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Monday, January 14, 2013

Habs Open Camp, Gionta Sounds Off, More..

Good Morning HabsAddicts!!!

The Montreal Canadiens opened camp yesterday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec to a packed house. Most of the Habs' players were on the ice, with the exception of centre Petteri Nokalainen, who is still nursing a bad back, Tomas Plekanec, who's out with a rib injury, and most notably unsigned restricted free agent P.K. Subban.

Many of the Canadiens described Michel Therrien's first full practice as something they had never experienced before during their tenure with the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. The Canadiens' bench boss had organized a high tempo practice, yet took the time to stop and explain mistakes that were being made, and immediately corrected them. He was clear in what he expected for his wards, and in turn they responded with youthful enthusiasm.

The organization also announced yesterday that five more players will be called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs for a simulated game day and inter-squad scrimmage on Thursday, January 17th. Among them with be 2009 1st overall pick, Louis Leblanc, as well as Fredeic St-Denis,  Patrick Holland, Mike Blunden and Michäel Bournival. They will arrive in Montreal this morning for their team physicals.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Canadiens' captain Brian Gionta sounded off on the departure of his longtime friend and locker room neighbour Scott Gomez. Gionta, while visibly shaken, said he understood that it was a business decision that the organization had to make, and claimed "We are content with what we have in the room right now." Many have speculated as to whether or not that comment was an underhanded shot at P.K. Subban. It's well documented that Gionta, and other veterans on the Habs, are not big fans of the RFA defenseman's antics on and off the ice.

- The New York Rangers resigned restricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a two-year, $5.1 Million contract ($2.55 AAV). This is the first signing under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that may directly impact the market value of P.K. Subban. Subban and Del Zotto are both represented by agent Don Meehan.

- The Gazette's Brenda Branswell spoke to Habs' defenseman Josh Gorges, who believes that the "No Excuses" banners in the Canadiens' dressing room is a call by the organization to bring the pride back to the NHL's most storied franchise.

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