Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Very interesting radio

I was attempting to navigate the city this afternoon when I caught CKAC's Martin McGuire giving his daily update on the goings on in Habs land. While his take on the day's news is always interesting, I must say today's hit was really ear-catching.

First, McGuire talked about Andrei Markov's spin around the ice during today's scrimmage in Brossard, where he was paired with Roman Hamrlik. Afterwards, Markov was asked if he had a date in mind for his return.

"Yeah, I have a date in mind," Markov said.

Do you want to tell us?


McGuire, without any proof or confirmation, said he has a hunch that Markov is shooting for the holiday trip to Florida, which starts Dec. 30, or 11 games from now. That would bring us to one game past the halfway mark of the season.

Now I wasn't there today and I have no expertise in the interpretation of body language, but the way Markov answered that question, I would have to say maybe Martin is on to something here.

Later in his little report, McGuire also noted - again without confirmation - that the Habs have begun preliminary contract explorations with Tomas Plekanec and his agent Rick Curran. If indeed that's the case (the morality of reporting things on the air without confirming it first is a topic for another day, but since it was reported I felt an obligation to tell you all about it), then I would do anything to be a fly on the wall to hear what each side is looking for.

My contention that Plekanec needs to be traded while his value is at its highest has been the subject of much debate here, as well it should, because he looks to be rounding into form right about now. How much of a reward he is seeking for that development, and how much revenge he may want to exact for the Canadiens refusal to offer him anything more than a one-year deal in the summer, will go a long way to determining whether or not he can be fit into next year's cap structure.

Finally, I thought I should way in on all this Ryan White business, and I've got to say it doesn't look very good for Bob Gainey and Julien BriseBois. If indeed each of them thought the other had informed the league of the call-up, then maybe they should assign that menial task to someone else in the office. That way, at least they would be sure the call would be made, or the e-mail sent, or whatever.

All I know is that I got the press release just after 12:30 on game day. You would think a simple CC to the NHL would do it.


robert said...

yesterday was the anniversary of Gainey's daughter disappearance 3 years ago. His mind may have been elsewhere.

Andrew Berkshire said...

I don't understand why we would trade Plekanec. How many times have we seen guys we've acquired come to Montreal and fall apart from the pressure? We have a guy who has been groomed in that pressure and is now taking off and becoming an elite player in this city. Why toss him to the side for a couple picks that would likely be late in the 1st and second round because it would be a contender who'd want him. By trading Pleks we'd also be giving up on a season where we're in a playoff spot 31 games in despite the most devastating injuries and odds we could dream up. Makes zero sense Arpon.

As for the Ryan White fiasco, it had no impact on the game, who really cares? It was after all, the anniversary of Laura Gainey's disappearance. Give Bob a break for one day.

V said...

Don't understand why we would trade Plekanec and hope rumours are true that negotiation has begun. Too early to talk about such things - team shows signs of rounding into shape in spite of injuries. Let's see what we really have before we do something dramatic.

Ryan White thing not worth a comment IMO.

On another note, I am looking forward to seeing Pouliot in action. It's like a 6'-2" present under the tree...

Yves said...

Next summer looks like it could be a challenge with the cap being tight.... but as the season is long, I think alot can happen from here to then.

Gainey did make a couple of minor moves... we'll see what happens with Pouilot.. and Chips went for a pick....

I'm not sure I'd trade Plekanec either. I'd rather see Gainey be aggressive in trying to lock him up as he's (Tomas) responded to the criticism of last season and he's really working hard.

Tomas comes to play every night this year.... I'd rather try to lock him up.

That being said though.... I'm open to being wrong!

pfhabs said...


1. on Ryan White the 990 discussion this a.m. mentioned a 6 figure fine coming to CH courtesy of the NHL. also mentioned is that GM's (Gainey) as a general rule do not work on this type of minutia but the AHL GM (Brisbois) and CH office staff would handle. so it seems that perhaps Bob is covering Julien's ass on this mistake. regardless of whom was the goat it again shows lax organizational standards (Lats asleep 30 mins before a game, Leach waiver issue and now miscue on White)and $100K or more is just a waste of revenue that could w other cash mistakes impact decisions down the's sloppy business practices

-as for trading Plekanec I think it's foolish to do so but if that's the route taken you get more value for a signed player than one who is a UFA at the end of the year

Anonymous said...

whats that about lats being asleep 30 min before a game? Haven't heard this one yet.

pierre said...

Markov. Hamrlik, Spacek, Gill, Mara, O'Byrne, Bergeron, Gorges.... best D group for the CH since the lock-out.

Markov-Bergeron : best PP quaterback pair in the ligue.

Markov-Bergeron, Hamrlik-Spacek : best PP quartet in the ligue.

Once Gionta gets back I expect our PP efficiency to be matching the better ones recorded out there thus far and then some.

With our rescent PK excellence and our predicted PP excellence what can we expect from our 5 on 5 game once Markov spend all his time on the ice with the boys ?

Our puck possession time will rise from our improved transition and 3 zone pressure game and so will our scoring chances..... all the speed we have since the departure of Chip and Lats will be orchestrated around a commun theme for added cohesivness and more exciting hockey.

A.K., Plekanec, Cammalleri,
Gionta, Gomez, Pouliot
S.Kostitsyn, Metropolit, D' Agostinni
Pacioretti, Lapierre, Moën

There is more speed in this roster than any we've seen with the CH since the lock-out...... propably one of the fastest team out there this year.

In the meantime we are still in surviving mode and our struggle continues overlly dependant as we are on our excellence in nets...... but the boys have been working very hard and all I am hoping is that they can keep it up at around .500 until Markov comes back.

jkr said...

Latendresse was scratched before the Nashville game. After it was determined that Gionta couldn't go they called GL at his room about an hour before game time & found that he was asleep. They woke him up & he did play that night.

pfhabs said...


-you are welcome to your opinion but if you are a serious hockey fan look up Bouwmeester & Phaneuf or Keith & Seabrook or Lidstrom & Rafalski, Souray & Visnovsky, Drew Doughty & Johnson....MAB isn't even in the same league and would take anyone of them over MAB...MAB has a great shot and that's it

pierre said...

pfhabs :

In 07-08 Bergeron tied for the most PP goals scored among NHL rearguards.... had he played 82 games instead of 55 as he did he would have lead the rest of the pack that season by even a wider margin.

Souray broke the NHL record for most PP goals in one season for three reasons :

1) because of his elite one-timer shot.
2) because of the ideal reargard configuration he was fitting in during that season..... he, a left handed playing the right side.... his partner, a left handed playing the left wall.
3) his left handed partner playing the left wall feeding him elite quality passes was.... Markov.

We know what happen when a left handed one timer artist is matched to Markov in Montreal.... they invariably trive and so does our PP efficiency,..... first overall first with Souray,.... first again on the following season with Streit.... and first again during the portion in which Schneider was joined to Markov in the latter part of our last season.

Bergeron's one timers are as precise and powerfull as Souray' own clicking in the 103mph range.... impressive coming from a 5' 10" tall guy..... but there is more to Bergeron than just that as he excels at distributing the puck during PP in ways that are much more similar to Markov than Souray can ever pretend to.

My speculative opinion about our forthcoming PP rearguard duo is that they will match the excellence we saw here during the last few years and they will excel above any of the duos you took care to mentioned in your post.

pfhabs said...


-what can I say; you think Markov (who is top 10) & MAB are better than Rafalski & Lidstrom..that says it all I'd even add Letang & Gonchar. I do not care how many goals MAB gets he's a defensive liability and turnover machine which doesn't help on the PP

-puck possesion time will 'increase' ? well could it be worse. 'our 3 zone pressure game'...what team are you watching

1. Martin plays and always has; be it Chicago, Quebec, St Louis, Ottawa or anywhere else a passive resistance game...they sit back and counter attack...they do not pressure but I suppose the 1 shot against Philly is pressure of sorts...they are one of the worse if not the worst 1st period teams in the league because they do not pressure. Blysma/Pens play a pressure game that's why they had over 80 shots last night...the CH are a fall abck, clog the centre, trapping counteract team and we had 21 shots last night, 14 against Philly ---some pressure..if you feel that is aggressive pressure that's fine no one in hockey believe's the same....simply pressure in 3 zones is not Martin's coaching style, never has been

-as for the D combo I'll take anyone of those I mentioned over MAB and I'll give you that Souray and MAB are similiar except Sheldon can fight

pierre said...

pfhabs :

I like exchanging hockey thoughts but there is no point about doing it if you distort or dont get the points I am making.

I repeat for you :

1) As a -Power Play Quaterback Pair- Markov and Bergeron will rival with any other Pairs playing such a rôle in the league this season.

2) The return of Markov will improve our puck possession time over what it has been thus far while we were playing without him.

Now if you want to debate those two points without distorting their original meanings you are more then welcome to do so..... if you do then I will tell you why I think that Martin is going to required increased 3 zones pressure from the team as soon as his talented players get back in the line-up from their injuries.

Anonymous said...

Arpon, I hate to be that guy but it's "weigh in" not "way in". Your spelling is usually excellent though. I continue to enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.