Sunday, December 30, 2012

Team Canada Sneaks by Americans 2-1

A very pro-Canada crowd was on hand in Ufa to witness a Canadian win over the rival Americans. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome scored early to give Canada the only firepower it would need in a 2-1 victory.

In a game that lacked consistent momentum for either side, it was the goaltenders who stood out for both teams. Malcolm Subban made 36 saves for Canada, while John Gibson made 30 in a losing cause.

After Canada's first period goals, both teams played very timid and lacked the usual intensity of a typical Canada-U.S game. The Americans changed that at the 11 minute mark of the third period with a Jacob Trouba goal, that would cut the Canadian lead down to one.

The American momentum disappeared however, thanks to untimely third period penalties that would include two game misconducts, one of which going to captain Jake McCabe for a hit to the head. The Canadians, disorderly on their man-up advantages, weren't able to capitalise on a five-on-three opportunity.

Back at full strength and smelling blood, the U.S put the pressure on the Canadians late in the third. With just under two-minutes left, a boarding call to the tournament's leading scorer Nugent-Hopkins, gave the Americans a late power play. Phil Housley then opted to pull Gibson, giving the States a 6-4 man advantage. After many close-calls and near scoring chances, Subban and Canada's willing shot-blockers managed to hold on for the win.

The win over Team USA moves Canada into first place in the "Group B" standings, but only for now. In order to earn the first round by, Canada is going to have to play a lot better tomorrow against a hot Russian team, who is coming off of a 7-0 win against Germany, and has a home crowd ready to add fuel to the fire.


Rob Myerson is a Quebec trained secondary education teacher. After a year in Montreal, teaching at Beurling Academy, he moved to London, England where he currently resides and works. His previous sports writing experience comes from writing for Bishop's University's school newspaper, "The Campus".

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Offer From NHL, Russia Downs USA, Spengler Semis for Canada

Good Morning HabsAddicts

Early Friday afternoon, Pierre LeBrun broke the news that the National Hockey League had submitted a new offer to the NHLPA, composed of some 300+ pages.

Some parts of the offer were already discussed before, including a 10 year term on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, $300 Million for the "make whole" provision ($50 Million of which is to go to the NHLPA's pension plan), and a single amnesty buy-out for each team in 2013-2014 which wouldn't count against the salary cap.

Important to point out, as far as the amnesty payment is concerned, that the bought out contract would instead count against a team's hockey related revenue, which would reduce amounts on both sides of the ledger. This is a significant move by the league, in an attempt to find an equitable way to avoid an immediate cap hit to a single team. It would instead distribute the onus to all teams by reducing HRR and the salary cap by a minimal and manageable percentage.

While the league still insists on a cap on player contract lengths, they've extended the length to six years instead of the original five, and they have backed off on issues like entry-level contracts, Group 3 free agency (unrestricted), and arbitration rights.

However, included in this latest offer is an absolute drop-dead date to start, that being January 19th, in order to have a 48-game season. Training camps would have to begin on January 11th. Effectively, that gives both sides a windows of just a few days to get this offer agreed upon, and begin recalling their players from European club teams and the KHL.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes

- In an action packed affair, Team Russia defeated Alex Galchenyuk and Team USA 2-1 on Friday morning at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Team Canada, who won earlier on Friday 6-3 over Slovakia, received some good news as forward Anthony Camara would not receive any supplemental discipline for his devastating hit on Slovakian defenceman Patrik Luza. J.C. Lipon, who also received a major penalty for head contact on forward Tomas Mikus, received a one game suspension.

- With HC Davos' win Friday versus Adler Mannheim, Team Canada was assured a birth in the Spengler Cup semi-finals in Davos, Switzerland on Sunday. The quarter-finals will take place Saturday between Fribourg Gotteron vs. Adler Mannheim and HC Davos vs. Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

- The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs celebrates (I'm kidding) the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens last Stanley Cup win. 

(photo: Paul Sancya/AP)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Character Win For Team Canada, Spengler Dominance, More...

T.G.I.F. HabsAddicts!!!

Team Canada had quite the scare this morning. Team Slovakia came out of the gate with a heavy forecheck, that caused Canada fits, and took an early 2-0 1st period lead.

However, despite loosing forward J.C. Lipon in the first because of a contact to the head major penalty, the Canadian squad came out firing on all cylinders in the second.

As the game wore on, the Slovakians began to wear down. Only a controversial charging major to Anthony Camara gave the Slovaks some momentum, but Morgan Rielly led the charge for the Canadian team, with a few brilliant shift to to get the ball rolling. He finished with a goal and two assists.

Team Canada dominated the last 40 minutes of play, using their speed and physicality to turn the tables on their tenacious opponents. After taking a late 4-3 lead in the second, they added two more tallies in the third to win the game 6-3. Mark Scheifele was all over the ice for Canada, which earned him player of the game honours.

Next, Team Canada faces Team USA at 4 A.M. Sunday morning. The question is if the IIHF disciplinary board will give suspensions to either Lipon and/or Camara. The board is chaired by former NHL referee Bill McCreary.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Over in Davos, Switzerland, the other Team Canada had another dominant performance in Spengler Cup action, this time versus the host Davos. Byron Ritchie led Team Canada with two goals, en route to a 5-0 victory. Devon Dubnyk stopped 25 shots to earn the shutout.

- Team USA started their World Junior Hockey Championships with a resounding 8-0 victory over Germany. Montreal Canadiens' 2012 first round pick, Alex Galchenyuk had a goal and two assists.

- Barry Janoff of looks at how the NHL Lockout is causing fans and sponsors to lash out.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gorges' Outdoor Game, Spengler Cup Opening Loss For Canada, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

With the lack of progress in the NHL Lockout negotiations, some players are trying to keep fans happy in ways they normally couldn't during the regular season.

Montreal Canadiens' defenceman Josh Gorges, who is one of the more active players on Twitter during the work stoppage, used the power of social media, along with a helping hand from the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs, to organize a game of shinny.

The game took place yesterday at Willibrord Park in Verdun, at one of the community rinks built by the Habs' organization through their Children's Foundation.

About 50 players of all ages came to play with one of their loco hockey stars. Here's is Dave's column on the event. 

Habs and Hockey News and Notes

- The Spengler Cup opened on Boxing Day in Davos, Switzerland. Long considered one of the lesser hockey tournaments in the World, to the Swiss it is a bigger deal than the World Junior Hockey Championships. Canada opened their tournament against Adler Manheim.

Although the Canadian roster had the likes of NHLers Jason Spezza, John Tavares and Tyler Seguin, they dropped their opening matchup in overtime to their German opponents 2-1. Seguin had the lone goal for the Canadian side.

- The Star-Ledger's Rich Chere recently spoke to New Jersey Devils' General Manager Lou Lamoriello, who claims he is embarrassed by the NHL Lockout. 

- Are there 10 ways for the NHL to win back their fans? Pierre LeBrun gives some interesting ideas that some fans would love to see when the league gets back on the ice.

- Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty explains how arrogance, foolishness and intolerance are fuelling the NHL lockout.

(Photo courtesy Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Canada hammers Germans, RNH with 5 Points

Good Morning PuckAddicts!!!

In one of the most anticipated games in World Junior Hockey Championship history (thanks NHL Lockout), Team Canada exploded for nine tallies versus a sub-par German team in their opening game in this year's tournament.

Edmonton Oilers sophomore Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal and four assists, while his line mates Jonathan Huberdeau and Mark Scheifele combined for 10 points. Malcolm Subban went mostly untested in this affair, however he did give up a bit of a softy on a horrible turnover by Mark McNeil in the second period. He bounced back beautifully in the third, making a couple of point blank saves.

Canada continued their undisciplined play in the first two periods with a parade of unnecessary penalties, putting behind the eight ball early, and allowing the Germans to stay hopeful. However, Canada dominated to majority of the game, often maintaining possession of the puck in the German zone for three to four minutes at a time.

Canadian head coach Steve Spott, while happy with the result, should be apprehensive about his team's defensive zone play. Scott Harrington and Dougie Hamilton were solid on the Canadian defense, but Team Canada was often hemmed in by a tenacious German team, who were more lucky than good on all three of their goals. The fourth line for Team Canada showed an obvious deficiency in transitional play, giving up the puck multiple times along the half-wall, leading the German scoring chances.

Another obvious weakness in Canada's game was their lack of a defensive presence in the mid-ice lane. They allowed the Germans to attack with speed through the neutral zone on numerous occasions, forcing some over extended shift and mistakes in their own zone.

Team Canada's next test comes Friday morning against Team Slovakia.

Special Correspondant in Ufa

HabsAddict is happy to welcome Robert Myerson to our staff. Rob will be covering the World Junior Championship from Ufa, Russia after the Slovakia game, and providing our readers same day game summaries and analysis. Join me in welcoming Robert aboard.

(Photo courtesy Canadian Press)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Canada Beats Sweden In SO, Disclaimer Of Interest A Go? And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Team Canada's Boone Jenner may face supplementary discipline
after his late hit on Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson.
After falling 3-2 to Finland in pre-tournament action on Thursday, Team Canada bounced back with a 2-1 shoot out win against Sweden yesterday morning.

Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads scored Canada's only goal in regulation tying the game in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs scored a beauty in the shoot out before captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers netted the winner.

Habs prospect Sebastian Collberg assisted on Sweden's goal scored by Alexander Wennberg. Collberg was impressive on many of Sweden's power plays setting up chances and showing impressive puck control with nifty stick work.

Canada will begin the tournament on Boxing Day against Germany. Wednesday's game should be used by Canada to work on their discipline. Their constant trips to the penalty box could cause the Canadians problems further in the tournament if they spend too much time on the p.k. against stronger teams in do or die situations.

As if Canada's on ice penalties aren't trouble enough, Boone Jenner may face suspension after his late hit on Jesper Pettersson left the Swedish defenseman with a dislocated shoulder and a fractured wrist.

Alex Galchenyuk, the Habs only other prospect in the tournament was also on the losing end of pre-tournament play as Finland defeated Team U.S.A. 5-1.

Habs And Hockey News

- Back on the lockout front, the players have voted in favor of filing a disclaimer of interest. The NHLPA has until January 2nd to file the disclaimer if they choose to do so.

- Patrick Kearns (@PatrickKearns) of provides a fun lockout free article delivering 25 Christmas gifts to players and personnel around the NHL.

- Team U.S.A. will finalize their roster today, making three last cuts before kicking off their tournament debut against Germany on Thursday.

 (Photo by Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency) 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hudon To Miss WJC, Bealieu And Tinordi Progressing, Spengler Cup And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Habs prospect Charles Hudon will miss the WJC due to
a lower body injury.
 Only four days left until the start of the 2013 World Junior Championships. Canada lost their first pre tournament game against Finland  on Thursday but will get another shot this morning against Sweden. As soon as this post is written I will be sitting in front of my television gettting my first taste of the tournament.

As eager as I am to watch some hockey I must say I am quite disappointed I will not be able to watch Charles Hudon. Hudon, Montreal's fifth round draft pick in 2012 injured his back in practice on friday and was ultimately replaced by Mark McNeill of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.

Hudon has been having quite a year in the QMJHL so far this season notching 18 goals and as many helpers for 36 points in 27 games for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

On the bright side, Habs fans will be able to catch a glimpse of the Canadiens second overall pick Sebastian Collberg who will be suiting up for Sweden.

With Hudon having to back out - pun intended - Collberg is one of two Habs prospects still in the tournament. The other of course being Team U.S.A.'s Alex Galchenyuk who has been absolutely destroying the OHL this season. With 27 goals and 34 assists, Galchenyuk sits in second place for points - one behind Ryan Strome of the Niagra IceDogs - and tied for first in goals with the IceDogs Brett Ritchie and Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals.

Habs And Hockey News

- The Hamilton Bulldogs continue to struggle as they fell 2-1 to the St.John's Ice Caps last night. The 'Dogs now have won only once in their last five games as they remain in the AHL's Western Conference basement along with the San Antonio Rampage.

- Dan Kramer (@DanKramerHabs) of takes a look at the progression of Habs Prospects Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi.

- With all the excitement surrounding the WJC, let's not forget about the Spengler Cup. Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) of The HockeyHouse provides Team Canada's roster as well as every other team's roster for the tournament which also starts on Boxing Day.

(Photo from

Friday, December 21, 2012

Games Cancelled Thru Jan. 14th, Finland Beats Canada, More...

T.G.I.F. HabsAddicts

Thursday afternoon, the National Hockey League made the long anticipated announcement that games would be cancelled through January 14th, 2013. To date, 625 total games have been cancelled. It's expected that, while the NHL will not admit to it, this may very well be the last set of games cancelled before the entire season is scrapped.

Although NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly affirmed that there would be hockey this season in an interview with Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday, hope continues to dwindle.

Meanwhile, the league and NHL fans await, with angst and trepidation, the results of player voting to decide if the NHLPA will pursue its "disclaimer of interest." Should the union get the necessary 66% support from its members, expect that paper will be filed as earlier as Friday afternoon in the State of California.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Team Canada lost its first of two preparatory games versus Team Finland on Thursday morning. In a report on, the Fins took advantage of Canada's undisciplined play to give them an early wake up call before the WJHC begins on Boxing Day.

- Montreal Canadiens' top draft choice in 2012, Alex Galchenyuk was held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 overtime victory by Team U.S.A. over Sweden. That said, Habs' General Manager Marc Bergavin assured U.S.A. Hockey that Galchenyuk would remain in Russia regardless of the lockout situation.

- First U.S. President Barrack Obama chimed in, now CBC Sports tell us how Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper admitted that the NHL is treading in dangerous territory in its latest labour dispute.

- Unlike most NHL players, the lockout has only just begun for Habs' winger Rene Bourque, due to an abdominal injury he sustained during the off-season. Stu Cowan of Hockey Inside/out has the details.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of the HabsAddicts out there are very Happy Holiday season, and all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2013. GO HABS GO!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

WJHC Team Canada Preview, Habs' Fan Speaks Out, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Sure, the holidays are upon us, but more importantly, the World Junior Hockey Championships are around the corner. This tournament, which emerged from relative obscurity in the late 70's and early 80's, has become a holiday tradition in households across Canada.

This year's edition of Team Canada, which kicks off tournament preparation this morning at 9:30 A.M., is loaded with talent. The NHL Lockout has afforded Team Canada the likes of Oilers' budding superstar Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Bruins' prospects defenseman Dougie Hamilton and goaltender Malcolm Subban.

While this team doesn't have nearly as much talent as its lockout predecessor in 2005, it still has the necessary talent to make another for gold. Habs' fans will be watching this tournament with great interest, as Canadiens' prospect Charles Hudon is among the 23 man Team Canada roster. They'll also be keeping a close eye on Team USA, and Habs' first round pick in 2012, Alex Galchenyuk, who, going into the tournament, has been tearing up the Ontario Hockey League.

Here is the full Team Canada roster:

Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Strome, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Charles Hudon, Boone Jenner, Anthony Camara, Phillip Danault, J.C. Lipon, Brett Ritchie, Ty Rattie

Defence: Morgan Rielly, Dougie Hamilton, Griffin Reinhart, Xavier Ouellet, Scott Harrington, Ryan Murphy, Tyler Wotherspoon

Goaltenders: Malcolm Subban, Jordan Binnington, Jake Paterson

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

Patrick Scebba, Habs' fan extraordinary, lashes out about how the NHL lockout, the third in his young lifetime, has affected him.

- It seems NHL players aren't only locked out on this side of the Atlantic, as reported by Hockey Badasses.

- Finally, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times explains how the Lightning are starting to lose some season ticket holders.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Survey Says?, NHL Brand Damaged, More...

Happy Hump Day, HabsAddicts!!!

There is no question that this second NHL lockout in less than ten years has damaged public perception of the league. Fans across North America are beginning to look at other types of sports entertainment to fill their hockey void.

A poll conducted between December 11th and 16th surveyed individuals from different six regions across Canada. The poll, conducted by NRG Research Group and Peak Communications, asked "Do you think the NHL lockout will be settled in the next couple of weeks; in the new year in time for a shortened season to be played; not until it's too late for games to be played this season; or don't you care?"

Any astounding 58% of people surveyed said they could care less about the NHL lockout, while 5% thought the two sides could strike a deal before the New Year. Another 8% answered that a deal could be done in early 2013, allowing enough time for a shortened 48-game season. Out of the over 800 surveyed, 25% thought that it's already too late to salvage a meaningful season. The remaining 4% either did not know about the lockout or refused to answer.

The NRG and Peak survey's numbers pale in comparison to the percentage of disgruntled fans who responded to a poll conducted online on CBC Sports. Their survey, composed of ten questions, showed an incredible 68% of the over 7000 respondents believed that the NHL season was already lost.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- While NHL owners chose not to use a report by Level5 Strategy Group to gain favour in the PR battle with the NHLPA, Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail explains the survey's economic damage comparison between the NHL lockout and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

- Cam Cole of Postmedia News looks at how he thinks the dissolution of the NHLPA would result in what he calls, "glorious chaos".

- Episode 10, and the final final broadcast of Montreal Hockey Talk's Lockout Shows for 2012, will drive you crazy with legal jargon and llama flatulence. Join host Corey Collard as he tries to corral Jay Ferrar, Nick Murdocco and the punctually challenged Dave Kellerman.

- The Baby Habs lost another close one last night, this time to the Peoria Rivermen by a final of 4-3 in a shootout. Brendan Gallagher scored in regulation and the shootout, while Stefan Chaput had the other two tallies for the 'Dogs.

- Finally, Dave Stubbs spoke to P.K. Subban, who was busy trash talking about the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos' team in advance of the RBC Play Hockey Charity Challenge tonight at 7 PM in Toronto.

(Photo: Andy Clark/Reuters)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Player Voting Options, Cleary Nervous, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

Another day without any scheduled talks between the NHL and the Players' Association is making fans more nervous than ever. However, some details have emerged as far as voting is concerned.

There are three available voting options available to players:

1) Continue negotiating with the league

2) Sign the last offer made by the owners (10 year term, 5 year max. contracts, transition payments)

3) File Disclaimer of Interest

While players assume that the three options are viable, owners WILL NOT start negotiations again. At this venture, they have tabled their last, and best, offer to the NHLPA. Some believe that the drop-dead date, while not mentioned by the NHL, is already set for Saturday, December 22nd at Midnight.

Many still remain optimistic about the whole situation, claiming all the legalese is just posturing, as it was in the case of the NBA and NFL. However, given the acidic nature of the last two weeks, can the season really be salvaged?

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- As players vote, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press tells us how Dan Cleary of the Red Wings is nervous about what the outcome of the voting will be.

- TSN legal analyst Eric Macromalla explains the details of the NHL's lawsuit and what may be next for both sides.

- ESPN's Pierre LeBrun gives us his take on the state of NHL labour negotiations, and how he lays the blame on both sides in what he calls "the most illogical and incomprehensible labour dispute in the history of pro sports."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Take It To The Judge, Un-Real Sports for Lupul, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

Yesterday was the first day of voting for members of the NHLPA to decide on whether or not to pursue their "disclaimer of interest" filing in California court. The union requires 2/3 of its membership to agree in order to continue the process.

The question remains will the players willfully give up their rights to collective bargaining and all the protection afforded to them by the NHLPA, or will they think otherwise? I guess we'll know by Friday.

Things, however, are moving forward in the NHL's lawsuit against the union that contends they are bargaining in bad faith, and asks that the lockout be deemed legal.

Ronald Blum of the Globe and Mail uncovers the identity of the judge who will oversee the proceedings.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- As much as we love to bash the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Real Sports Restaurant & Bar, located just steps from the Air Canada Centre, has started a lockout of their own. Sean Fitzgerald of the National Post gives Habs' fans another reason to smile.

- The Milwaukee Admirals beat the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday in a close game 4-3.

- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times explains how Donald Fehr always puts his players first.

- Finally, in advance of this year's World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia,Tim Wharnsby of CBC gives us the low-down on Team Canada's head coach, Steve Spott.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Galchenyuk On Fire, Players To Vote On Dissolving The Union And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting is second in OHL scoring with
61 points in 33 games
I've mentioned before that one of the few positives to come from the lockout -if not the only positive - would be the lack of pressure on Alex Galchenyuk. The Habs have needed a star player ever since Patrick Roy was shipped to Colorado to help lead the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup championships, and Galchenyuk may very well be that star.

The need for an impact player became so crucial that for years the Habs have been rushing their prospects and in doing so, harming their development.

With the drafting of Alex Galchenyuk the last thing the Habs want to do is rush him. After an 83 point season in 2010-11, Galchenyuk injured his leg in a pre-season game last year causing him to miss all but two regular season games and six more in the post season.

Despite his talent and potential it seemed like a no brainer to let him continue his development in the OHL. Galchenyuk has been enjoying quite a season so far and without the NHL there is no pressure to call him up to the NHL. No chance to rush him to the big stage.

However, at a certain point you have to wonder if his domination of the OHL is enough of a challenge for him. While I was happy that there was no chance of throwing him in the deep end at the first sight of success, I never really expected him to have the type of year he is having.

The Sarnia Sting are 33 games into their season and after last night's five point performance in the Sting's 7-4 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs Galchenyuk is just one point behind Ryan Strome of the Niagra IceDogs for the league lead.

Gally's hat trick brought his goal total to 27 which ties him for first with Brett Ritchie, also an IceDog and Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals.

Since the beginning of Novemer, Galchenyuk has accumulated 18 goals and 38 points in 18 games. In December, he's notched 11 goals and six assists in just seven games.

With this type of success, I am starting to wonder if he has anything to gain by finishing the season in the OHL. It's always good to dominate in the minors before going pro but at this point it seems too easy.

If the NHL were to resume should the Habs call up Galchenyuk to let him get his feet wet or let him continue to taunt his opposition in th OHL?

Habs And Hockey News

- Mike Blunden celebrated his 26th  birthday with two goals including the game winner for the Hamilton Bulldogs in last night's 6-4 victory over the Rockford IceHogs.

- NHL players will start to vote today on whether or not to dissolve the union. The five day voting period will end Thursday.

- After three years without gold, team Canada has chosen to go with skill over grit at this years World Junior Campionships in UFA, Russia.

(Photo from

Saturday, December 15, 2012

NHL Files Lawsuit, Subban Guarantees Season, Galchenyuk Highlights And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Gary bettman and the NHL have filed a class action suit against
the union and 36 players
 Welcome to the Saturday morning roundup, lawsuit edition! "Decertification" as well as "disclaimer of interest' have been the themes of discussion for quite some time around the NHL recently and so it seems it is time to move on to the next.

With rumblings from the NHPLA side that a disclaimer of interest could be on the way, the NHL fired a pre-emptive legal shot with a 43 page class action lawsuit against the union and 36 players. Now while I may have come to accept this mess that the NHL is in, I am in no way looking forward to all the legal mumbo jumbo that is about to take place.

I understand that hockey is a business and that these steps are necessary given the situation. However it will be hard to enjoy it nearly as much as I have in the past after seeing it take place in a court room rather than on the ice.

For more of an understanding of the NHL's move, here's an article by Elliot Friedman.

With all that's been happening, do you think the latest legal moves will end the season for good or can any of the season be salvaged as was the case for the NBA and NFL, 66 games and a for the former and a full season for the latter?

Habs And Hockey News

- Our Own Fred Poulin (@FredPoulin98) focuses on NHL players that have paid the price over the last two lockouts.

- Here is Andrew Berkshire's Habs Oveseas and Prospects Week 12 report.

- You have to love P.K. Subban's optimism. Still without a contract, Subban guaranteed there will be a season on Friday's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast.
- As much as these legal proceedings getting in the way of hockey may bring you down, do you know what tends to cheer me up? Alex Galchenyuk highlights. Gally enjoyed a three point night with two goals and a helper in a 4-2 win last night over the Guelph Storm.

(Photo from

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NHL Governor Has Solution, Season Vs. Reputation, More...

T.G.I.F. HabsAddicts!!!

The end of another week, and still we have no resolution in sight. Today, it was Federal mediator George Cohen's turn to meet with both sides, however the results remained them same. No progress and another potential meeting on Friday.

It seems every week repast itself. Meet Tuesday and Wednesday,then blow it up on Thursday. While everyone believes that both sides are so close they can taste it, the NHL and NHLPA don't see it that way.

Well, maybe not everyone on the NHL side does. Scott Burnside of shares a potential solution given to him by an NHL governor, that he believes both sides can live with.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- A funny, but perhaps possible, piece showed up on's FanNation that suggest that Donald Fehr may be willing to sacrifice the season to keep his reputation as the baddest man in labour negotiations. Some of the comments are pure gold!

- Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada explains why Bettman and the NHL have already won the lockout negotiations.

- Are both sides willing to let the season dies? Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province examines the possibility.

- And to end the week, Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy ask the question, "Should the NHL contract to 20 teams?"

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

(Cartoon: Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Still No Deal, Gorges' Style, Price Mask Auction, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

Another day, another fruitless bargaining session.

The NHL and NHLPA met in caucus with FMCS mediator Scot Beckenbaugh in an attempt to restart the stalled Collective Bargaining negotiations. Everyone hoped this mediation session between the two sides would gain some traction in what seemed to be a situation that was completely obliterated last Thursday.

Katie Strang of ESPN provides the details on today's events.

Speaking of details, Chris Johnson of the Associated Press explains how amnesty ("Get Out of Gomez Contract") payments have become an important issue for the National Hockey League.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

Here are a couple of stories by the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs to lighten our lockout woes:

- Josh Gorges tells Dave about his new-found, fiancé-inspired fashion sense during an appearance at RW&Co at Place Ville Marie in Montreal.

- Dave reports on the charity auction of Carey Price's Assassin's Creed masks, and tells us how Price is actually improving at playing the game.

- The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek tell us how Junior phenom Nathan McKinnon is looking to fulfill the country's expectations, and become Canada's "Next One"

NHL's "Hill To Die On", CBA Talks To Resume, More...

Happy Hump Day HabsAddicts!!!

After last Thursday's statement by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who said that the CBA term, player contract lengths and transition payments were "the hill the NHL would die on," WSMN decided to do some digging.

After speaking to multiple people close to the negotiations, some of the numbers the league has envisioned, as far as revenues and expenses for a shortened season are concerned, were staggering.

Take a look at this piece that I put together for Montreal Hockey Talk, where I go over those figures, and breakdown the three points in detail. It brings the NHL's position into a different perspective.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Speaking of MHT, Bobby Dollas and Dino Masanotti joined host Corey Collard and Jay Ferrar to talk about the lockout, the negotiations.

- Katie Strang of tells about how FMCS mediators will rejoin the CBA negotiations once more.

- Since we're talking about tomorrow negotiations, Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette give his opinion on how Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr need to go busy.

- Former Habs goaltending legend Ken Dryden writes, in the Globe and Mail, that in order to understand this latest NHL dispute, you have to follow the players' pride.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NHL Games Cancellec Through Dec. 30th, Fans Don't Care, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

As expected, the National Hockey League cancelled games through December 30th. Why not just go into the New Year, you ask? If you think about it, with NHL players spread across the globe, a perspective one week training camp (should they sign a deal), and the holiday season approaching, would the season be able to start before that? I doubt it.

I spend a lot of my time trolling Twitter, especially looking at the #NHL hash tag for interesting news and views. Aside from the annoying "All I Want For Christmas is the NHL" tweets, there are many people voicing their discontent with the current labour strife.

CBC Sports conducted a poll that shows where 55% of people voted they have lost interest in the best league in the world. If you add the other 35+% who don't think there will be a season, and the feelings of the NHL's faithful become painfully clear.

Well fans, while I understand your pain, I don't agree why you in the least. And neither does Scott Burnside of ESPN, who explains his belief that the NHL lockout will end...really.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- For those of you who think that enforcers are no longer needed in the NHL, Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times show you how Kevin Westgarth of the Los Angeles Kings brings more to the table than his fists.

- Ian Mendes of Postmedia News wonders if the elder statesmen of the NHL will suffer from a shortened season as they did in the lockout of 94-95.

- Surely you've heard the words "disclaimer of interest" in reference to options available to the NHLPA? Here is a piece from the Orlando Sentinel, originally published during the NBA lockout, that explains its application.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting Closer?, Santa Even Thinks Leafs Suck, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

Despite the setbacks from last week's negotiations, popular belief is that this is the week that a deal between the NHL and the Players' Association gets done.

While optimism is beginning to dwindle even among the league's most devoted fans, Craig Custance of tells us how a pocket of players believe a deal is imminent.

With all the talk about communication between NHLPA second-in-command Steve Fehr and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, everyone is hanging on by a thread that the season can be salvaged. Add to that the apparent calls between players and owners, and it looks like efforts are certainly being intensified.

Yet others, like CBC Sports' Tim Wharnsby, believes that, to the contrary, there are 40 days left to save the season.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- On the light side of things, nothing made me laugh more this weekend than the story by the Toronto Sun's Shawn Jeffords, showing the even Santa Claus thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs suck.

- Our Sean Lloyd examines the Five Stages of Lockout Grief all hockey fans must be going through at this stage of the lockout.

- Hockey Night in Canada's own Elliotte Freidman explain what the end-game of the National Hockey League is.

- Erik Duhatschek tells us what Hockey Canada will do if a resolution is found for the NHL lockout before this year's World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia.

- Finally, to get a better take on the NHL propaganda campaign, agent Allan Walsh shares an article by Jeff Blair that outlines how NHL owners have run out of tricks.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Five Stages Of Lockout Grief

Coming To Accept The NHL Lockout

Over this past week many became optimistic that a new deal would be hashed out and a shortened season would begin by Christmas. Owners met with players without the presence of league commissioner Gary Bettman and PA executive director Donald Fehr on Wednesday and talks were on and off throughout the day and past midnight.

And while the approach to ending the lockout was new, the end result was the same. Talks hit a wall and both sides blamed each other. This snag in any potential progress hit many fans hard and any optimism that could be found over the twitterverse quickly turned into anger aimed at both sides with claims that hockey has lost them as fans....again.

My own reaction was different. I simply paid it no mind. I choose not to follow each and every update on these ongoing talks and I in no way shape or form allow the continued failings to get a deal done get me down.


Simple, throughout the course of this circus referred to as the NHL lockout, I have completed the five stages of grief, lockout edition.

Stage One - Denial.

Although there was talk of the impending lockout in the months leading up to the September 15th deadline, a part of me refused to believe it. "We just had a lockout eight years ago" I would say, "What sense would it make for the league to lockout after the progress it's made during the current CBA".

 Sure enough September 15th came and there was no new CBA in place. "Doesn't matter" I continued " There's still a few weeks before puck drop, they'll get something done. They'd be stupid not to". Looking back I knew full well there was no stopping this mess.

I may not have known it would get to the point that we're at now but I knew I was wrong about the start of the season. I just chose to deny it.

Stage Two - Anger.

I remained in this second stage for quite some time. After missing an entire season in 2004-05 I was in no way prepared to miss even another game. I was angry at the owners for letting it come to this. These are billionaires who in their quest to earn millions more were willing to take away from fans a game that they hold so dear.

And the players? What's the matter, you'll be forced to play for fewer millions? boo hoo! You get to play a game you love and while doing so you will earn enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your lives. You know who doesn't make that money? The fans who pay hundreds of dollars a year to watch YOU play while wearing a jersey with YOUR name on it.

Billionaires vs. millionaires..... cry me a river.

Stage Three - Bargaining.

This third stage seemed ironic. The two sides causing this mess can't even seem to get any bargaining done, what chance do I have. During this stage I would bargain with myself in an attempt to get my hockey fix. There may not be a season to watch but I do still have the NHL network.

Watching old games helped tide me over for about, well, one period of the first game I watched. While past games can be fun to re-live at times, it just wasn't enough for me. My team had just had their worst season in years followed by an off season managerial overhaul. I don't see how I honestly expected watching games from the nineties would be enough.

Then came NHL13.

Fun game. Making deals with AI GM's and leading the Habs to consecutive Stanley Cups is a great way to pass the time but it's just silly to try to replace the real thing with a video game *cough, Pat Hickey, cough*

Needless to say step three lasted maybe a week.

Stage Four - Depression.

Stage four hit hard. NHL13 wasn't even an option. What's the point, it's not realistic enough without a lockout mode. All Habs t-shirts and jersey's were stuffed to the bottoms of drawers and hidded in closets. I couldn't even look at the CH without being hit with a wave of longing for the game that was taken from me.

Saturday nights were spent with empty feelings and I longed for "Mechant Mardi's". I kept my distance from my computer because I couldn't even bring myself to write about anything hockey related. At times it was even difficlt to speak with many of my friends seeing as how 90% of our conversations revolved around hockey.

It was at this pont where I asked "Who even cares anymore? Why bother with hockey?".

Stage Five - Acceptance.

Stage five was monumental. Without any heads up stage four was complete. Something inside me clicked and I realized that this game I have so much passion for, this game that I have followed and loved my entire life, is just that. A game.

Whether or not it's this season or next it will come back. And until it does I need to shape up because, well, I'm an adult for crying out loud. This game took me hostage in 04-05 and had me hanging on to every development and wasting too much time and energy on something that was completely out of my control.

A lot has happened since the last work stoppage eight years ago. Most importantly I got married. How can I mope around the house and waste energy on hating people I don't know when I can go out and enjoy evenings dining with my wife?

I've replaced sitting around bars and screaming at t.v.'s with spending quality time with the woman who had the patience to marry me. She has sat alongside me in those bars and put up with my many hockey rants over the years. I think she's done more than enough to earn my attention now that my other love has turned it's back on me.

I'm not going to lie, hockey still remains a focal point in many converstions with friends but at least now our discussions last longer than the duration of intermissions and commercial breaks.

It wasn't easy to complete these five steps but now that I've accepted the mess that hockey is in I feel it was worth it. I love hockey. I always have and always will. However now it's been made abundantly clear that it's more about the business aspect than the love of the game. I now realize that as a fan I am merely an afterthought, and I accept that because at the end of the day, it's just a game.


Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> 
You can follow Sean on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.

(Photo from

Hainsey Risking Career, Habs Overseas, Alfie's Doubts And More

Good Morning Addicts!

Jets defenseman Ron Hainsy may be putting his career
in jeopardy
The more and more you look into the lockout mess it's easy to get caught up in what you think the owners are fighting for and what you think it is the players want. Looking at this mess as a whole it's easy to see what is wanted by either side as a group but it's also easy to lose track of what individuals have to lose.

When I say this I am mainly referring to the players. When an agreement is reached the owners will go back to making their millions/billions of dollars. For the most part the players will also resume collecting their hefty paycheques. For some though, it's not that simple.

Of course players who don't fall under superstar status or even the so called "middle class" will be less fortunate. Some players will be left without contracts because teams simply can't afford them due to cap restrictions. Others however may have to pay due to their stance on the current situation.
In an article put out yesterday by Elliot Friedman, it was said that Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey may never get another contract because of the part he's played in this lockout.

Hainsey made a claim that the owners threatened to pull a potential deal off of the table last week if union leader Donald Fehr was brought into the room. That claim was denied by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

There have been rumblings since this claim that after his existing contract, Hainsey will never again play in the NHL.

While nothing has been confirmed, it seems the players need to remember that at the end of the day the owners at the other side of the table are the same people who employ them. While taking a stand is one thing, is it worth it for these players to risk their career's over an argument that may put them out of a job?

Habs And Hockey News

Andrew Berkshire returns with week 11 of his Habs Overseas and Prospects report.

- Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson doesn't feel a deal is close.

- Three months into the lockout NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr feels a deal can still be reached.

(Photo by Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press Archives)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Childish Bargaining, Coach K's "What If?", Habs Prospect Pool And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

As we begin this holiday season I'm not sure what to ask for from ol' St. Nick. While the obvious request would be for the NHL to resume I feel I should be more realistic. The end of this lockout won't happen overnight - as proven by last Wednesday let alone the last three months - but a small part of me still feels a (shortened) season can be salvaged.

Since this feeling lingers inside me, what I would ask for would be some mature tactics when it comes to bargaining for a new deal.

As a daycare teacher I hear a lot of "he said he's not my friend" followed by a "no I didn't!" and plenty of "he called me stupid" which is responded to with "that's not true!". This type of behavior is expected from three and four year olds. Not from grown men who hold the fate of an entire professional sports season in their hands.

Millions of dollars have been lost. Interest in the sport is dropping. Thousands of people are out of jobs. These are the harsh realities that have come from this work stoppage. Yet the most recent talks between the two sides that have made the most progress in weeks came to a halt because of something league deputy commssioner Bill Daly may or may not have said.

In an interview with Adam Proteau of The Hockey News, NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider says how as soon as the players mentioned bringing Donald Fehr into the room they were told that it would be a deal breaker.

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period then writes that in an e-mail sent, Daly states "I know for a fact that Don's name was never mentioned".

With both sides showing stubborness and spending too much time trying to win over the fans - whatever's left of them - sympathy, can the two sides broker a deal or will the childish behaviour cost the league another season?

Habs And Hockey News

- Our own Coach K (@HabsCoachK) provides some good points in his latest "What If?" segement, exploring the possibilities that the players may have liked the NHL's latest proposal more than they've let on and an agreement may be closer than we think.

- Hockey's Future put out a top ten list of teams overall prospect pools, with the Canadiens ranked eighth.

- Here's a must see video of Alex Galchenyuk lighting the lamp in Thursday's 3-0 win over the Sagenaw Spirit. The way he moves around the ice knowing exactly where to set up before ripping it is just so encouraging for any Hab fan to watch.

(Photo from

Friday, December 7, 2012

NHL Labour Talks Implode, Player Reactions, More...

T.G.I.F. HabsAddicts!!!

After the last 2 1/2 days of negotiations, between the NHL and Players' Association, most people were under the impression that a deal might be eminent. While details were hard to come by, it seemed that, up until Wednesday night, the amicable nature of the talks might lead to a resolution.

Enter Thursday, when NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr submitted a proposal to a diminished NHL contingent, made up of only Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Legal Council Bob Batterman. That was the first sign of things to come.

At 6:30 PM, Fehr, with his group of players in tow, addressed the media and gave the impression that the two sides were closer than ever to a deal. He neglected to tell those in attendance and those watching at home that he made modifications to parts of the NHL's last offer that the league wasn't willing to move on. He answered a few questions, and that when the real fun began...

Katie Strang explains what happened last night in excruciating details. 

Habs And Hockey News and Notes:

- While going over every Twitter feed to show how frustrated people are is near impossible, Jordan Shifman of CBC Sports give us a glimpse at the online reaction of some NHL players.

- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, who has been the eternal optimist during these labour negotiations, vents his frustration at the lack of progress in what he feels was a mathematically fixable situation.

- With all the negativity in the air after yesterday's turn of events, the Canadian Press reports on Habs' prospect Alex Galchenyuk, who was stellar in a Sarnia Sting 3-0 win over the Saginaw Spirit.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

4 NHL Owners Issue Statements Right After Bettman Presser

The following statements, from four of the owners involved in this week's negotiating sessions, were issued immediately following the press conferences of both NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman:

Statement from Ron Burkle, Majority Owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins:

The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a
refreshing idea. Commissioner Bettman should be thanked for proposing it
and the Fehrs should be thanked for agreeing to it.

The players came with a strong desire to get back to playing hockey.
They were professional and did a good job of expressing their concerns and
listening to ours.

We wanted to move quickly and decisively. We have all spent too much
time without any real progress at the expense of our fans, our sponsor and
the communities we serve. It was time to make bold moves and get a deal.
Many people think we got over our skis and they are probably right, but we
wanted to do everything we could to get back to hockey now. We didn’t hold

We made substantial movement on our end quickly, but unfortunately
that was not met with the same level of movement from the other side. The
players asked us to be patient and keep working with them. It’s not what
they do and they wanted us to know they were committed. We understood and
appreciated their situation. We came back with an aggressive commitment to
pensions which we felt was well received. We needed a response on key items
that were important to us, but we were optimistic that we were down to very
few issues. I believe a deal was within reach.

We were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and
“non-negotiable” decision – which is their right, to end the player/owner
process that has moved us farther in two days than we moved at any time in
the past months.

I want to thank the players involved for their hard work as we tried
to reach a deal.

I hope that going backwards does not prevent a deal.

Mark Chipman, Chairman and Governor of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, today
issued the following statement:

“I’d like to thank the NHL for giving me the opportunity to
participate in this very important process.

I came here optimistic that we could find a solution. That sense
of optimism grew after our first few sessions, including the small group
discussions late last night.

Regrettably, we have been unable to close the divide on some
critical issues that we feel are essential to the immediate and long-term
health of our game.

While I sense there are some members of the players association
that understand our perspective on these issues, clearly there are many
that don’t.

I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to bring this
extremely unfortunate situation to a successful conclusion and I wish to
apologize to our fans and sponsors for letting them down.”

Statement from Larry Tanenbaum, President of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment:

“I was pleased to be asked to join the Player/Owner negotiation
sessions. I had hoped that my perspective both as a businessman and as one
of the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be helpful to the process.
Like all other teams, this work stoppage has hurt our fans, our employees
and our business. Neither the owners nor the players will ever recover the
losses incurred with this work stoppage.

I understand how important it is to have a strong league and 30
healthy teams. I must admit that I was shocked at how things have played
out over the last 48 hours. The sessions on Tuesday felt cooperative with
an air of goodwill. I was optimistic and conveyed my optimism to the Board
of Governors at our Wednesday meeting. However, when we reconvened with the
players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch.
The atmosphere had completely changed. Nevertheless, the owners tried to
push forward and made a number of concessions and proposals, which were not
well-received. I question whether the union is interested in making an

I am very disappointed and disillusioned. Had I not experienced this
process myself, I might not have believed it. Like all hockey fans, I am
hopeful this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I miss our

Finallly, Tampa Bay Lightning Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik today issued the
follow statement today:

“After working this week with our players toward what we hoped would
be a new agreement, owners presented a proposal we believed would benefit
those great players, ownership, and, ultimately, our fans for many years
to come. While trust was built and progress was made along the way,
unfortunately, our proposal was rejected by the Union's leadership. My
love for the game is only superseded by my commitment to our fans and I
hold out hope we can soon join with our players and return the game back
to its rightful place on the ice.”

CBA Talks Run Late, Pizza Anyone?, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

After staying up for most of the last two nights, information from the Westin New York Marquis hotel has been scarce. Once again, NHL owners and 19 players met for another marathon session of talks. Along with the Pittsburgh Penguins duo of Crosby and Burkle, it seems Michael Cammalleri has also been a positive influence on these current negotiations.

The situation went from "cautious optimism" to "cautious pessimism", as most believe that this negotiation has reached a critical stage, and the slightest misstep by either side could result in a possible deal imploding. However, approximately 60% of the members on both sides support the deal. There are still a few hardliners left.

Katie Strang goes over the particular details that were discussed yesterday, including length of contract issues, and how the owners met the players halfway on the "make whole" provision. 

The biggest news that came out of today's talks was the fact Twitter went viral as the NHL's podium (or lectern) was setup.

The other news come courtesy of Pierre Lebrun's Twitter feed:

"@Real_ESPNLeBrun: Steve Fehr has come out and offered slices of pizza to the media. He's catching on..."

"@Real_ESPNLeBrun: Here's the proof"

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Hockey Inside/Out's Brenda Branswell reports on the Quebec Labour Board postponing their meeting with the NHL as talks continue. 

- Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy elaborates on how many games might be played, should the lockout end. 

- Detroit fans were happy as the Red Wings got good news concerning their quest for a new arena, as reported by the Associated Press.

(Photo: Matt Cade/TSN)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NHL Talks "Cautiously Optimistic", Markov's Gordie Howe Hat Trick,More...

Good Hump Day HabsAddicts!!!

On a day where nobody was expecting any type of progress in the NHL labour negotiations, it seems that some kind of headway has been made.

Both sides were reported as being cautiously optimistic , as far as any progress in yesterday's meetings were concerned. While no details have been released about the meetings, things went so well that the NHLPA held a conference call with it's members during the dinner break.

Who was responsible for leading the charge? Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tell us that the Pittsburgh Penguins' duo of Rob Burkle and Sidney Crosby led the way.

And for those that are curious,'s Sarah Goldstein provides us with a list of all the players in yesterday's negotiating session. 

Players and owners are scheduled to meet again this morning at 9 AM, prior to the 11 AM NHL Board of Governors meetings. Gary Bettman is scheduled to speak to the media at 1 PM, however that may be delayed should there be further talks between the two sides.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Corey Collard of Montreal Hockey Talk was joined by Jay Ferrar, our own Kamal Panesar and JD on the latest Lockout Show to discuss the lockout as live updates came in on Twitter.

- Andrei Markov enjoyed another first in his career while playing in the KHL...A Gordie Howe hat trick!!! The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs looks at this unique event for the Habs' Russian rearguard.

- Alex Kovalev is returning to the Bell Centre for the All-Star Classic. Brenda Branswell of Hockey Inside/Out explains.

- And to finish on the lighter side of things, CBC Sports posted an Associated Press report on how actor Mark Wahlberg challenged Tie Domi to a boxing match. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crosby & Toews May Attend Meetings, Sabres Don't Care, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

Well, this all important day has finally arrived. And while the NHL has divulged its list of attendees, the NHLPA has kept their list close to their vest.

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to be among those attending on the players' side, but the union hasn't confirmed anything yet.

To get a better understanding, Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of explain the importance of today's meeting.

Habs And Hockey News and Notes:

- Fred Poulin updates us about the Habs' CHL prospects via The Hockey Writers.

- Olean Times Herald beat writer Bill Hoppe examines why players from the Buffalo Sabres don't want to be bothered with the players/owners meeting.

-And while you're at it, take a look at my newest What If instalment for Montreal Hockey Talk, where I ask what the NHL's motive for such a meeting are.

- With MLSE's Larry Tannenbaum involved in the meetings on Tuesday, Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun explains why the players trust and respect him.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Owners & Players To Meet Tuesday, Winterhawks Wings Clipped, More...

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

It took the whole weekend, but the NHLPA decided to take Gary Bettman up on his offer to get the owners and players to meet without Bettman or Donald Fehr present.

Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times examines who might be involved in the meeting from the owners' side, and why removing the "egos" from the equation may just allow for some real progress.

Can a resolution really be found without the main players in the negotiations? We won't know for sure until late Tuesday, but the fact that Jeremy Jacobs, the owner of the Boston Bruins, will be involved isn't exactly filling my heart with that much confidence.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports looks at how the Portland Winterhawks were given severe sanctions for alleged illegal payment violations. Was that the truth, or was it because of shear jealousy from other WHL owners?

- The Calgary Herald's Amanda Stephenson examines the gauntlet of emotions NHL fans have had to deal with during the lockout.

- While most NHL players have contemplated going to play in Europe, Scott Burnside of looks at how Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks has used his free time to give back at the grass roots level.

(Cartoon: Mike Spicer)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rangers Owner Wants In On Negotiations, Alex Galchenyuk Tearing Up OHL And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Rangers Owner James Dolan would like to sit in on labor talks

With labor negotiations going nowhere and mediation failing, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered the players a chance to meet with the owners without any league or union officials present.

I have to say it is a creative idea but I'm not too sure the players will go for it. While some may see it as a chance to end the lockout I can't see too many players being comfortable sitting at the bargaining table. On Saturday David Perron of the St. Louis Blues tweeted "Isn't sending players to negociate w. owners without Fehr like us saying to owners let's negotiate this on the ice?". You can't help but think there are plenty of other players worried that they would not get the deal they're hoping for without their union leader Donald Fehr at the table.

Someone who ould like to be at the table with the players, however is Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan. Larry Brooks of the NY Post reported that Dolan.  It's not yet determined yet if Dolan has expressed his interest  to Bettman and it's hard to tell whether or not Bettman will give the MSG owner the green light.

On one hand Dolan urged that Bettman be relieved of his duties in 2007 in conjunction with filing suit against the league in a conflict regarding website, digital rights, licensing and team merchandise control. On the other however, Dolan played a huge role on the NBA owners side last year in helping their lockout come to an end on time for a 66 game season which started on Christmas day.

As the owner of the New York Rangers and CEO of MSG he is losing money with every passing day and with his experience at the NBA bargaining table he's been through this before. Considering these two points, shouldn't Dolan be allowed to sit in and see if he can help bring this lockout to an end?

Habs And Hockey News

-  Alex Galchenyuk just continues to roll as he put up seven points in two night over the weekend. In a 7-4 win Saturday night over the Saginaw Spirit the Sarnia captain tallied a goal and two assists. The next night, Gally added an assist to a three goal performance in a 5-2 win over the Peterbrough Petes putting him third overall in OHL scoring.

- Cedrick Desjardins earned his first shutout of the year in Hamilton in his fourth start as the Bulldogs blanked the Abbotsford Heat 3-0 in only their third win out of their last ten contests.

- Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) continues his coverage of Habs players during the lockout in week 10 of his Overseas Habs and Prospects report.

- Only 24 days are left until the World Junior Championships, and with the NHL locked out Team Canada will be stacked with talent.

- If Commissioner Jeremy Roenick ran the NHL rather than Commissioner Bettman, the league would have fewer teams as soon as the lockout ended.

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Owners & Players Only, Brodeur Sound Off, More...

Happy December HabsAddicts!!!

After the end of Thursday's negotiating session, Gary Bettman suggested that executives of the NHL and NHLPA recluse themselves from the next bargains session. This would allow players and owners to meet face to face for the first time in these negotiations.

While it remains to be seen who will participate from both parties,'s Scott Burnside and Craig Custance debate the pros and cons of such a meeting.

But it begs the question, "Is this idea presented in good conscience, or is it an attempt by the owners to throw Gary Bettman under the bus?"

Habs and Hockey Notes:

- New Jersey Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur sounds of to the Gazette's Dave Stubbs about what it's like to have to trudge on after a fourth work stoppage.

- Ryan Dadoun of NBC Sports discusses how the longer the NHL Lockout drags on, the more likely Tampa Bay superstar Steven Stamkos may be pushed to play in Europe.

- After Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune explains how Harding turned such bad news into an inspiration for others.

(Photo: Mayes/Edmonton Journal)