Friday, August 29, 2008

UPDATED Meszaros Dealt To Lightning For Trio

Andrej Meszaros has inked a 6-year deal with new team Tampa Bay. Read below for yesterday's trade information.

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Andrej Meszaros is the latest addition to the revamped Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning acquired the restricted free agent from Ottawa after Sens GM Bryan Murray admitted to media yesterday that he and Meszaros were 'a long way apart' in contract negotiations.

It appears that the Lightning were considering offering Meszaros a 1-year offer sheet worth $5 million, but couldn't do so because they would have had to give a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick to Ottawa as compensation should Meszaros have signed; the problem with that being that Tampa no longer owned its own 3rd round pick, the Penguins do.

The Lightning therefore dealt defencemen Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and a 1st round pick acquired from San Jose to the Sens in exchange for the 22 year old.

Meszaros was drafted in the first round, 23rd overall by Ottawa in 2004. He developed quickly playing alongside such stalwart defenseman as Wade Redden and Chris Phillips. He will now be counted on to provide all-around defensive presence in Tampa, all the while anchoring the powerplay with the departure of Dan Boyle to San Jose.

More rumors are already surfacing suggesting that the Lightning are close to signing Meszaros to a 6-year, $4 million/per extension.

Canadiens To Retire Roy's #33

Not at all to my surprise, La Presse is reporting today that Patrick Roy's #33 will be retired later this November

Roy played with the Canadiens from 1986-95, capturing 2 Stanley cups in that timeframe (86,93). He retired as the NHL record holder in wins among goalies with 551 in 19 seasons with Montreal and the Colorado Avalanche.

A Canadiens spokesman would not confirm the report, saying the team does not comment on jersey retirements.

The Avalanche retired Roy's number in 2003.

Roy's tenure with Montreal ended sourly. After being left out to dry for 9 goals in a game vs. Detroit, Roy was finally pulled by coach Mario Tremblay. Upon his arrival to the bench, Roy crossed paths with Tremblay but did not say a word. Shortly after, he walked past him again and made his way over to team president at the time, Ronald Corey. He demanded Corey for a trade, and a couple of days later, the Montreal Canadiens traded Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault. Roy and Keane would go on to win the Stanley cup that same season.

The Habs went on to lose that game at home in the Forum to Detroit by a score of 12-1 on December 2nd, 1995; the worst loss in Montreal Canadiens franchise history.

Roy's jersey would be the 15th retired jersey in Canadiens' franchise history.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Logo Unveiled To Commemorate 100th Season


Before celebrating their Centennial on December 4, 2009, the Canadiens will play their 100th season in 2008-09, and the historic anniversary will be given its due, to say the least.

In honor of the Habs’ 100th season, a special logo has been created. Using the style of numbers found on the Canadiens’ current white jersey worn on the road, this bilingual logo will be used throughout the 2008-09 season. Canadiens players will be wearing a “100 Seasons” patch on their jerseys, with the special logo also appearing at center ice at the Bell Centre, replacing the traditional Canadiens logo.

Once the Canadiens open the 2008-09 season against the Sabres in Buffalo on October 10, the Habs will become the first professional hockey team to celebrate 100 seasons and the first pro sports franchise outside of Major League Baseball to do so. The century-bound Habs will join a very exclusive group of teams that includes most notably the likes of the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals on the North American sports landscape.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NHL 09 To Feature Habs All-Time Team!

Gamers everywhere are buzzing!

The announcement was made today that EA Sports' NHL 09 will feature an All-Time Montreal Canadiens team, which can be used to play in exhibition mode! The inclusion of this team is to commemorate the Canadiens in their upcoming Centennial Season.

If you're too young to have watched the Habs legends play, but always dreamed of playing as them in a modern day video game, then you must only wait until September 9th.

Could you imagine this one the scoresheet:

Goal scored by Maurice Richard. Assisted by Guy Lafleur and Jean Beliveau.


The full roster is as follows:

Centermen: Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Jacques Lemaire, Howie Morenz
Left Wingers: Bob Gainey, Steve Shutt, Hector "Toe" Blake, Dickie Moore
Right Wingers: Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Guy Lafleur, Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Yvan Cournoyer
Defensemen: Larry Robinson, Emile "Butch" Bouchard, Serge Savard, Doug Harvey, Guy Lapointe, Jacques Laperriere
Goalies: Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante

The 21 man roster includes all 14 players who have had their jerseys retired as Habs. The picks span almost an entire century, from Morenz (1923-34) to Patrick Roy (1986-95).

According to David Littman, the games producer, only the All-Star teams can "come close" to matching the All-Time Habs team's overall rating.

Some more features that will be on the 09 v
ersion of EA's perennial best-seller:

-Defensive Skill-Stick, which will allow players to poke check in 360 degrees rotation, and, unprecedented in any hockey game anywhere, the ability to lift another players stick to steal the puck.
-Be-A-Pro Mode: Become one player in the game and rise through the ranks of the AHL and NHL.
-One-Handed Dekes: Ever drooled over the Forsberg goal in the olympics (a move initially made poular by Alexei Zhamnov)? Well, now you can do it, as Gaborik demonstrates below.

For more, visit
For more on the Habs All-Time team, visit

The Montreal Canadiens' Top 10 Prospects

Since the hockey world is at as big a crawl as it has been all summer right now, I believe that the time is right to issue out what I believe to be the TOP 10 Habs prospects list.

*left off of the following list will be young prospects Sergei Kostitsyn, Carey Price, and Jaroslav Halak, due to the fact that they are virtually guaranteed roster spots next season.

Honorable Mention: D Shawn Belle, F Matt D'Agostini, D Mathieu Carle, D Yannick Weber.

10. James Wyman: 6-2, 192lbs. RW.

A league coach had this to say about Wyman: “Wyman has the ability to single handedly change the game in one shift. He is very explosive and is a pure goal scorer. He has a tremendous first three strides, has nice hands, and a quick release. He will have to develop his play in the last 100 feet to make himself a more complete player.” Wyman turned heads at last month's Canadiens prospect development camp, being one of the standout players, along with another player who will feature VERY highly on this list...

9. Alexei Yemelin: 6-1, 191lbs. D.

An aggressively physical stay at home defenseman, with a strong shot from the point and above average skating. He will need to bulk up to fill out his frame, improve his offensive production, and cut down on penalties. He's known to Hit and annoy the opposition. The major problem with Yemelin seems to be getting him past a contractual clause with his team in Togliatti, Russia, to get him over here, playing in the AHL and learning the North American style. At 22, he's losing valuable development time.

8. P.K. Subban: 5-11, 200lbs. D.

Subban had a great year for the Belleville Bulls, tallying 15 goals and 41 helpers in 68 games. Despite his natural charisma and genuine love of the fans, the knocks are out on Subban's game, and they are all directed where it hurts the most for a defenseman; his defense. Subban is known to stray away from a solid defensive position in order to get involved in a rush. He is a point-seeking, trigger-happy defenseman, and scouts have taken notice. Subban will need to explode at the upcoming WJC in December, as, likely now without Karl Alzner and Drew Doughty, Subban, who was a 7th d in last year's tourney, will become a leader. Maybe a conversion from D to F is in the cards for Subban, a la Dustin Byfuglien of Chicago, or even Mark Streit, then of Montreal, now of NYI?

7. Ben Maxwell: 6-1, 177lbs. C.

Maxwell had a great, albeit injury-plagued season with Kootenay last year. The centerman was able to tally 19 goals and 53 points in 39 games. A recurring elbow injury came back to haunt him and he was subsequently cut from the WJC roster. The injury sidelined him for quite a while, but Maxwell has apparently fought through it nicely and is ready to challenge for a spot with the big-club come training camp, as are all of these players on this list of course. Maxwell is in stiff competition at his position, however...

6. Pavel Valentenko: 6-2, 218lbs. D

Pavel was the "most improved player" for Hamilton this past season, according to Head Scout Trevor Timmons. He registered a 102 mp/h blast at Hamilton's skills competiton. Valentenko brings size and slap-shooting ability to any club he plays for, and if he can work a little more on his speed and all-around game, Valentenko could definitely be knocking on the big-club's door.

5. Danny Kristo: 5-11, 172lbs. RW.

Kristo, Montreal's 2008 2nd round choice and first pick overall, made a quick impression at the development camp. According to some bloggers who were able to take in some of the sights there, Kristo, along with Max Pacioretty, stood out from the pack. Kristo has great speed and wicked hands, but the knock on him is his size. Kristo will need to bulk up and spend a couple of seasons in Hamilton, but the potential is there for him to eventually be a top 6 NHL forward.

4. David Fischer: 6-3, 185lbs. D.

The tall defenseman skates strongly with a wide base. He does not rush the puck up the ice often, but he can hit the breakout pass and rarely makes a mental mistake. Fischer often stepped up to a position on the half-board for power plays and did not seem out of place fore checking and handling the puck as a forward. Fischer's strength is that he plays a steady game and makes the players around him better. Fischer is developing a little slower than initially expected, but is still making progress. He is still a project, as he remains undersized in mass for his massive 6-3 frame at 185.

3. Ryan McDonaugh: 6-1, 200lbs. D.

This guy can be the all-around D the Habs are looking for. McDonagh is not a flashy end-to-end player, but does just about everything well. He has good size, is a solid skater, and makes the right decisions with the puck. He’s very strong one-on-one, but will need to adjust to the quickness he’ll experience at higher levels of play. He can play in all situations and eat up a lot of ice time. He had 33 points in 23 games last year.

2. Kyle Chipchura: 6-2, 205lbs. C.

It seems Kyle's place is being penciled into the Habs lineup already, but that depends on one thing: Mats Sundin. Chipchura has been grinding it out in the AHL after a breif stint with Montreal. Early last season, Chipchura got the start with the Habs, but was demoted to the AHL shortly afterward to improve on his faceoff skills. Maxim Lapierre was then recalled and was able to stick with the club en route to capturing the Eastern Conference crown. Kyle is already considered as a possible future captain for the Habs, as he has innate leadership skills. He plays an already NHL-ready two-way game, and is very reliable in the defensive zone. Look for Chipchura to start with Montreal should they not sign Sundin.

1. Max Pacioretty: 6-2, 203lbs. LW.

Max Pac. Many believe Max can steal a roster spot with Montreal come training camp, and if his performance at the development camp is any indication, he sure as hell can. He dazzled fans with a great display of speed and, more-so, skill, putting on a great display of shooting. He is a great power forward with an above average skill set. "He's a good skater with quick feet. He handles the puck very well, has a good shot and has a quick release. Has the size and tenacity to be a force on the ice, just needs to learn when and where to apply it with consistency." He was named to the USHL all-rookie team, and wound up being named Rookie of the Year. Max Pacioretty: get used to the name.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back In Business At HabsHockeyTalkey!

Ladies, gentlemen: Rest assured; I'm back!

The Tremblant week was something I'll never forget, but unfortunately, shortly after I returned, my computer gave me a CRAZY amount of problems, so much so that first my internet didn't work, and then it degreaded to the point where my PC never loaded past the WELCOME screen and I had to format all the hard drives....bigtime downer.

But, a good friend of mine who goes by the name of Pitoux got me back in business, and here I am right now in the wee-hours of Wednesday morning, letting you know that I am back and ready to go.

Luckily, nothing major went down in the hockey world in my absence, but here's a recap of what did.

Isles named Scott Gordon as new coach, edging out fellow candidates Paul Maurice and Bob Hartley. Teppo Numminen re-upped one-year with Buffalo, the Kings signed Drew Doughty to a 3-year entry deal, Sharks re-signed RFA Ryan Clowe, Jeff O'neill will tryout for Carolina at training camp; as will Petr Nedved for NYR, and Montreal added 26 year old depth d-man Chad Anderson, who is from (take a guess...) Minnesota.

Speaking of the Habs, coming up within the week, I will put out a top 10 list of the Habs prospects, with a little bit to say about each one of them...stay tuned for that!

WE WANT MATS!!! (do we still?) (I do.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Habs Hockey Talkey Down For The Week

Ladies and gentlemen, loyal readers and newcomers -

This is to inform you that I will be on vacation for 5 days, Monday to Friday, therefore there will be no updates to the site until at least Friday night, but more likely until Saturday.

See you in a few!

P.S. The latest quick rumours:

-Parrish coveted by NYI, Van, and LA.
-Rangers want to make room for Sundin...Sundin expressed interest in playing for one team in particular before all of this started: NYR. This could happen...
-Teams inquiring about Marian Gaborik. Rumoured to include Pittsburgh and Washington.
-Afinogenov being shopped.
-Kings, Hawks may be working on Khabibulin deal.
-Preds, Lightning talking defenseman-for-forward deal.

Have a good week everyone, I'm off to Tremblant!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quick Hit Updates

Haven't really had much time to post as I've been in a mini party-mode these last few days, so here's what went down.

-Antonine Vermette was re-signed to a 2 year contract by the Senators, slowing the pace of the rumours sending Vermette to the Canucks.

-Pascal Leclaire re-upped in Columbus, signing a 3-year, $11.4 million deal that will increase in pay with each progressing year.

-Living legend and former coach Scotty Bowman has accepted to become the senior advisor to hockey operations in Chicago. Bowman, 75, joins son Stan (names after the Stanley Cup) in Chi-town. Stan is the assistant GM to hockey operations.

-Jaroslav Modry became the latest NHLer to pack up and head over to Europe. The 37 year old former Flyers defenseman signed a 2-year deal with HC Liberec of the Czech League, likely putting an end to his NHL career. He also played for that same team during the [*shiver*] lockout year [*harder shiver*].

-Finally, Steve Tambellini was named GM of the Edmonton Oilers today, and former GM Kevin Lowe was promoted to the role of President of Hockey Operations for Rexall Sports.

That's your Habshockeytalkey update, I'm Sal Amato. (God I love that radio stuff.)