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Habs Re-Sign Pacioretty; Gauthier Hard at Work

When Pierre Gauthier took on the job of his former boss Bob Gainey, one of the changes that was almost certain to take affect was that the new general manager would be pro-active leading up to free agency every year. Bob Gainey was notorious at waiting til the last second to get things done, and leaving Habs fans at the edge of their seats when it came to figuring out what players would be staying and which would be going. Likely due to his "reactive" style of managing, many players the Canadiens drafted or developed would find themselves in new zip codes in the days after their Montreal contracts would expire, and that was one thing that really irked many fans over the seven years Bo...

Ten Early Off-Season Habs Questions

UPDATE: I love the off-season for the simple fact that the one day I decide to write a blog, the Habs actually end up doing something. The Canadiens signed Andrei Kostitsyn to a one-year contract extension. He'll make the same amount as last year, $3.25M, which is interesting considering many were expecting the Belorussian forward to go to arbitration this year. ------------------- While we all wait for the Stanley Cup playoffs to finally end, and before we can get into the nitty gritty of our off-season analyses and features, I thought it would be fun to get the opinions of the readers on a few of the current topics that might be affecting the Montreal Canadiens, as well as some of the ...

Canadiens Re-Sign Defenseman Hal Gill

It's been a quiet couple of weeks for the Montreal Canadiens. Ever since they signed defenseman Alex(s)ei (Y)Emelin to a one-year entry-level contract two weeks ago, after over a week of speculation, it seemed as if the Habs brass disappeared. Likely working hard behind the scenes to figure out new contracts for existing Habs, forming trade and free agency strategies for the summer and preparing for the draft, Pierre Gauthier and his staff sort of fell off the radar, as the NHL playoffs began to wind down. And that's okay. You can't expect the Habs to be news makers every single week of the off-season. Only problem is, a lot of us may have stopped reading our daily sources for Habs...

Habs Sign Russian Defenseman Alexei Emelin to One-Year Deal

After over a week of speculation, the Montreal Canadiens have finally signed star Russian defenseman Alexsei Emelin to a one-year contract. Of course, terms of the deal were not disclosed, as per team policy, which only means we'll have to wait an extra few hours to find out how much the Canadiens are going to pay him. What we do know is that it is a two-way contract, and that it falls under entry-level contract rules, which means that one year was the maximum term and $925,000 is the maximum and likely salary for the 25-year-old. Emelin will likely also have the maximum allowable performance and signing bonuses, which means that you can likely tack on $95,000 in signing bonuses, abou...

A Closer Look At Yemelin's Penalty & Scoring Stats

Montreal Canadiens fans attention has recently turned to Russian defenseman Alexei Yemelin, and the progress being made to bring this prospect over from the KHL. While anticipation and optimism levels are positive, there is no doubt a certain level of concern whenever a Russian player hits the Bell Centre. Is he another Andrei Markov or Andrei Kostitsyn? Is his attendance record anything like namesake Alexei Kovalev? Will he be run out of town faster than a Russian rocket? We can get a hint from his recent statictics. Time will tell. But in the interim, most of what is being said about Yemelin is that 1) he led his team in PIM this year, 2) his offensive numbers were impressive this past ...

The Guy The Habs Lost

The hockey world is stunned this morning after watching the Tampa Bay Lightning sweep the heavily favored Washington Capitals. The Capitals were not only favored to win this series, but also to many, even the Stanley Cup. After last night’s performance, there will be a lot of questions and many changes to come during the offseason. Head coach Bruce Boudreau's job is on the line, but we will leave that for another discussion. I want to talk about the other coach. To begin, a quick mention about Wayne Fleming. Fleming is a career assistant coach in the NHL and is one of the most respected hockey men around. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier in the year. Before game ...

Rumor Alert: Jaromir Jagr Interested in the Habs?

It may not really feel too much like summer in Montreal this week. It's been raining for the better part of the last week, and the end doesn't seem to be in sight. The temperature is over 10 degrees below the norm for this time of year, and things just seem sluggish and dreary around town, following an emotional election and, of course, the Canadiens' exit from the playoffs at the hands of their biggest and most hated rivals. But it definitely feels like the off-season in Montreal. The rumor mills are spinning, people are already speculating about contracts and signings and Pierre Gauthier's potential moves over the next few months. But most importantly, there is yet another free agen...

Who The Canadiens Should Keep For Next Season

The Habs' season has been over for a few days now, and even though they threw away a perfectly good opportunity to get to the second round and eliminate the 'Ruins, which would have gotten Humpty Dumpty fired, one can't help but feel the Habs overachieved and played as well as they could given their personnel situation. Let's face it: not many teams would have gotten as far as the Habs did with their #1 and #2(arguably) defensemen lost for the entire season. The injury to Max Pacioretty was the final nail in the coffin for a team plagued by scoring troubles all year. Now we have to look forward to next season; and there are plenty of roster decisions to be made. Here's my take: ...

Now I Have To Pretend To Live A Normal Life

Now I Have To Pretend To Live A Normal Life Montreal Canadiens 3 - Boston Bruins 4 in Overtime Boston Wins The Series 4 Games To 3 Also Read: Let the Record Reflect: Size Didn't Matter by Joe Corson. I try to watch, report and write on every game with an impartial brain. As an aspiring professional, I know that I have to separate my heart from my head and that everything I do must without bias. Yes, I can use my ideas, opinions and views to formulate my work but never should I use the fact that I am fan of one team or another. The next few paragraphs will be different as I cannot get the ‘Bleu Blanc et Rouge’ out of my system. Am I thinking coherently as I write this, pro...

Let the Record Reflect: Size Didn't Matter

These thoughts were originally drafted after Game 6, but are just as relevant, if not more, after a tough loss to end the Canadiens short but dramatic playoff run . Before we lose grip on the facts and begin to let popular spin and emotion control our opinions, tweets and blogs- let’s examine one key element of this Canadiens brief run, and file it away for later in the summer when we’re likely to overlook it. A lack of size did not cost the Habs a run at the Cup.

Here we were earlier in the day, another Game 7 with a Canadiens team that seems to be calmer and more composed as the stakes are raised. The most surprising and notable aspect of this series to...