Saturday, June 19, 2010

Goodbye Halak!

Montreal Canadiens' Jaroslav Halak skates off the ice during a break in play against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of their NHL Eastern Conference final hockey series in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Goodbye Jaro.

Image from Reuters.

One biased rant/post coming your way.

Read on.

This trade did not please me. This trade made me cry. But something had to be done, right?

We could not afford Halak. We didn't even ask how much he wanted. St. Louis, who currently has the most cap space, probably can afford him. But if he gets a better offer from somewhere else (not likely going to happen), he'll go there. Wouldn't it be bad if Philly got him? I'd cry some more.

So, we knew we couldn't afford him. What did we get in return? Two players who are so unknown to most hockey fans that the Canadiens had to write articles about both of them. Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Schultz has never played in the NHL, Eller has played seven games. These two prospects for Halak. IDK. I know it's a move based on the cap. But there's something else.

Managament loves Price. It's strange, the amount of confidence they have in him. It's not bad to love your first round picked goalie, but this much? I have to ask, did management not see the disappointment of the fans after the 2008 and 2009 playoffs when Price was in net? Did management not see how Halak played and lit the world on fire with his play in the 2010 playoffs? Halak brought so much excitement and joy to the fans. Price has let us down in the past. Let's say we get behind him and support. After all that, let's say we fail to qualify for the playoffs. What happens then? I don't think Price will be getting a one year contract this year. So he'll be in net. Even if he's not, who do we bring in? Halak? I don't think so. I can already hear the crowds chanting 'bring back Halak' after a poor perfomance by Carey.

If management wants to continue to protect their goalie, because he is not the goalie of the majority of fans, then they have to bring in a reliable back up that can carry the team if Carey melts down from the pressure or whatever else. Carey's not an idiot. He's matured from watching Halak play. He's watched his job get taken away and fans get behind his back up. Let's hope he learned something he can use to give us good performances. But we still need a good back up, just in case we need more of what Halak did this past season.

Many are trying to justify the trade, and that's fine. But if we don't make it to the ECF next year, I can understand if there are riots in Montreal asking for Pierre Gauthier to be fired. I'd like to join in those riots. I said I would respect PG's decision, but this is a tough and bitter pill to swallow. Even MP Justin Trudeau doesn't like the trade.

I just want to say one thing about the management. They never contacted Halak or his agent after the season ended, not even to say thanks. I get the strong feeling they were just using Halak to groom their beloved Price. They knew all along that they were going to get rid of him. That's a bit heartless. I know it's just business, but still, you should treat your employees with respect and courtesy. You can read about PG's preivous blunder here.

The trade is over, and what is done cannot be undone. We'll support Price, willingly or unwillingly. He's the only one we've got right now. (Literally.) I don't wish him any harm, I wish him all the best. I hope he can let the fans understand that PG made the right decision and that the faith placed in him was not for nothing. For those fans who've stopped being fans, shame on you! How can you support a team for just one player? We're better off without you. Bandwagon fans are not needed.

So I'd like to say goodbye to our MVP, our biggest revelation, our most improved player. The fans have spoken, but have been ignored. I hope it's worth the pain and suffering to let you go. I hope you get what you wanted, the opportunity to be number one. You were number one in our hearts.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shots on Net [17.06.10]

More reminders that it's the offseason in your SoN today. We're crying on the inside, yes.

Jaroslav Halak has been traded to the St. Louis Blues in return for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. I...I'm crying. On the outside. More on this when we get more info. [ESPN

Canadien's assistant captain Brian Gionta is going to be bartending with Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers at Murphy's Law Irish Pub in Rochester, NY on June 21. The event will begin at 7 pm and is a fundraiser for former Rochester Americans player Craig Charron, who is battling cancer. The article also features a mini interview with the two NHL players. And we now know that Brian spends his offseason in Greece. So cool. Check it out. [Messenger Post]

You can golf with Montreal's P.K. Subban and former Hab Stéphane Richer at the Medigas Celebrity Classic in Belleville, ON. Tee off on July 10 at the Trillium Wood Golf Club with your Habs for a good cause. Only 10 spots available, so move fast! If I knew how to play golf perhaps I would go, but alas, I do not. [The Intelligencer]

Speaking of golf, Hab's player Travis Moen had a golf tournament with Partick Marleau (San Jose) and former Canadien Trent McCleary for charity. The Trent McCleary - Patrick Marleau - Travis Moen Charity Golf Classic was held on Monday, June 14 at Elmwood Golf Course in Swift Current, SK. The money went to the Trent McCleary - Patrick Marleau - Travis Moen Sports and Recreation Foundation. Picture and article from The South West Booster. [SWBooster]

Travis Moen putts on the fifth hole

Habs great Émile Bouchard will be invested into the Order of Canada as a Member at a ceremony in Rideau Hall tomorrow.

The short citation:
For his contributions to sports, particularly professional hockey, and for his commitment to his community.
Félicitations Monsieur Bouchard! [The Governor General of Canada, first seen at Earth Times]

Tom Pyatt wants to stay with the Habs. He sounds committed. (Can we keep him, please?) []

Carey Price was at Bullarama in Kitimat, BC last weekend. He spoke about the Habs playoff run. [CFTK TV]

The exciting P.K. Subban will be a guest drawmaster (?) at the Mohawk Racetrack this Tuesday, June 22 for the Pepsi North America Cup. I know nothing about horse racing, so I'll let you read the articles. [Harness Link 1, Harness Link 2]

The early bird deadline for purchasing Hamilton Bulldogs (the AHL affiliate of the Canadiens) tickets is this Friday (tomorrow!). There are all sorts of incentives, including the opportunity to win a trip for two to Montreal to watch a Habs game. [Hamilton Bulldogs]

The Cincinnati Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of the Canadiens and Predators (and their respecitve AHL affiliates) have been honoured. Vice President and General Manager Kristin Ropp was named ECHL's executive of the year. On May 21 the Cyclones won their second Kelly Cup in three years. Congrats to the team and to Ms. Ropp! [Cyclones Hockey, first seen at Our Sports Central]

Tomas Plekanec is number four on Yahoo! Sports' NHL's top 50 UFAs list. The Hockey News had him as first. Will he stay or will he go? Only time (and Pierre Guathier) will tell. [Yahoo!]

You can get autographed Canadiens stuff from HMV as part of their customer loyalty program. Not much info, but the source in the link. [Marketer News]

Whew. That was quite a bit. I had no idea our Habs were so active! I'm still a n00b when it comes to sports journalism, so I hope you'll bear with me.

Just for clarification: by 'first seen at' I don't mean that that was the first place that reported the story. It just means where I first saw it. Then I'll try to get a soure that's closer to the story, like the official website or something. But I like to give credit so you'll get more than one link. And sometimes the source where I spot the story first has more info or better explanations, so it doesn't hurt to click.

Ok, enough chat. If there's any more news, I'll update.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shots on Net [15.06.10]

Those pucks from last time were probably annoying, so I'm changing the format. Sorry! Now back to normalcy. (But if you're wondering, those pucks had a meaning beyond the SoN meaning.)

Guy Lafleur's court troubles were in the news. Honestly, I hope everything gets resolved quickly. I dislike seeing his name get sullied. As a parent, I'm sure he's already hurting. No need to add to that. Picture also from The Gazette. [The Montreal Gazette]

The Flower's on the left.

A great post over in Scott Cullen's column at TSN about the Habs' situation. I think he was pretty fair in his judgement, though some might argue too optimistic. (But I prefer this to being overcritical.) It's hard to argue with some of the facts and figures here. I'd like to say that I like Cedrick Desjardins. I've never seen him play or anything, but he's looks pretty good from the numbers he's posted. I don't see why he can't back up Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price. That being said, I do prefer that we keep both goalies. If we had to chose, I'd chose Halak but I will respect Pierre Gauthier's decision. And about the need for offensive production: YES PLEASE. We cannot get blanked anymore in the playoffs. [TSN]

The guy who vandalized Montreal Gazette reporter Pat Hickey's car has been charged. Seriously, control yourselves fans. This goes for Habs fans too. It's sad to see fans act so stupidly. [The Phildelphia Inquirer, originally from HI/O]

Speaking of fans doing dumb things, the Habs might have to pay for cleaning up after the fans in Montreal. The cost for cleaning up after the Caps series in the first round was $305,000. Crazy. [Montreal Gazette]
A footnote to that: according to CTV, it wasn't an official proposal and it was more for security than for cleaning up. Also, it seems like it's not going to happen for now...?

Perry Pearn, the assistant coach of the Canadiens, has chosen to remain with the team, turning down an offer from the Edmonton Oil Kings (a major junior team). This comes after Guy Boucher, the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs this past season, left the team to take on the same position behind the Tampa Bay Lightning's bench. (I have to say, I laughed at the pronounciation help in that article. Learn some French guys!) So you lose one, you keep one. Thank you Mr. Pearn for sticking with us. [The Vancouver Sun]

The Canadiens have bought out Georges Laraques's contract. [TSN]

And finally, a little behind the scenes Habs info/trivia. Did you know that goalie Kim St-Pierre of Canada's gold-medal-winning woman's hockey team has played in net for a Habs practice? I was surprised! She's only the second woman to take to the ice with NHL players. I have to say that for me, the best part was seeing her #33 Montreal Stars jersey. I like women's hockey, and I have so much respect for Partrick Roy! Congrats to her for the honour. [TSN]

Here's a video of her in a interview with Radio-Canada (in French, but you can see her making saves):

So that's about it. I'll update if more things pop up.

Only 8 days left 'til the NHL Awards ceremony. I'm moving on that day, so maybe it'll be a bit quiet for some time around here. But I hope to be back and updating soon.

Enjoy your night!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Shots on Net [11.06.10]

Shots on Net is something I'll be putting up from time to time. It'll be a bunch of different things I've gathered from the internet. The idea behind the title was thought of minutes ago, but the way I'm seeing it right now is this: it's screenshots of things on the internet. Shots on Net (SoN?) is much shorter to write than "screenshots of things on the internet" so yeah. Click on the puck for your story.

Jaroslav Halak's father says his son's as good as he is because his dad gave him "carrots and Viagra". Yeah...IDK. I wonder what kind of childhood Jaro had. This comes as he is on the cover of L'actualité magazine.

Louis Leblanc, the Canadiens first round pick in the 2009 draft (18th overall), has been speaking to Pat Brisson, agent for many well known hockey players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and John Tavares. Also, Leblanc's QMJHL rights were traded to the Montréal Juniors this week (see here). If Leblanc has indeed taken on an agent, then there is very little chance he'll be returning to Harvard as those who play a sport at university cannot have an agent for that sport. Going to the AHL's Bulldogs or playing in the Q would be his other options, and he could continue his studies at McGill. But as Marc De Foy at Rue Frotenac points out, he could always return to Harvard to continue his studies whenever he pleases because the minimum requirement to be able to return is one semester of study (he's finished a year = two semesters). Click the puck to a juicy tweet that supports Leblanc's move to the AHL. In case it's deleted:

MurphysLaw74 said at 7:09 PM on May 28: Source told me today that Habs prospect Louis Leblanc, now represented by Pat Brisson, will leave Harvard and play in Hamilton (AHL) 2010-11

Though Mr. Brisson, who we assume is acting as a counselor and nothing more, is saying Leblanc's committed to Harvard. We'll see what happens.

Here's a great Habs fan. What a kid! Habulous salutes you Ross Vender. I hope you can meet Mike and get an autographed puck. Keep up the Habs loving in Ontario. 

If you're in Montréal tonight, you can see some Habs players. Hab Inside/Out is reporting that the Lotus One Formula Team will be holding a press conference tonight at 7.30 pm at Montréal's Marché Bonsecours. In attendence will be Le Démon Blond (aka Guy Lafleur), Maxim Lapierre, and Patrice Brisebois. He's not a Hab, but Vincent Lecavalier will also be there.

Congratulations to the Black Hawks for winning the Cup. Last year, they lost in five games in the conference finals to Detroit, which lost in the SCF to Pittsburgh. If we continue the trend, the Habs should take the Cup next year (we also lost in five in the conference finals to the SCF losers this year).

Enjoy the World Cup, and hope to see you around for more offseason talk.


  Louis Leblanc has been invited to the 2010 National Junior Team Development Camp. (Thanks to @HabsInHighHeels for the news.)

Check out Mike Cammalleri at the Grand Prix. Here's a vid. (Thanks to 25Stanley for the link.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Michael Cammalleri turns 28

Happy birthday to Michael Cammalleri! He was born today in 1982 in Richmond Hill, ON. Please wish him happy birthday via his Twitter account if you can.

Welcome! Bievenue!

Hello everyone!

This is Habby, your blogger. I'd like to introduce myself a bit.

I'm a student and a Habs fan. I'm from the Greater Toronto Area. I wanted to start a blog so I could share my love for the team and because the offseason is (mostly) so boring. Also, there is some info out there that's just amazing, so I hope I can share it with you.

I hope you will find this blog useful. I'm not a great journalist, and most of my info will be from elsewhere (I don't have exclusives and stuff, sorry) but maybe I can give you a quick look at what's going on with the Habs.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns. I'm not an expert on hockey or the Habs, but I hope to improve as I go along.

Thanks in advance for your patience and for reading.