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Go Habs Go - Fan Forum 09/10

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from fourhabsfans

tits_in_philly.jpg

I still, to this day, don't know who these two dudes were, but now one of them is gonna want his $300 for an authentic Reebok jersey back.

That's awesome, had to go look for myself.

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The liltits jersey had a hell of a run with a few great nights in Montreal. Probably more than Sergei had.. :content:

It is far far away from being authentic which is something my other half most certainly is.

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Booche here.

The point was to hopefully sign him but obviously the Habs are way too close to the cap to be able to afford the extra 500 grand Ellis got in TB.

In directly related opinion......Alex Auld? Really PG? REALLY?

Go.Fuck.Yourself.

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Guest Low Roller

I've been away for a while. I'm not liking what I'm seeing with the off-season so far at all...

- Halak for beans (Eller counts for $1,270,833 against the cap if he makes the team)

- Alex f'n Auld

- Little Tits for Boyd and goalie who walked away over $0.5M.

- $1.35M to Pouliot? Really?

- About $5.6M to sign Lapierre, Price and Moore. i.e. not gonna happen

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Guest Low Roller

The Goat has confirmed that the team will not negotiate new contracts with UFAs Mara, Moore, Bergeron, and Metropolit.

I sort of wish that they kept Moore because he was awesome in the lead up to the playoffs. The second round pick we traded for him will be made up by not signing first round pick David Fischer.

Apparently the rule is that you receive a compensation pick if your first rounder is a dud. (edit to add: The preceding sentence was filled with artistic interpretation)

(Further edit: ok, so the rule is that the team receives a compensation pick if the player refuses to sign an NHL contract, which is something Fischer did after his second year in the NCAA according to La Presse).

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More on the Halak trade, just to cement it home.

It was only seconds after the news broke on June 17 that the Canadiens had traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues when a colleague, who is a big Habs fan, stormed into my office.

"Is it true that they traded Halak?"

"Yes," I replied.

"What the hell are they doing?" he roared. "What a great way to (upset) the fans after such a great playoff run!"

Two days later, when I arrived at the cottage I rent every year at Lancaster's Resort in Cloyne, Ont., for a two-week family vacation, the first words out of owner Ken Lancaster's mouth when he saw me were: "What the hell are the Canadiens doing? Why did they trade Halak?"

Lancaster is a diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so he loves the trade. Canadiens fans, not so much.

When I returned to work last week, my email was full of rants from angry Habs fans (you can read some of them in this week's Letters to the Sports Editor on Page B22).

During my vacation, it seemed like everyone I saw was asking the same question: Why did they trade Halak? It reminded me of the situation last year, after the Canadiens were swept by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs and people were asking why Halak never got a chance to play while Carey Price lost all four games and saw his career playoff record drop to 5-10.

When veteran radio reporter Peter Ray cited his wife among Montrealers wondering why Bob Gainey stuck with Price through the Bruins series, the general manager/coach at the time had the unforgettable response: "Carey Price is a thoroughbred. Maybe your wife doesn't recognize it."

Gainey then took another cheap shot, telling Ray to tell his wife that he "doesn't bake bread very well, either."

It was not Gainey's finest moment.

During the past regular season, when people asked me which goalie I thought the Canadiens would keep, I always answered Price. Not because I thought he was the right choice, but because Gainey had made it very clear that Price was his guy, no matter what. But when Pierre Gauthier took over as GM in February and finally allowed Halak to take over the No. 1 job he had deserved for so long, and following Halak's impressive playoff performance, I changed my answer.

Wrong.

While it was Gauthier who pulled the trigger on the trade, I have a feeling Gainey's fingerprints are also on the gun. While Gainey stepped down as GM, he remains with the Canadiens as a consultant and you have to wonder if Gauthier didn't want to stab his former boss in the back with his first major move by going against him and dealing away the "thoroughbred."

Time will tell whether he made the right decision.

Two years ago, the Canadiens faced a similar situation when they traded Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals in their first attempt to hand Price the No. 1 job. At the time, TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire was already predicting Huet's demise, stating that "the book was out" on the goaltender and that players had figured out how to beat him.

Many Canadiens fans were upset with McGuire, and one Montreal radio station even mocked him by calling city libraries and asking: "Do you have the book on Huet?"

The latest chapter in Huet's story has him as an unwanted backup with the Chicago Blackhawks, with two years remaining on a contract that carries an annual salary-cap hit of $5.625 million.

I called McGuire on Thursday to get his reaction to the Halak trade.

"This is totally different (from Huet)," McGuire said. "(Halak) is a player who is in his prime and this is a guy who's really worked hard to get to where he is. Huet was not even close to being in his prime -he was past his prime and he had never made it in his prime. And he was a guy that really was a byproduct of players not being familiar with him ... the tendency to drop early and beat him up high."

McGuire added that if Lars Eller, who came to Montreal along with Ian Schultz in the Halak deal, can't develop into a top-six forward, the trade will have made Montreal "a lot weaker" while making St. Louis "a very competitive team in the Central Division."

"What surprised me the most about this whole thing is that (the Canadiens) didn't take their time to move Halak," McGuire said.

"I don't know why you had to trade him eight days before the NHL entry draft. I wasn't shocked he was traded, what shocked me was he was traded eight days before the entry draft, before everybody could get hot and heavy, having his name filtered out there. There were no rumours at all ... I mean there was nothing. There was never even an attempt to create a marketplace for him.

"If the Canadiens (or MrBigTime) think that was the best deal they could have got for Jaroslav Halak, I would beg to differ, and I would argue that with them because I know of some teams that were absolutely shocked that he was traded and they didn't even get a call."

McGuire believes Price has the potential to become a great NHL goalie -"There are not a lot of young goalies like Carey Price ... there just aren't a lot of them" -but still thinks the Canadiens made a mistake when they selected him fifth overall at the 2005 entry draft.

"Their organizational need (at the time) was Marc Staal or Anze Kopitar, and I said that at the time," McGuire said.

Kopitar, selected 11th overall by the Los Angeles Kings (six picks after Price), posted 34-47-81 totals this past season, while Staal, a 6-foot-4, 209-pound defenceman, was selected 12th overall by the New York Rangers and had 8-19-27 totals in 2009-10 to go along with a plus-11.

"Would the Canadiens be a better team if they had Jaroslav Halak with Anze Kopitar or Marc Staal?" McGuire said. "The answer is yes, they would. And the contract Halak got from St. Louis (four years, $15 million) is unbelievably cap friendly.

"So this goes back to 2005. Bob Gainey and Trevor Timmins (director of player recruitment and development) and Pierre Gauthier (assistant GM at the time) made an organizational decision that they thought Carey Price was the best available talent at that time. They didn't address organizational need, which was a big centre -and Kopitar answered that -and also they didn't address the organizational need for a big body on defence who could play a lot of years -and Marc Staal answered that ... and that was brought up (on TSN) on draft day.

"If Lars Eller can't get to a top-six forward status, it's a tough deal to digest if you're the Canadiens. Even if Price becomes great, which I think he has the potential to be, if Eller can't pan out, you basically gave away an unbelievable asset for very, very little."

And to think Canadiens fans are angry now.

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Guest Low Roller

Lapierre signed a one year deal for $900,000. Apparently it took them this long because Lapierre's agents were looking for a longer term deal and the Habs declined.

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Guest Low Roller

Julien Brisebois, Bulldogs GM and Gainey's right hand man, has accepted a job offer from Tampa Bay to be Steve Yzerman's assistant according to RDS.

From what I gather this is a huge blow to the Habs organization because Brisebois was the guy who was responsible for all contract negotiations and was considered an expert on all things salary cap related.

Hamilton is now without a GM and head coach after Boucher left for Tampa as well.

Edit: well that didn't take long. A couple of hours after it was announced that Brisebois was leaving for Tampa, Gauthier got himself a new assistant GM in the form of local Montrealer Larry Carriere. Carriere was a pro scout with the Capitals since 2004.

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Guest Low Roller

Majority consensus of sports writers seem to agree that the worst case contract for Price would be $3M for 3 years, which would leave approx $1.7M - $2.5M in the cap for a rainy day, depending which source you believe.

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Guest Low Roller

Might as well call them Tampa Bay Bulldogs. Yzerman has pinched the remainder of Hamilton's coaching staff, this time taking Martin Raymond and Daniel Lacroix, Boucher's assistants in Hamilton.

Of course with that news comes news that Hamilton has a randy new coaching staff now which includes these two guys:

photoacopy9293cunneyworth.jpgphotoacopy9293ladouceur.jpg

It's gonna be a whale of a good time.

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