Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No holiday weekend for the Habs and their followers

Well I hope those who got it here in Canada had a great “civic” holiday weekend. That’s the most common place term for it.

For our US counterparts, the first Monday in August goes by a variety of names in the various provinces/territories of your northern neighbor. And you guys thought just our money was silly, eh?

Still recuperating from a busy weekend, a crazy Tuesday on the “paying job”work front,I refuse to watch “The Replacements” on TSN.

Yes there is an “Ole. Ole, Ole, Ole” chant in there, but acting legend Gene Hackman and “Whoa” Keanu Reeves? C’mon.

Instead I thought I’d catch up on what Pierre Gauthier and co. and Habs addicts did over the weekend.

Mario Tremblay joins RDS: Moving on… As long as it doesn’t come  full circle, recalling Tremblay began a career as a TV analyst during Patrick Roy’s rookie year. From the get go in the press box, and  even while as a player, Tremblay never liked Patrick Roy. We all know what happened years later.

I just can’t wait to hear what he has to say about Carey Price. The kid, depending on who you read/listen to, already wants out of Montreal, so talks about a catalyst!  Too bad I cancelled my RDS subscription on Saturday, so I’ll have to rely on other sources to see what Tremblay has to say.

Louis signs: Ending the Q vs. Ivy League questions, the Canadiens signed 2009 First Round Pick Louis Leblanc to an entry-level deal. Provided he doesn’t stick with the Hamilton Bulldogs, he’ll play in the Q with the Montreal Juniors.

LeBlanc must have learned enough from one year of economics in Harvard that the pros means “Cha-Ching!” and “Uber-Cha-Ching!”, to a reported $3.6 million with bonuses over three years, if he makes the club straight out of juniors.

An excellent look at the LeBlanc signing from HabsEyesOnThePrize.

Well, at least the Bulldogs have a captain: Gauthier also signed Hamilton Bulldogs captain Alex Henry to a two-year deal.

On a related Bulldogs note, they’ll start their pre-season in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland beginning September 28. The camp will be highlighted by a trio of games across “The Rock” against the Binghampton Senators in CB, Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John’s.

You know, my fiance wanted to go back home to NL this year….hmmmm Nah, she’d never go for that.

This year’s Jay Leach?: With Andrei Markov’s injury a given for the start of the 2010-11 season, the Canadiens picked up defenceman Alexandre Picard. It’s a two-way deal for practically pennies and will give the Canadiens and Bulldogs that extra body with next to no cap hit.

Honestly, I’m not watching the movie: But, not a bad soundtrack…

Antti Niemi: It’s Finnish for “ain’t coming to Montreal.” Face it folks, if the Canadiens were unwilling to sign Halak, they are certainly not going after this guy.

To be honest, I really didn’t think his playoff performance was as stellar as some say it was. If it had been, Stan Bowman would not have walked away from the arbitration and moved to get rid of that other goaltending leech on the Blackhawks salary cap. Unfortunately Bowman still has Cristobel Huet to deal with.

Fare thee well, lads: Glen Metropolit and Dominic Moore have found new homes with Ev-Zug (Switzerland) and the Tampa Bay Lightning respectively.

Metro was a class act in the NHL, has also spent some time before in the European Leagues. I wish nothing but the best for him in the future. Many will say that Europe is the end of the line for NHLers,  when a team doesn’t sign them, but may thrive for several years while getting a chance to play. One of Metropolit’s teammates will be former Canadiens forward Paul DiPietro, who has played for EV-Zug for nearly a decade.

I still scratch my head over Gauthier’s decision not to re-sign Dominic Moore, especially after his performance in the post-season, but it falls on cap space and younger players (Lars Eller, Dustin Boyd, Alexander Avtsin and LeBlanc) waiting in the wings.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman got a two-year bargain to add to his Tampa puzzle, and if there’s a “bite them in the ass” deal this season or next (and possibly in the playoffs) against the Candiens, it will be this one, and not the Halak deal.

The Fan590 spoke to Moore , who turned 30, on Tuesday about the new deal and the Habs playoff run last season.

It wouldn’t be complete without SOMETHING on Carey Price:  I’ll bestow this honor to J.T from “The H Does not Stand for Habs”, who offers the top-10 reasons Price has not signed. My fave, taking a page from the Michael Ryder days:

“3. I made a paper airplane out of it while I was sitting on the bench during the playoffs.”

The pool now is when the Canadiens sign him.

Did I miss anything?….oh yeah: So Georges Laraque finally decides to retire, big surprise.

I have to question the whole deal to sign him from the get go now.

Did the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Canadiens medical team drop the ball on this one and overestimated BGL’s physical abilities, essentially leaving Bob Gainey to waste cap room for three seasons.

Unfortunately his retirement comes after the buyout, so the Habs are still on the hook for $500K for each of the next two seasons.

Meanwhile the big guy has become co-deputy leader of The Green Party, a political party who has a leader and two deputies, but zero seats in the House of Commons.

True story, but I watched a “direct-to-DVD” version of “Jack and the Beanstalk” last night. The beanstalk reminded me of Laraque in a way; big, green and little movement.

He’s a Scrappy fella: Most of you Habs fans, and hockey history buffs, likely read Dennis Kane’s blog. For those that don’t, shame on you.

Lately Dennis has been sharing some scrapbook memories on the Habs. Here’s his latest entry.

That’s it for today folks, going to see if the Northern Lights are out.

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