwhile, over at Sports Illustrated, Stu Haeckel contemplates the Flyers' next move after missing out the big names this summer.

- At The Hockey News, Adam Proteau muses over the decline of the Colorado Avalanche.


(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America)

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: David Desharnais

All Eyes Are On Double D After Breakout Year

David Desharnais- C
5'7 177 lbs
2011-12 Stats 81GP- 16G- 44A- 60 Pts

The Price

Desharnais is entering his second, and final year of his current contract paying him $950K. He has an $850K cap hit.

Quite a deal when you consider he put up 60 points with the team last season.

Performance

It's safe to say that going into the 2011-12 season, nobody could've guessed that DD would finish third on the team with 60 points. His +/- rating of +10 was also ranked third on the Canadiens behind Josh Gorges's +14 and Erik Cole's +11.

There is no doubt that Desharnais worked hard to find success last year having to go up against bigger and stronger defensemen game in and game out.

What also helped his numbers was playing in between Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty, the two players who finished ahead of him in points.

That is not meant to come off as a knock against Desharnais. He proved me wrong time and time again when I was convinced his productivity would slow down.

I do however still believe his numbers would drop significantly on another line. Also, I can't help but believe Tomas Plekanec would surpass Desharnais's numbers from last year had he played between the team's top producers.

The Fit

David Desharnais will no doubt start the season centering the team's top line. After the success the trio shared last year, it's hard to argue against that.

My argument, however, would be to trade Desharnais. I can't see the Habs moving forward with Plekanec, Eller and Desharnais playing down the middle. With Galchenyuk no more than a year away from making the jump into the NHL, there needs to be movement.

The problem is despite his stats, his size will diminish his market value.

I don't see Eller being moved as he provides size and has shown plenty of offensive potential.

On the other hand, Plekanec has proven to be an effective player on both ends of the ice and in any situation and so his movement would generate more of a return.

In the event that both remain Canadiens. Desharnais will continue to play in between Cole and Patches and recieve powerplay minutes unless his production falls.

Put yourself in the GM's Chair. Who Stays and who goes? Where does DD fit in?



Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller
Francis Bouillon
Tomas Plekanec
Raphael Diaz


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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Should the Montreal Canadiens break up their top line?

Before I start, I'd like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Amos, and I'm an addict.

I was born in a small Ontario town where I was first introduced to hockey by my father--an incredibly allegiant Leafs fan—with hopes for a future recruit. It didn't go as planned...

I'll be doing a regular column here at HabsAddict.com, and covering prospects and their development.

I'm very happy to be joining the Habs Addict family, and I feel privileged to be working with and writing for a group with such an incomparable passion for the CH!

So, without further ado, here's my first column...

--

Looking at players and line combinations for next season, would you break up the Montreal Canadiens' top line of Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Eric Cole?

The answer is usually a quick, resounding “NO,” and chief among reasons is that it’s unwise to dismantle the only line that produced offensively last season.

While I agree—after the train wreck of 2011-12 and the uncertainty it has created—that the mere idea is a frightening one, let me give you a few reasons why I think the benefits could be worth it.

What to do with Lars Eller?

It's been suggested before that Lars Eller on the wing, completing a second unit with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta would be an ideal scenario if Eller were comfortable there.

Who doesn't want to see a budding player with his promise develop further alongside offensive-minded attackers?

Personally, I don't believe—when looking at a checking line—that Eller is the right guy for the job. Yes, he's technically the team's largest pivot and isn't necessarily shy of the physical game, but isn't he meant to be a top-six player?

The potential is there and he deserves a real shot at an offensively defined role.

But for me, the real problem with the winger idea came when Eller said that he "doesn't mind playing there," followed by "I'll play where I'm needed".

He's not a veteran, nor a rookie. He's at that stage where things can quickly go south if he's not utilized properly. You don't want Lars playing a position that he "doesn't mind". You want him at center where he's naturally at his best, whether he's adjusting to the wing or not.

So the question now involves Desharnais and, more importantly, Plekanec.

The Plekanec Problem

I am still a firm believer that Plekanec is a No. 1 center in this league and, though he's very good defensively, is a world-class playmaker. There is tantalizing point-production that has been evaporating from his game while he toils on an ever-shifting, uncertain second line.

Until the Habs trade him in a package for a superstar pivot, Plekanec needs to be centering the best possible linemates available, consistently.

In my mind, Cole and Pacioretty are pretty well inseparable and they are both lock-ins for the Habs' premier line. I think we are all mostly in agreement on that, and for now I wouldn't suggest splitting them apart.

Desharnais on the other hand is a slightly different case...

Where to put Desharnais

This is not to suggest that DD hasn't earned the spot he's in, and I'm not denying the chemistry that he has with Pacioretty and Cole. Looking back at the year though, I don't remember DD being as integral to that unit's success as Cole and Pacioretty were.

For all intents and purposes, the Habs are at square one this season. They're starting from the bottom of the barrel and there's a new coaching staff driving the boat.

Is there not time to generate some new chemistry, perhaps with Plekanec centering the Cole line, and Eller centering Gio and Bourque? It's been talked about, but Le Tricolore remain without a solid, fully-defined second unit, and now seems as good a time as any to try and fix that.

Barring the signing of a more capable left winger than Bourque—though he deserves a second chance—to round out the No. 2 line, these are pairings that are still worth a shot for the benefit of Eller and Plekanec going forward.

Do we project Desharnais to be more important to the future of the Habs than Eller? And after all, is such a sacred chemistry not powerful enough to rekindle itself if these propositions don't work out?

What would you do to remedy the still very real issue of only having one decent line going into 2012-13? Is DD just too small to center the checking line, or not good enough defensively? Would you rather see DD on the No. 2 unit at Eller's wing, or is Eller better suited for a third line defensive role? Where would you play Scott Gomez?

Lets hear your thoughts!

--
Amos is freelance writer and columnist who covers prospects for HabsAddict.com. He also covers the Habs for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)

Shea Weber fallout, Nash happy in New York, Hasek a Hab? Rumours and more...

Morning puck addicts!

With Mr. Moustakas in Quebec City this morning, I'm taking over the news posting duties.

The dog days of summer are certainly well upon us, but that doesn't mean there isn't a bevy of NHL news this morning! Well, a bevy is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. Unless, of course, you are talking about the Shea Weber offer sheet and subsequent offer match by the Preds.

Lots, and lots, and lots of fallout from that one.

It's funny how many think the Flyers will now turn their attention to P.K. Subban, extending an offer sheet and stealing him from the Habs.

While anything is possible, I don't see if happening.

Why? Because the Habs could, and would, match any offer the Flyers would make. So unless Philly is willing to grossly overpay Subban there's really no point making an offer.

And they know it. Wouldn't you agree?

Hockey News

-HabsAddict.com's own Fred Poulin takes a look at the Habs signing of Alex Galchenyuk.

-Speaking of HabsAddict, we welcome Amos Legault to the team and he examines whether or not the Habs should breakup their top line.

-Our good friends at Habsworld.net have gone a little off the rails this morning. They feel the Habs should sign Dominik Hasek. I know, I know...but read the article first! They actually lay out some interesting logic!

-As I said, there is a lot of news/fallout on the Weber deal this morning starting with Flyers GM, Paul Holmgren, saying he's happy with his lineup.

For Nashville, they are a happy bunch with the signing of Weber while The Hockey News says that it was a shrewd move by the Preds GM.

-in other big signing news, Rick Nash says he's excited to be playing in New York this season. And why not? A perennial playoff team who should once again contend for the Stanley Cup?

-ESPN takes an interesting look at what they'd do if they were in Gary Bettman's shoes. It's an interesting piece which includes rule changes and scuttling a few franchises!

-Lastly, Spector brings you his daily rumour roundup.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens Agree to Entry-Level Contract

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Monday the signing of his 2012's third overall pick Alex Galchenyuk to a three-year contract.

Galchenyuk will make $925,000 next season plus performance bonuses if he manages to stick around the team instead of being sent back to his junior team.

In 2011-12 the 18-year old Galchenyuk missed the majority of the season due to a knee injury, playing only two regular season games with the OHL's Sarnia Sting. The six-foot-one, 195 lbs forward recorded four points in six games in the playoffs. In his first junior season in 2010-11, Gally ranked third in scoring with the Sting, with a total of 83 points — 31 goals, 52 assists — in 68 regular season games.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Galchenyuk speaks fluent Russian, English and Italian. Galchenyuk also lived in Switzerland for a year when he was while his father, Alexander, was playing hockey. He learned French while he was there, though he said he has since lost his fluency. Still, the young superstar is planning on picking it up and, via Twitter, has already addressed his fans in French with the help of fellow Habs draftee Charles Hudon.

The fans' newest idol will have every chance to make the team out of training camp in the fall. "He will decide where he plays next season," Bergevin said after the Canadiens drafted Galchenyuk third overall at the draft in Pittsburgh. However, since Galchenyuk only played eight games in 2011-12, he will most likely begin the season in Sarnia with the Sting, unless he has a tremendous training camp with the Habs. 

Another possibility would be for him to play his nine games with Montreal before being sent down to Sarnia, because if a prospect stays past nine games, he burns the first year of his newly signed entry-level contract, which is not something a team wants.

Now, Marc Bergevin can attend to the last major issue at hand: the re-signing of RFA defenseman P.K. Subban, who will most likely sign a long-term contract extension with the team. Bergevin is scheduled to meet Subban's agent Don Meehan later this week.


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Follow me on Twitter for more updates on the Canadiens and hockey in general and follow Alex at @AGally94.


(Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Nashville Retains Shea Weber, Doan to Montreal?, Nash, Wilson and More

Shea Weber - Nashville Predators v Detroit Red Wings - Game Four
Good AM!

After many days of waiting, the Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers 14-year, $110 million offer for Shea Weber.

While the offer forces the Predators to ante up $26 million in signing bonuses in the next 11 months, it would have been quite surprising for the Tennessee club not to match.

After all, do you really think Weber is worth only four late first round picks?

Habs and Hockey News

- According to TVA Sports, Shane Doan is currently considering an offer from the Montreal Canadiens.

- Scott Burnside considers the pressure put on Shea Weber now that the Predators have decided to retain him. Allan Muir of SI also offers his insights on the topic.

- The Nashville Predators have been busy. Not only have they matched the Shea Weber offer, but they have also re-signed Colin Wilson to a three-year deal.

- Rory Boylen of The Hockey News dissects the Rick Nash deal.

- It seems the NHLPA is close to tabling a counter-proposal to the league's initial CBA offer.



(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alex Galchenyuk Signs, Rick Nash to Rangers, Kostitsyn, Julien and More

Rick Nash - Columbus Blue Jackets v Colorado Avalanche
Happy Tuesday Hab fans!

Finally, the Rick Nash Saga is over, as the star winger has been traded to the New York Rangers.

In return, the Columbus Blue Jackets received Artem Anisimiov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick.

Many are quick to praise the Rangers for this move, especially since they were not forced to give up any perceived core pieces. Still, I can't help but wonder if Nash is really the answer to their offensive woes. After all, in his NHL career, the forward has only reached the 70-point plateau once.

What are your thoughts on the move?

Habs and Hockey News

- In Habs news, third overall pick Alex Galchenyuk signed an entry level deal with the organization. Including bonuses, his cap-hit will be $3.25 million.

- Our Sean Lloyd profiles blueliner Raphael Diaz

- Darren Dreger comments on the Rick Nash deal and offers the latest on Shea Weber. Meanwhile at ESPN, Scott Burnside argues that the Blue Jackets obtained too many maybes in return for their star winger. Finally, The Hockey News' Ken Campbell feels like Nash still has much too prove.

- Kris Versteeg and former Hab Sergei Kostitsyn re-sign with their respective clubs, thus avoiding arbitration.

- Former Montreal bench boss Claude Julien signs an extension with the Boston Bruins.


(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raphael Diaz Profile, Hasek to Habs, Doan Situation and More

Shane Doan - Dallas Stars v Phoenix Coyotes
Good Morning Hab fans!

Writing the morning news roundup is fun.

It allows me to rant about a topic of my choice and, hopefully, engage HA's readership in good discussion.

But, boy oh boy, even topics for a brief blurb run short come the tail end of July.

It's not like I'm going to talk about the fact that Ottawa has barely had any rain in three weeks. Or that I have seen the Dark Knight Rises twice already. Or that Anne Hathaway looks fantastic in that movie. That would all be terribly off topic.

Anywho, on to the news!

Habs and Hockey News 

- Our Sean Lloyd continues his look at the Montreal Canadiens roster, this time shifting his attention to the recently re-signed Raphael Diaz.

- HabWorld's Naqeeb Shaikh makes the argument that the Habs should sign Dominik Hasek.

- Hockey Inside/Out offers the latest on the Shane Doan situation. Montreal, like many, have made offers for Doan but it remains clear that his preference is to remain in the Desert.

- Eric Engels looks at rumors surrounding Shane Doan, Patrick Kane and P.K Subban.

- The often beleaguered Pittsburgh Penguins have replaced their team physician of 24 years.


(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Raphael Diaz

Swiss Defender Signs Two Year Extension

Raphael Diaz - D
5'11" 194 lbs
2011-12 Stats 59GP- 3G- 13A- 16Pts- -7

The Cost

Marc Bergevin managed to avoid going to arbitration with Diaz by inking the young Swiss defender to a two year deal worth $1.2 million per year.

While the terms seemed higher than most — including myself — had expected, it shouldn't be viewed as a bad move.

His offensive output was not horrible for a rookie defenseman and he did average 18 minutes of ice time per game as well as earn an invite to the rookie All Star team.

Performance

Diaz was limited to 59 games in his rookie campaign due to occasional scratches as well as 16 games missed with a lower body injury.

Diaz spent an average of 1:20 minutes per game killing penalties and his 102 blocked shots were good enough for third on the team behind Josh Gorges's 250 and P.K. Subban's 113.

While Gorges's 250 were clearly untouchable, it's fair to say that Diaz would've passed Subban had he not missed so many games. Diaz played 22 games less than Subban.

The Fit

With Diaz locked down, the Canadiens have eight signed defensemen heading into next season. While it's clear that Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Alexei Emelin and Tomas Kaberle will make up five of the top six — unless someone get's moved *cough* Kaberle *cough* — the sixth spot could be up for grabs.

Despite my feeling that Francis Bouillon will begin the season filling that sixth spot, I also beleive that Raphael Diaz will have plenty of oppurtunities to grab it.

With the constant possibility of injuries in the back end, Diaz will no doubt have a chance at winning over the coach's, earning him more minutes.

As for the remaining two signed defenders, I see Frederic St-Denis starting in Hamilton and Yannick Weber very likely being moved.

Would you agree that Diaz will start as the seventh defenseman? Or do you see him having a chance to prove himself right away?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller
Francis Bouillon
Tomas Plekanec


---
Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Brooks on CBA negotiations, Dreger on Weber offer, Pens, Rumours and more

Morning puck addicts!

Not a lot happening in the NHL this morning. But, alas, these dogs days are killing us all (softly?)

If you're a CBA enthusiast, you'll love Larry Brooks' piece in the New York Post. He "somehow" obtained an internal memo from NHLPA head, Donald Fehr.

The memo details how the league's proposal breaks down in dollars and cents. Interesting stuff, to be sure, and certainly not a deal the PA will be accepting any time soon.

Now, however, comes the fun part as the PA is sure to table a counter proposal soon enough.

I can't wait to see what they fire back with, because whatever it is, it will largely indicate whether we are looking at a long, drawn-out negotiation or not.

My gut tells me that we will be looking at a long process. Moreover, I think we'll lose part of the upcoming season as a result.

What do you think? How do you feel the negotiations will play out?

Hockey News

-The New York Posts Larry Brooks details how the owners want to cut salaries despite rising revenues.

Ya, I'm sure that'll go over well with the PA.

-Down in the swamp, the Devils have re-sign Mark Fayne to a two-year deal.

-TSN's Darren Dreger takes a look at the financial implications of the Preds matching the Flyers' offer sheet on Shea Weber.

Quick note: There's no way the Preds can match. He is gonzo.

-The Pens hired a new team physician. I wonder if this has anything to do with the way Sidney Crosby's concussion was handled.

-Habsworld takes a look at when a third overall pick should start in the NHL.

-And lastly, here is Spector's daily rumour round-up.

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

P.K. Subban's agent to meet Habs, Blues sign Oshie, Leafs, Oilers, Rumours and more

Happy Saturday puck addicts!

Lots of news floating around the NHL this morning, mostly of the minor signing variety. Well, except, of course, for the Blues inking T.J. Oshie to a mega-deal!

Mmm, perhaps 'mega' is not the right word since the five-year term at an average of $4.175, is probably pretty reasonable for the 25 year old Oshie.

On the Habs front, there is still no deal for defenseman P.K. Subban. This, of course, means that there are a slew of rumours out there seeing Subban moved out of town. Personally, I don't see any way that Subban will be traded.

He'll be signed soon enough as GM Marc Bergevin clearly identified Subban (and Carey Price) as key cogs going forward. The latest rumour has Subban and Tomas Plekanec being moved to Chicago for Patrick Kane and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Umm, unlikely methinks, if slightly plausible.

What do you think of this rumour?

Hockey News

-HabsAddict.com's own Sean Lloyd continues his look at the current Habs roster, this time turning his gaze towards Tomas Plekanec.

-Speaking of Subban, according to RDS, Subban's agent, Don Meehan, will meet with Bergevin next week. Who knows what will come of that meeting but, if I were a betting man, I'd say a deal will be done over the next few weeks.

-The Oil have avoided arbitration with star young gun, Sam Gagner. The team inked him to a 1-year deal.

-Continuing with the arbitration theme, the Leafs have signed Nikolai Kulemin, avoiding arbitration. Yes, the Cup is theirs!

-Lots of news on the Hawks front. In good news, previously concussed star, Marian Hossa says he's recovering on schedule, having resumed high-intensity training.

In bad news (more bad news?), star forward Patrick Kane is being accused of being an alcoholic because of his partying antics for Cinco de Mayo.

Really? An alcholic? He's 23 and is a millionaire. I think a little (a lot?) of the raising of the wrist is to be expected. Don't you?

-As previously stated, the Blues inked Oshie to a good deal for both sides.

-Lastly, Spector takes you around the horn, rounding up the latest NHL rumours.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Tomas Plekanec

Tomas Plekanec - C
5'11" 198 lbs
2011-12 Stats 81GP- 17G- 35A- 52 Pts- -15

The Cost 

Plekanec just completed the second year of his six-year contract worth $5 million per year.

Anybody who truly follows the Habs knows that Plekanec is well worth the price tag.

It would be hard to find a GM not willing to pay that type of money to any player who can play effectively at both ends of the ice, in any situation, and never complain.

Performance

Don't let Plekanec's plus/minus rating in 2011-12 fool you. His -15 was, which the worst differential of his career and only the second time he finished below zero.

That being said, on a team that was as disastrous as the Habs were last season, it would be hard for any player averaging 20:45 minutes a game to do any better.

For years Plekanec hasn't been used properly. While an incredibly effective penalty killer, his abundance of PK time — 3:13 minutes per game — second among forwards behind Maxime Talbot's 3:29, has been effecting his point production.

His 52 points are hardly a fair reflection of his potential. When you factor in the amount of time on ice he focuses on defense and his revolving door of wingers, you start to wonder how the 50 point mark was even possible.

Plekanec played with roughly 20 different combination of wingers last season making it nearly impossible to muster up any chemistry.

With names like Travis Moen, Rene Bourque and Mathieu Darche playing alongside him, it is enough to make anybody aware of what Plekanec is capable of offensively cringe.

Just imagine what kind of numbers Plekanec could have put up alongside Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole.

The Fit

With any luck, the addition of Michel Therrien will bring change to the way Plekanec has been used.

With the assumption that David Desharnais will remain in between Cole and Pacioretty, it's vital that Plekanec is surrounded by talent as well.

Unless Marc Bergevin can sign a top six winger — and there are not many out there — or bring in some outside help via trade, Pleks will be flanked by Bourque as well as captain Brian Gionta.

Plekanec will also remain an important part of the PK unit, but the acquisitions of Colby Armstrong and Brandon Prust will hopefully give him more of a break when a man down.

Who would you like to see placed on Plekanec's wing? And how many points do you see him collecting if provided with talented and consistant line mates?



Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller
Francis Bouillon


---
Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)

Scott Gomez's Ace, Weber Fallout, Gagner, Kulemin and More

Scott Gomez - Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
Happy Friday Hab fans!

Hockey Inside/Out sure has a funny story for us.

Guess who won a car at his own charity golf tournament by shooting a hole-in-one?

Scott Gomez, that's who.

The irony of Gomez, who could not manage to score a goal within a calendar year, doing this is just too delicious, isn't?

Habs and Hockey News

- Shea Weber's decision to sign a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers continues to make waves. Over at TSN, Darren Dreger looks at the impact of this on the finance of the Nashville Predators. Meanwhile, at ESPN, Scott Burnside contemplates the disconnect between this contract and the owner's stance during CBA negotiations.

- Adam Proteau of The Hockey News looks at how Weber's new deal reflects the wide gap between certain NHL markets. Kevin Allen and Stu Haeckel also offer up their takes on the situation.

- HabsWorld looks at when a third overall pick should start in the NHL.

- Sam Gagner signs with the Edmonton Oilers while Nikolai Kulemin avoids arbitration with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

- Alan Bass has an interesting piece on motivation and coaching tactics.


(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shea Weber Signs Offer with Flyers, Quincey, Negotiations and More

Shea Weber - Nashville Predators v Phoenix Coyotes - Game One
Hello Hockey Fans!

Talk about a late night bombshell, as it was revealed around 1 AM that Shea Weber had signed a 14-year, $110 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Reportedly, the deal includes $68 million in bonus money in the first six years.

The Nashville Predators now have seven days to match the offer or accept the compensation of four first round draft picks.

Given the Flyers typically strong position in the standings, one gets the sense that the standard compensation won't exactly cut it for the Predators. After all, this isn't Tomas Vanek we are talking about either. This is the face of the Predators franchise, a franchise that is now firmly between a rock and a hard place.

What would you do?

Habs and Hockey News

- The Hockey News looks at the Predators' current predicament.

- Defenseman Kyle Quincey agreed to a $7.55 million, two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. Quincey was acquired late in the 2012 campaign in a three-way deal with Tampa Bay and Colorado.

- The NHL and NHLPA continued CBA discussions in New York. Stu Haeckel, at Sports Illustrated, looks at where the CBA talks may be headed.

- Good discussion to be had on some of the remaining issues for the Montreal Canadiens.

- Did you know that former Hab Pierre Dagenais plied his trade in the Federal Hockey League this past season. The FHL is an A level hockey league below both the ECHL and Central Hockey League. It is also quite a drop for Dagenais, who has played in the NHL, AHL and KHL before. Then again, Dagenais did have 143 points in 45 games last year.


(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Issues for the Canadiens, Stevens, Grigorenko and More

Tomas Kaberle - Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks
Happy lunch hour, Hab fans.

For today's news roundup, I will try something a little different in terms of style and presentation.

Hopefully, this will make the piece a bit more readable and generate further discussion.

Of course, we welcome your comments, so tell us what you think of the new format.


Habs and Hockey News 

- I discuss some unresolved issues for the Montreal Canadiens. Namely, P.K Subban's lack of a deal, the trio of Rene Bourque, Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle as well as the defensive logjam are sources of concern. 

- Sean Lloyd continues his excellent offseason profiles, this time looking at Francis Bouillon
 
- HabsWorld continues its look at the composition of recent Stanley Cup champions, this time focusing on the dreaded Boston Bruins.

- Scott Stevens joins the New Jersey Devils coaching staff. He, along with Matt Shaw, will help compensate for Adam Oates' departure. As you will recall, Oates accepted the head coaching position with the Washington Capitals. 
 
Mikhail Grigorenko signs his first deal with the Buffalo Sabres. It's still hard to fathom how a projected top-five pick slipped as far as 12th. 
 
- After much turmoil behind the Chicago Blackhawks' bench, Joel Quenneville names Jamie Kompon as his new assistant
 
- Stu Haeckel, over at Sports Illustrated, muses over the difficulties of being a hockey fan. The now infamous Canadiens condo project is front and center in this piece. 
 
- The Hockey News' Ryan Kennedy portrays the upcoming CBA negotiations as a battle between owners.


(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images North America)

Unresolved Issues Remain for the Montreal Canadiens

P.K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators
While we enter the dog days of summer, hockey news becomes a slow trickle.

The Montreal Canadiens made a few moves on July 1st and have signed the majority of their restricted free agents.

With most roster spots apparently occupied, the team seems to have a well defined outline.

Nonetheless, there are some issues that Marc Bergevin and his team will need to sort out in order to  begin the season with confidence.

P.K Subban's Contract

As stated above, all of the squad's restricted free agents have been signed — save for P.K Subban.

Considering his team-leading ice time, that is one heck of a player to still have unsigned.

With equally young blueliners such as Erik Karlson and Tyler Myers receiving long-term, richly paid contracts, one can easily assume Subban's agent is using that as leverage to obtain the same for his client.

Conversely, the Canadiens may not be too keen on extending such a long deal to the defenseman, especially if the new CBA's rules prove more favorable. Having said that, they cannot be too excited about any contract that would allow Subban to become unrestricted at its end.

The question then becomes, do you lock up Subban long-term or give him a shorter deal that will keep him within the realm of restricted free agency?

The Trifecta

Think what you will about Tomas Kaberle, Rene Bourque and Scott Gomez, the fact remains that Marc Bergevin will have to make a decision, one way or another, about what to do with these players and their rather hefty cap-hits.

Scott Gomez has done next to nothing to redeem his subpar performance and his contract makes him very difficult to move.

Rene Bourque and Tomas Kaberle can prove useful, but their deals also eat up significant money.

Ultimately, with so many dubious deals on the books, it will be very difficult for Bergevin to add to his team down the road.

With a much deeper pool of free agents ahead next summer and the omnipresent potential for trades, it would be wise to clear at least some of the above mentioned salaries.

Logjam on the Back End

You can never have too many NHL-ready defensemen. At least, so goes the old adage. And, for the most part, it is quite true.

However, when it comes to the Habs' blueline depth, it has an element of sameness that is concerning.

Think of Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, Tomas Kaberle, Brendon Nash and Frederic St-Denis.

What comes to mind?

Typically, terms like "offensive minded" or "puck moving" are quick to pop up.

While that type of defender can be most useful, your NHL-ready depth cannot consist almost solely of that kind of player.

At one point, some pieces will have to be moved and toughness will need to be added to back end.


---
Louis is an Associate Editor and Senior Writer at HabsAddict.com. Born near Chicago, Louis grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He is also an occasional guest on CKCU's Red Zone program.
Find him on Twitter @LouisMoustakas

(Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Canadiens to Build Condo, Bouillon Profile, Green, Pavelec and More

Hello Hab addicts!

Well, it sure seems the Montreal Canadiens are causing quite a stir with their proposed condominium complex.

Why you ask?

Because the new building is slated to be built at the current location of Centennial Plaza.

You know, that place where fans were asked to pay hundreds of dollars to contribute bricks.

That place meant to honor the greats of the franchise, featuring prominent statues of Howie Morenz, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Maurice Richard.

Instead, all of this will be replaced with a condo. The plaza itself is to be moved to a still unknown location.

I can't imagine why anyone would be mad about that.



Habs News

HabsAddict - Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Francis Bouillon

HabsAddict - Press Release - Habs Sign Blake Geoffrion

HabsWorld - Geoffrion signs a one year deal

HockeyBuzz - Owners' Offer--Effect on Subban Negotiation?

Montreal Gazette - Will the ghosts finally make the move to Bell Centre?

Hockey News

Sports Illustrated - NHLPA tested by harsh CBA proposal

The Hockey News - Ken Campbell: NHL offer a reasonable start in CBA negotiations

TSN - Pavelec banned from driving in Czech Republic for 20 months

TSN - Report: Kane, Jets discussing possible six-year contract

TSN - Capitals re-sign Green to three-year, $18.25M contract

Monday, July 16, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Francis Bouillon

Frankie B Returns to Montreal

Francis Bouillon - D
5'8" 198 lbs
2011-12 Stats 66GP- 4G- 7A- 11 Pts- -4

The Cost

Francis Bouillon returned to the Canadiens after a three year absence, signing a one year contract worth $1.5 million.

The price tag hardly seems high as the Canadiens acquire — or re-acquire rather — some depth on the blue line with the addition of a tough as nails defenseman who has spent the last three seasons playing behind the likes of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter with the Nashville Predators.

One can't help but imagine that you gain nothing but positives by learning from what was arguably one of the best defensive tandems in the NHL.

That's not to say that Bouillon will bring top quality to the Canadiens blue line, but it's a nice addition to the Habs back end, giving younger players like Frederic St-Denis, Nathan Beaulieu, Morgan Ellis and Jared Tinordi more time to develop.

Performance

Bouillon's seven goals in the 2011-12 campaign were as many as P.K Subban's, the Habs leading scorer on the blue line.

His 103 hits would have been fourth behind Alexei Emelin (236), Josh Gorges (131) and Subban (105).

Bouillon averaged 17:32 minutes of ice time last season, which would easily be top six minutes on the Canadiens.

The Fit

At the time of his signing, many fans in Montreal had him pegged as purely a depth signing who would fight for time as the seventh defeseman.

I believe however, that Bouillon will start the season in the top six along with Andrei Markov, Gorges, Subban, Emelin and Tomas Kaberle.

With the mentioned players filling out the top six, that would leave Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber — provided he's still with the team — fighting for time as the seventh defenseman as well as some probable appearances by Frederic St-Denis.

Were you happy with the return of Bouillon? And do you see him as more of a top six d-man or as an insurance policy on the blueline?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller


---
Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Press Release - Habs Sign Blake Geoffrion

CANADIENS SIGN BLAKE GEOFFRION TO A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

MONTREAL (July 16, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of forward Blake Geoffrion to a one-year, two-way contract (2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 24-year old Geoffrion played 35 games with the Canadiens and the Nashville Predators in 2011-2012. He registered five points (2 goals, 3 assists), 40 hits and 27 penalty minutes, playing an average of 11:02 minutes per game. In his second year in professional hockey, he also played with the Milwaukee Admirals and Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL, recording 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists) in 29 games.

Acquired by the Canadiens in a transaction with Nashville involving defenseman Hall Gill, the 6’01’’, 190 lbs forward collected 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in 55 regular season games in the NHL. Geoffrion added two assists in 12 playoff games in 2010-11, along with a +1 plus/minus ratio.

A native of Plantation, Florida, Geoffrion was drafted in the second round, 56th overall by the Predators at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was awarded the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as the Top U.S. Collegiate Player in 2010.

Geoffrion Signs, CBA, Videos and More

Blake Geoffrion - Montreal Canadiens v Carolina Hurricanes
Happy Monday Hab addicts!

So another day, another signing.

In this case, it is Blake Geoffrion who has accepted his one-year, two-way qualifying offer worth just a hair over 800,000 $.

As you will certainly recall, Geoffrion was acquired from the Nashville Predators in a late season deal that sent Hal Gill the other way.

With this latest signing, only one restricted free agent remains for the Montreal Canadiens. You know, just some kid by the name of P.K Subban.


Habs and Hockey News

HabsAddict.com - Press Release - Habs Sign Blake Geoffrion

Sports Illustrated - NHL owners must face their own hypocrisy as CBA deadline nears

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nash update, CBA discussions, Dominic Moore, Rumours and more

Morning puck addicts!

Wow, a whole lot of nothing going on this morning! As the temperature rises we have entered a dead period for hockey and hockey news.

Well, that is until Rick Nash finally gets traded or another team makes a trade...of ANY kind!

How do you spell dog days of summer? Patrick Sieloff. As in THN takes a look at this up and coming prospects.

Ummm, ya, thin news day indeed.

So my question to you this fine Sunday morning is as follows: When P.K. Subban does finally sign a new deal, how long will be it and for what kind of cash?

Personally, I'm thinking something along the lines of Carey Price's second contract. Say a two or three year deal ranging between $1.5 million to $2.25 million per season...preferably closer to the $1.5 million number.

What say you?

Hockey News

TSN - HOWSON SAYS JACKETS LOOKING FOR NHL-READY FORWARDS FOR NASH

HabsWorld.net - Writers Weigh In: The Habs in Free Agency

ESPN - No surprises in NHL's first offer

ESPN - NHL owners can't cry poor this time

THN - VIDEO: One-on-one with UFA Dominic Moore

THN - Prospect watch: Patrick Sieloff

Spector's Hockey - Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 15, 2012

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

NHL tables offer to PA, Habs sign Diaz, Suter, Rumours and more

Morning puck addicts!

Not much happening on the NHL front this morning except, of course, for the first volley being fired in the new CBA negotiations.

Not surprisingly, it was Gary Bettman and his team who sent the first proposal to the PA. And what a proposal it is!

They want to cut the players' portion of league revenues from 57 percent to 46 percent. They want to cap contracts at a maximum of five years. They want to extend the number of years a player has to play before becoming a free agent (from seven to ten).

What's not to like?

Umm, ya.

So when the PA rejects this deal, and they will in earnest, the question becomes whether this is harden their stance or not. However, knowing Donal Fehr, he was probably ready and waiting for the strong arm approach that Bettman is known for.

With the NHL at it's highest level of popularity basically ever, the league cannot afford to have any kind of prolonged lockout. And Fehr and the PA know it.

Things are sure to get interesting from here!

Hockey News

HabsAddict.com - Press Release - Canadiens Sign Defenseman Raphael Diaz to a Two-Year Contract

Hockey Inside/Out - An offer the PA can and will refuse

TSN - REPORT: NHL TABLES INITIAL CBA PROPOSAL TO NHLPA

ESPN - Thin Blue Line: Impact of Suter deal

THN - Top 10 all-time Europeans

Spector's Hockey - NHL Rumor Roundup – July 13, 2012

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images North America)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Press Release - Canadiens Sign Defenseman Raphael Diaz to a Two-Year Contract

MONTREAL (July 13, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of defenseman Raphael Diaz to a two-year contract (2012-13 and 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Diaz, 26, completed his first season with the Canadiens in the NHL in 2011-12. The 5’11’’, 191 lbs defenseman recorded 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) in 59 games. He tallied one winning goal, added 61 shots on goal and served 30 penalty minutes, while averaging 18:00 of ice time per game. Diaz blocked 102 shots, ranking third among rookie defensemen in the NHL. He missed the team’s last 16 games of the season due to a season-ending groin injury.

A native of Baar, Switzerland, Diaz was part of the All-Rookie Team at the NHL All-Star Weekend.

He first signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on May 13, 2011.

Selanne Returns, TSN 990, Semin and More

Teemu Selanne - Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes
Good late AM!

As many of you probably know, Teemu Selanne has decided to play at least another year with the Anaheim Ducks.

The 42-year old Finnish forward had 26 goals and 66 points last season. The year before that, he potted an even more impressive 80 points.

In any case, here is an excellent video illustrating how Teemu made his decision to continue playing.


Habs and Hockey News

HabsWorld - Aaron Palushaj signs a 1 year deal

HockeyBuzz - The Loss of TSN/The Team 990

Sports Illustrated - The strange case of Alexander Semin

The Hockey News - Adam Proteau: More to CBA negotiations than money

TSN - Ducks re-sign Selanne to one-year, $4.5 million contract

TSN - Stars sign G Bachman, F Scevior for next season

TSN - Siegel: Healthy Reimer ready to reclaim Leafs' starting job

USA Today - Top remaining NHL free agents

USA Today - Organizers of Coyotes deal referendum 300 signatures short

USA Today - Teemu Selanne returning for another season


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