Habs Week that Was for Nov 3, by GOHABS.com

THE HABS WEEK THAT WAS by GOHABS.com (week ending November 3rd)
GOHABS.com Habs Week in Review.

Overall: W:8 L:7 OTL:0. PTS:16
5th in Atlantic Division, 6th in Eastern Conference.

Record for week ending November 3, 2013GP: 4 // W: 2 // L: 2 // OTL: 0 // PTS: 4

Monday October 28, 2013

W: Montreal Canadiens 2 at  New York Rangers 0

The Montreal Canadiens helped re-open the newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New York.  But the story of the night was Habs backup Peter Budaj who made 27 saves to record his 11th career shutout.  And Budaj made it 10 straight regular season wins dating back to last season.  Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk provided the scoring for Montreal.  Prior to the game the Canadiens recalled former first round draft pick Louis Leblanc and got 15 shifts in his first Habs game this season.

Milestones: Douglas Murray plays his first regular season game in a Canadiens uniform.

Tuesday October 29, 2013

W: Dallas Stars 1 at  Montreal Canadiens 2

The Canadiens played their second game in as many nights and once again it was a defensive show down.  Although Dallas outshot the Canadiens 27-24, Carey Price was solid in nets as the Canadiens got by with goals my Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque.

Milestones: Both Ryan White and Michael Blunden played in their 100th career regular-season NHL game.

Friday November 1, 2013

L:  Montreal Canadiens 3 at  Minnesota Wild 4

The Canadiens road trip was a special one because the dad’s were allowed to accompany the team, a Father & Son weekend of sorts.  First stop; St. Paul, Minn.  The game marked the return of Habs enforcer George Parros who has been sidelined since that unfortunate fall to the ice the first game of the season in a tilt against Toronto’s Colton Orr.  This was not one of Parros’s better nights because his line with Parros, Ryan White and Michael Blunden were on the ice for the Wild’s first three goals.  The Canadiens battled back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game at 3 midway into the third period.  But defenseman Francis Bouillon let Jason Pominville out of his sight and Pominville scored the winner with just over 5 minutes remaining.  It was Pominville’s second goal of the night.

Saturday October 26, 2013

L:  Montreal Canadiens 1 at  Colorado Avalanche 4

The start of the game was delayed slightly as Colorado honoured Adam Foote in a jersey retirement ceremony.  It was a hard fought game the first 45 minutes of the game, with the game tied at 1, but two miscues by P.K. Subban and the game was had in the third period.  After the game head Coach Michel Therrien wasted no time to throw P.K. Subban under the bus.  In the post-game interview Therrien was quoted as saying “Our defenceman that cost us the game …  The second one (goal), the same defenceman  made the same mistake, cost us the game”.  Therrien didn’t call Subban by name, but it was obvious that’s who he was referring to.  Subban wasn’t the only player in the doghouse, as David Desharnais who has scored only once this season, was benched for part of the third period.  And there’s more.  It appears Desharnais has lost his spot at centre as Therrien FINALLY put Alex Galchenyuk at centre (his natural position) on a line with Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty, who returned to the line-up after missing 8 games with a pulled quadriceps muscle.

Player Movement for the week:

October 28, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens recall defenceman Greg Pateryn from Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).

 October 29, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens return forward Patrick Holland to the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).

 October 31, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens re-sign defenseman Alexei Emelin to a 4 years, $16.4M contract.

November 3, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens return forward Michael Blunden to the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).

November 3, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens recall forward Martin St-Pierre from the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).

NOTE:  any player called up after 5pm only counts against the cap the following day.

 

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Habs Week that Was for Oct 27, by GOHABS.com

THE HABS WEEK THAT WAS by GOHABS.com (week ending October 27th)
GOHABS.com Habs week in review.

Overall: W:6 L:5 OTL:0. PTS:12
5th in Atlantic Division, 7th in Eastern Conference.

Record for week ending October 27, 2013: GP: 3 // W: 1 // L: 2 // OTL: 0 // PTS: 2

Tuesday October 22, 2013

L: Edmonton Oilers 4 at Montreal Canadiens 3

After the Canadiens opened the first period with two goals, the Canadiens were probably thinking they were in cruise control. After first intermission, the Oilers had second thoughts. Their coach Dallas Eakins had to motivate his team and remind themthem what Lars Eller thought of Oilers as a team (Eller was quoted as saying the Oilers remind him of a junior team running around with no structure).  The Oilers went on the score four straight goals. The Canadiens scored their third goal with two seconds left in the game with an extra attacker. After the game Coach Therrien was asked what he thought of Eller’s pre-game comments. Therrien’s response: Those were “inappropriate”.

Milestones: Patrick Holland, who was called up from Hamilton last week, played in his first NHL game.

Thursday October 24, 2013
W: Anaheim Ducks 1 at Montreal Canadiens 4

The Anaheim Ducks visiting in Montreal can only mean one thing; the return of Saku Koivu to Montreal and the never ending debate of whether the Canadiens should retire Saku Koivu’s number (oh how the standards have fallen, but I digress). The game also marked the last appearance of Teemu Selanne’s as Selanne is retiring after this season. The Canadiens It appeared had a simple game plan for this game; play a full 60 minutes and never let the foot off the pedal. Anaheim made it extremely easy for the Canadiens because the Ducks were a complete no-show. Although the Ducks out-shot the Canadiens 32-25, the Canadiens were never threatened by Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry, two players sure to make Team Canada at the upcoming Sochi Olympics. The Canadiens got fire power by the Plekanec-Gionta-Bournival line which combined for 7 points in the game.

Saturday October 26, 2013
L: San Jose Sharks 2 at Montreal Canadiens 0

San Jose Sharks showed Montreal hockey fans why the Sharks only lost 1 game in their first 10 games of the season. The Sharks dominated on all stats. And only gave up 1 power play opportunity. The Sharks’ Logan Couture benefited from an odd bounce during a dump in around the board, with the puck bouncing to the front of the net while Carey Price waited behind the net trying to intercept the puck thinking it would stick along the boards. This made the game 2-0 and San Jose never looked back. Unfortunately the Canadiens continue to make use of the infirmary as Travis Moen got a puck in the face and had to leave the game. (It was later revealed Moen suffered a fractured orbital bone and will be out one week). The game verses San Jose capped off a 5 game home stand where the Canadiens went 2-3.

Fun fact: Josh Gorges was acquired from San Jose back in 2007 when the Canadiens traded Craig Rivet to San Jose. Draft picks also changed hands with Habs receiving a 2007 first round pick (Max Pacioretty) and San Jose received a 2007 fifth round (Jean Demers). Jean who????? Safe to say who won that deal.

Player Movement for the week:
October 23, 2013 The Montreal Canadiens return defenceman Jarred Tinordi to Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).
October 23, 2013 The Montreal Canadiens recall defenceman Greg Pateryn from Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).
October 26, 2013 The Montreal Canadiens return forward Patrick Holland and defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).
October 27, 2013: The Montreal Canadiens recall forwards Patrick Holland and Louis Leblanc from Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL).

NOTE: any player called up after 5pm only counts against the cap the following day.

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GOHABS.com Week that was Oct 20

THE GOHABS.com WEEK THAT WAS (week ending October 20th)

Recapping the Habs week October 13-20.

Montreal Canadiens 5W-3L-0 OTL, 4th in Atlantic Division

 A weekly blog recapping the Habs week that was.

Record for week ending October 20, 2013:  GP: 3  W: 2  L: 1  OTL: 0  PTS: 4

Tuesday October 15, 2013

W:  Montreal Canadiens 3 at Winnipeg Jets 0

The Canadiens finished off their first road trip of the season with a shutout win over the Winnipeg Jets.  But the win was a costly one as forward Max Pacioretty went down with a left quad muscle strain.  Pacioretty is expected to be out of the line-up for 3 weeks. On a positive note, Daniel Briere picked up his first goal of the season (his first in a Habs uniform).

Carey Price made 36 saves to record his 20th career shutout moving him to 9th spot on the club’s all-time shutouts leader, just one shutout behind Charlie Hodge.

Milestones: Brian Gionta played in his 700th career NHL game. Josh Gorges played in his 500th career NHL game.

 Thursday October 17, 2013

W:  Columbus Blue Jackets 3 at Montreal Canadiens 5

The Canadiens returned home from a four-game western road trip and carried their momentum into their first period picking up a quick two goal lead.  It was 3 -0 Montreal in the 2nd Period, when Columbus scored three unanswered goals to tie the game.  But with 67 seconds left in Regulation, Tomas Plekanec shot from the offensive blue line and caught Columbus netminder, Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky cheating to one side, as the Canadiens took a 4-3 lead.  Plekanec added an empty netter to seal the victory.  The empty net goal was the Canadiens second shorthanded goal of the game two shorthanded goals in the game (one being an empty net).  That brings to three for the season.  The Canadiens had none all of last season.

Milestone: Canadiens rookie Michael Bournival picked up his first NHL goal.

 Saturday October 19, 2013

L:  Nashville Predators 2 at Montreal Canadiens 1

The game turned into a goaltending dual between Habs Carey Price and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne but it was Price who was keeping the Canadiens in the game.  After each team traded goals in the first two periods, it appeared Lars Eller scored the go-ahead goal in the third.  That’s when Rinne trapped Eller’s shot over the blue line.  Although there was no conclusive replay showing the puck actually crossing the blue line, the official Chris Rooney believed it went in signalling a goal.  Probably thinking along the lines … if a tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear it?  The NHL’s Situation Room overturned the goal.  And with just over a minute left in regulation, the Canadiens were caught napping and rookie sensation Seth Jones of the Predators, averaging over 27 minutes a game, jumped on a loose puck in the slot and beat Price for what turned to be the game winning goal.  The Canadiens lost more than just the game as two more regulars succumbed to injuries.  Daniel Briere was accidentally hit to the head by Eric Nystrom, whereby Briere sustained yet another concussion. His third concussion in as many seasons.  Briere is out at least 7 to 10 days.  And late in the third, Brandon Prust went crashing into the board injuring his shoulder.  Prust is out 4 weeks.

 

Player Movement for the week:

October 16: Defenceman Davis Drewiskie out 5-6 months following shoulder surgery.

October 19:  Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu sent down to Hamilton (AHL).

 

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GOHABS The Week That Was for Oct. 13

THE GOHABS WEEK THAT WAS (week ending October 13).

A weekly blog recapping the Habs week that was.

Montreal Canadiens 3-2, 5th in Atlantic Division

 Record for week ending October 12, 2013:  GP: 3  W :2  L:1 OTL: 0  PTS: 4

Wednesday October 9, 2013

L:  Montreal Canadiens 2 at Calgary Flames 3

The Canadiens started their western road swing and it seemed they were just not ready.  Call it jet-lagged, or lack of focus, the Canadiens trailed 2-0 after the first period.  Canadiens played catch up all game, with P.K. Subban leading the way with a goal and an assist, but his two 3rd period penalties, one of them with over a minute left in the game, ended any chances of the Canadiens tying the game.  Journey-man goalie Joey MacDonald was the game’s first star.  Nathan Beaulieu made his first start oft he season with the Habs.

Milestone: Rene Bourque played in his 500th career NHL game.

 Thursday October 10, 2013  

W:  Montreal Canadiens 4 at Edmonton Oilers 1

After a lack lustre game the night before, Head Coach Michel Therrien wasted no time to juggle the lines.  Eller – Galchenyuk – Gallagher, which provided 70% of the scoring in the first three games, was broken up.  Tomas Plekanec replaced Eller at Centre.  Eller centred a line with Pacioretty and Brière.  After an early second period goal by the Oilers Ryan Smith on a Power play, the Canadiens answered with 4 unanswered goals.  The Gally kids lead the way with both Brendan Gallagher and Alex Gallchenyuk netting a goal and an assist.  P.K. Subban picked up 3 assists.  Peter Budaj started his first game of the season in the win, with 27 saves.

 Saturday October 12, 2013  

W:  Montreal Canadiens 4 at Vancouver Canucks 1

The Canadiens started the game without the services of Brian Gionta who, the day before, had to rush back home to attend to a family emergency concerning one of his children.  The game tied at 1-1 in the second, featured one of the strangest goal when Dan Hamius and Roberto Luongo combined for an own goal. The goal was credited to Lars Eller.  A shorthanded goal.  That seemed to sap the momentum in the third period as the Canadiens won 4-1.  Tomas Plekanec and Josh Gorges got their first of the year, both in the third period, and PK Subban picked up another assist,

 

Player Movement for the week:

October 6: Canadiens  recall defenceman Nathan Beaulieu from Hamilton (AHL).

 

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GOHABS Week That Was for week ending October 6

THE GOHABS WEEK THAT WAS (week ending October 6th)
A weekly blog recapping the Habs week that was.
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Montreal Canadiens  1-1, 2 points, 5th in Atlantic Division

Canadiens for the week: 2 GP; 1 W 1 L , 2 points

Tuesday October 1, 2013

L:  Toronto Maple Leafs 4 at Montreal Canadiens 3

The Canadiens and Leafs renewed their rivalry to kick off the 2013-14 season.  The Canadiens broke out to a quick 2-1 lead after the 1st period, but turnovers and “lack of execution” as described by Habs coach Michel Therrien, enabled the Leafs to score 3 more goals.  Including a short-handed goal when Andrei Markov couldn’t keep the puck in at the Toronto’s blue line when on a power play.  Despite Lars Eller picking up 3 points in the game with 2 goals and an assist, the game was overshadowed by the injury/concussion sustained by George Parros when Parros fell flat to the ice face first during a fight with Colton Orr.  Parros was rushed to the hospital and was released the next day, and is out indefinitely.

 Saturday October 5, 2013  

W:  Philadelphia Flyers 1 at Montreal Canadiens 4

The Canadiens picked up their first win of the season as Head Coach Michel Therrien let his better players play.  Lars Eller centring Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher led the way again as the line combined for 2 goals and 4 assists.  The trio even saw action on the first power play unit.  PK Subban  got ice time on the penalty kill, as he played closed to 29 minites.  The Canadiens played the game without the services of Max Pacioretty who is still nursing a hand injury.  That meant Michael Bournival made his NHL debut but saw limited action playing just over 6 minutes.  The game marked Daniel Briere’s first game against his former club.  In two games Briere is still trying to get his first point as a Hab.  The game also marked the return of Vincent Lecavalier playing his first game at the Bell Centre in a Flyers uniform.  Suffice to say, Lecavalier was booed mercifully all game by Habs fans.  Before the game, it was noted that George Parros is recovering well from Tuesday’s concussion and is now listed day to day.  Ryan White took Parros spot in the lineup.

Injury Report for the week:

  • Sept 30: Douglas Murray (D) out 4-6 weeks with upper body injury.
  • Oct 1: George Parros (F) out day to day with concussion.
  • Oct 5: Max Pacioretty (F) out day to day with upper body injurt.

Player Movement for the week:

  • October 2: Canadiens  recall defenceman Nathan Beaulieu from Hamilton (AHL).
  • October 2: Canadiens return defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to Hamilton (AHL).
  • October 4: Canadiens  recall defenceman Nathan Beaulieu from Hamilton (AHL).

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Canadiens turnover from last season

Looking at the year–to–year changeover of the Montreal Canadiens heading into the 2013-14 season, there is less turnover in roster players than in seasons past.  Last season coming out the lockout, the Canadiens had a new Management team, a new head coach, a new system and brought in new players.  In addition, two rookies made the roster from Day 1; Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk.

From the players who started the season with the Canadiens last season, four players are no longer with the Montreal Canadiens organization.  Yannick Weber is now playing with the Vancouver Canucks.  Tomas Kaberle was bought out of his contract and now plays back home for Kladno in the Czech league. Colby Armstrong was a UFA and signed this off season with Vaxjo HC (Swedish Elite League).  And Erik Cole was traded to Dallas Stars midway thru last season for Michael Ryder.

By season’s end, Ryder, a UFA signed with the New Jersey Devils, and Jeff Halpern, a waiver pickup last season, remains unsigned.

Who replaced these roster spots?

This off-season the Canadiens made a huge splash on the free agency market by signing UFA Daniel Brière.  The Canadiens also signed UFA defenseman Douglas Murray, who played with San Jose last season.  And tough guy George Parros was obtained from the Florida Panthers in a trade involving a minor league player.

Coming out of training camp, with injuries to defenseman Alexei Emelin, Davis Drewiske, and Douglas Murray, Jarred Tinordi was able to crack the top 6 on defence.  And forward Michaël Bournival, who impressed many during training camp, has also made the 23-man roster.  Remains to be seen how many games action Bournival will get as the season progresses.

 

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The Numbers game of Andrei Markov

On Thursday, after reading The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs’ feature on Andrei Markov, now entering his 13 year in the NHL, all with the Canadiens, it made me wonder.  In these past 12 seasons, how many Habs GMs has Markov seen?  Number of Habs head Coaches Markov has played for in that time span? Captains, etc.?

So I compiled the following table.

162

Picked 162 overall by the Canadiens back in the 1997 Entry Draft (6th Round).

3

Number of different ownership groups that have owned the Montreal Canadiens during Markov’s time;  Molson Inc., George Gillett Jr, and Molson family lead by Geoff, Andrew and Justin Molson.

5

Number of different GMs during Markov’s time: Rejean Houle, André Savard, Bob Gainey, Pierre Gauthier, Marc Bergevin.

7

Number  of different Head Coaches Andrei Markov has played for; Alain Vigneault, Michel Therrien (twice), Claude Julien, Bob Gainey (twice), Guy Carbonneau, Jacques Martin, Randy Cunneyworth.

2

Number of Captains Markov served under; Saku Koivu, and Brian Gionta.

684

Number of NHL Regular Season Games played.

91

Number of Regular Season Goals in the NHL.

308

Number of Regular Season  Assists in the NHL.

399

Number of Regular Season Points in the NHL.

2

Participated in two All-Star games; 2007-08 as a starter and in the 2008-09 All-Star Game.

2

Number of season-ending injuries (2009, 2010).

3

Number of serious injuries; two torn ACL right knee, and one lacerated tendon in his left foot.

5

The number of contracts Andrei Markov has signed with Montreal.  Now entering his final year of a 3 year, $17.25M contract Markov signed back in 2011.

 

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Montreal Canadiens Training Camp is underway

The Montreal Canadiens opened their training camp schedule on Sept. 11 when 55 players showed up for medicals.   Happy to report that Alex Galchenyuk put on the most mass during the off season gaining 7 lbs over last season.

For a full list of the 55 players invited to the Canadiens Training camp, click here.

Here is my list of the 5 top players to watch for.

#1) Louis Leblanc, 6’0, 190 lbs, Centre:  Leblanc was the Canadiens 1st pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  Having already played 42 games in the NHL, Leblanc did not play 1 game in the NHL last season.  He got off to a slow start with AHL Hamilton and then got injured and never got his groove back,  This Training Camp, Leblanc needs to impress Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien as the team tries to evaluate him and determine if he’s NHL or AHL material.

#2) Christian Thomas, 5’09, 176 lbs, Right-Wing:  Christian Thomas was acquired in the off season in a trade with the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo,  Many say Thomas is ready to make the jump to the NHL.  He it basically as raw as it gets having played only 1 game in the NHL.  Should Brian Gionta start the season on Injured Reserve recovering from off-season bicep surgery, many are speculating that Thomas will start the season with the Canadiens playing wing on a line with Tomas Plekancec and Rene Bourque.

#3) Jarred Tinordi, 6.06, 215 lbs, Defence:  Jarred Tinordi got his feet wet in the NHL late last season playing 8 regular season games and all 5 games in the playoffs.  Having come in to take up Alexi Emelin’s spot on the roster last season, Tinordi has to prove to Habs management if he is higher on the depth chart than Francis Bouillon, Raphael Diaz, Davis Drewiske, or newly acquired Douglas Murray.

#4) Nathan Beaulieu, 6’02, 194 lbs, Defence:  Nathan Beaulieu too was given an opportunity for a regular shift last season after Alexei Emelin went down with season ending injury, but only played 6 games and was then returned back to the AHL.  This off season Beaulieu trained out of the Habs’ Brossard practice facility, and he is challenging Tinordi for that last spot on the blue line.  With the Canadiens most likely carrying two extra defenseman to start the season, Beaulieu is on the bubble. And after the first scrimmage this trainign camp, Beaulieu hurt his shoulder and was placed on IR.  He’s now on the outside looking in, almost surely starting the season in Hamilton.

#5 Joonas Nattinen, 6’03, 192 lbs, Centre.  Joonas Nattinen was drafted back in the 2009 draft.  Having played in Sweden these past 4 seasons, Nattinen has seen late season North American action albeit briefly, for Hamilton, these past two seasons.  But he’s ready to make the transition to North America for the duration of a season?  Many eyes will be watching.

Below is a schedule of the Canadiens Training Camp and the Pre-Season Schedule.

September 11 
Medicals and Physical Testing

September 12 
Practice, Group A 10 – 10:45 am
Game A vs B 11 – 11:50 am
Conditioning, Group A 12 – 12:30 pm
Practice, Group B 12:15 – 12:50 pm
Conditioning, Group B 1:30 – 2 pm

September 13 
Practice, Group B 10 – 10:45 am
Game A vs B 11 – 11:50 am
Conditioning, Group B 12 – 12:30 pm
Practice, Group A 12:15 – 12:50 pm
Conditioning, Group A 1 – 1:30 pm

September 14 
Practice, extra players 10 – 11 a.m.
Game Team Red vs Team White (Bell Centre) 1 p.m.

September 15: Start of Pre-Season Schedule:

SEPT. 15, 2013 Sabres at Canadiens; 7:00pm Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 16, 2013 Bruins at Canadiens 7:00PM  Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 20, 2013 Canadiens at Hurricanes 7:30PM Pepsi Colisee Quebec City
SEPT. 21, 2013 Hurricanes at Canadiens 7:00PM  Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 23, 2013 Devils at Canadiens 7:30PM Bell Centre Montreal
SEPT. 25, 2013 Canadiens at Senators 7:30PMCanadian Tire Centre Ottawa
SEPT. 26, 2013 Senators at Canadiens 7:30PM Bell Centre Montreal

 

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Many former Montreal Canadiens still looking for work

Glancing at the available UFA list this off season, and with training camp one week away, should we be surprised to see the amount of former Habs who still can’t find work in the NHL?  Many former Habs have either signed on to play in the Europe or they are still waiting for a call from an NHL team.

This past weekend two former Habs found work or about to find work abroad. Yahoo! Sports quotes from Czech publication Sport that Tomas Kaberle (who played with Canadiens 2011-13 and who the Canadiens  used a compliance buyout on his contract this past off season) is close to signing on with Dinamo Minsk.  And one time Habs Ryan O’Byrne (2007-11), who split last season between the  Colorado Avalance and the Toronto Maple Leafs, has signed on with HC LEV Praha in the Czech Republic.

Earlier this summer, Chris Campoli (2011-12) signed on with Lugano in the Swiss League.  Colby Armstrong is taking his game to Sweden (Swedish Hockey League’s Vaxjo Lakers).  Arsmtrong will be joined by  Petteri Nokelainen (2011-13) who signed a one-year contract with Brynas IF of the Swedish Hockey League.

Closer to home former Habs Steve Begin (2003-07) signed a minor league deal with Calgary Flames AHL affiliate Abbotsford Heat in BC.

These are the lucky ones.  Here is a list of former Habs still looking for work:   Hal Gill (2009-12), Jose Theodore (1996-2004), Jeff Halpern (2010-11, 2013), Michael Leighton (2007) , Tom Kostopoulos (2007-09), Guillaume Latendresse (2006-2010), Mathieu Garon (2000-04), Brett Clark (1997-99), Ron Hainsey (2002-04), and  Ben Maxwell (2008-2010).

Unsigned players is not something exclusively related to the Montreal Canadiens.  For many of these players, the Montreal Canadiens were one of their many stops in their NHL careers.  A reflection of today’s reality in the NHL.

Also with the salary cap going down this season to $64.3M (was $pro-rated at $70.2M during the lockout shortened 2013 season), many of the above mentioned players are squeezed out by today’s economics.  Teams needing to find cheaper, younger alternatives to fill their 3 and fourth lines, or 3rd defensive pairing, or back-up goalie.

 

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Montreal Canadiens Training Camp just around the corner

Start of Habs camp just around the corner

This 2013-14 NHL season, training camp starts earlier this year due to the NHL taking a 17 day break in their schedule in February to accommodate  the Winter Olympics between Feb 9 and Feb 26, 2014.

In addition, the 2013-14 will be marked by changes to both the NHL schedule and NHL playoffs format.

First, realignment was finally settled with Winnipeg moving to the Western Conference and Detroit and Columbus moving to the Eastern Conference.  As such, the Detroit Red Wings are now part of the newly formed Atlantic Division consisting of: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Columbus moves to the newly created Metropolitan Division.

Western Conference Eastern Conference
Pacific Midwest Central Atlantic
Anaheim Ducks Chicago Blackhawks Boston Bruins Carolina Hurricanes
Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets
Edmonton Oilers Dallas Stars Detroit Red Wings New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Florida Panthers New York Islanders
Phoenix Coyotes Nashville Predators Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers
San Jose Sharks St. Louis Blues Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers
Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets Tampa Bay Lightning Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs Washington Capitals

 

The schedule calls for the Montreal Canadiens to play 4 or 5 games against opponents within their own division (they will play 5 games against each the Senators and  Maple Leafs), play 3 games against teams within their conference.  And the Canadiens will play both home and away games against teams in the Western Conference.

The playoff format also changed.  The top three teams in each division qualify for the post season play, followed by two wild card teams that make up the two best teams remaining in the conference.  With the first seed in each division playing a wild card team (the #2 seed will play the #3 seed within their division).

It all kicks off officially Tuesday September 3, 2013 when the Montreal Canadiens hold their annual Golf Tournament, this  year at the Club de golf Laval-sur-le-Lac.  As TSN690’s Amanda Stein tweets, @amandacstein: “The official start to the years hockey madness.”

It is followed by the Canadiens Rookie Camp from September 5-9.  With the official start to the Montreal Canadiens Training camp taking place on Wednesday September 11.

The Canadiens will have three weeks to bring their roster down to the 23 man roster.  The season kicks off October 1st when Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens.

And already betting odds have already been posted for this NHL season.

Key dates leading to the start of the season.

September 3:  Montreal Canadiens Charity Golf Tournament; Club de golf Laval-sur-le-Lac

September 5 – 9:  Montreal Canadiens Rookie Training Camp; Centre Sportif Bell in Brossard, Qc.  40-man rookie roster lineup

September 11:  Official Montreal Canadiens Training Camp opens, with players report for physicals; Centre Sportif Bell in Brossard, Qc

September 15: Montreal Canadiens first pre-season game vs the Buffalo Sabres; 7pm at Bell Centre, Montreal, Qc

October 1st:   Montreal Canadiens inaugurate the 2013-14 season playing host to the Toronto Maple Leafs; 7pm at Bell Centre, Montreal, Qc