Canadiens dangling Eller, Emelin, while Jets search for winger

Lars Eller

The Montreal Canadiens suffered a 4-3 overtime loss at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night and remain in a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But things aren’t as good as they seem in Montreal. At 5-on-5, Montreal has the 21st worst Corsi For percentage, even behind teams like Carolina, Ottawa and Florida in the rankings. Montreal has been largely buoyed by the play of netminder Carey Price, who has been nothing short of outstanding this season. As they head towards the playoffs, however, the Canadiens are looking to improve. Read more

Former NHLer Steve Thomas’ son, Christian, scores his first NHL goal

Christian Thomas (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

In nearly two decades as an NHLer, Steve Thomas played 1,235 regular-season games and scored 421 goals. And, more than a decade after he retired from competition in 2003-04, his son, Christian, scored his first NHL goal Thursday night as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Twenty-two-year-old Christian Thomas, who’d been held off the scoresheet in his first 14 career NHL games – all but one of which have come with the Habs; the other came with the New York Rangers, who drafted him 40th overall in 2010 – finally broke through late in the first period of Montreal’s home game against the Edmonton Oilers. After picking up a loose puck that had ricocheted back into Edmonton’s zone, Thomas quickly fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of goalie Viktor Fasth: Read more

Outdoor game on track? Racecourse possible site for Canadiens

Jared Clinton
Carey Price at the Heritage Classic (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL has played in baseball stadiums and on football fields, but if the Montreal Canadiens get their wish and host an outdoor game, it could take place at a racetrack.

According to Guillaume Lefrancois of LaPresse, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson is working hard to secure an outdoor game. In order to do so, however, Molson will need to find a suitable venue for the spectacle. While some of the ideas make more sense – the CFL or MLS stadiums, for example – the most intriguing concepts involve hosting the event at the Montreal Hippodrome or Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Read more

Alexei Emelin crushes Chris VandeVelde with a big, clean hit

Jared Clinton
Alexei Emelin (Francois Lacasse/Getty Images)

Chris VandeVelde had to be sore when he woke up Wednesday morning.

Philadelphia’s VandeVelde was carrying the puck down the wing Tuesday night with Montreal’s Dale Weise giving chase. With Weise on his tail, VandeVelde lowered his head to keep his eye on the puck in order to chip it into the Canadiens zone. Someone should have told him that Montreal blueliner Alexei Emelin was charging hard, ready to light him up with a big, clean body check. Read more

10 players who retired with teams you wouldn’t expect

Mats Sundin

This season the NHL has had three very different situations play out when it comes to the retirement of notable players. Each of Daniel Alfredsson, Martin Brodeur, and Evgeni Nabokov had called it quits, but each in different ways.

Alfredsson signed a one-day free agent deal with the Senators to retire in the city that he called home for so many years, while Brodeur retired a Blue after signing a deal in St. Louis as a free agent after Brian Elliott went down with an injury.

Then there’s Nabokov. The long-time San Jose Sharks goaltender was traded back to San Jose on Monday following a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a move that will allow the 39-year-old to hang them up in the place he had the best years of his career.

Many times, however, players aren’t allowed to ride off into the sunset the way that Alfredsson and Nabokov had. So, like Brodeur, these are 10 players that have retired in cities you wouldn’t expect: Read more

Claude Ruel: The Canadiens forgotten superstar

Ken Campbell
Claude Ruel  (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens had the first pick of the 1980 draft and the top prospect, according to everyone ranging from the Central Scouting Bureau to The Hockey News, was a big center from the Regina Pats named Doug Wickenheiser.

Claude Ruel disagreed. Vehemently. Even though he had stepped in for Boom-Boom Geoffrion as the team’s coach 30 games into that season, he had seen enough of Denis Savard to know that the Montreal-born star of the Montreal Juniors, who had put up 181 points in an inferior Quebec League, was destined for NHL stardom. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Sabres’ Myers finally on the move?

Tyler Myers

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers frequently pops up in this season’s rumor mill, with the Anaheim Ducks among the clubs reportedly interested in the 6-foot-8, 219-pound blueliner. The Ducks lack depth in right-handed rearguards and there’s a perception the 25-year-old could blossom into a Zdeno Chara clone on a better team.

Recently there’s been a notable increase in speculation linking Myers and the Ducks. It began over a week ago when the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claimed Ducks GM Bob Murray had regular talks with the Sabres. On Friday, TVASports’ Renaud Lavoie claimed those talks were intensifying, telling WGR 550 the Sabres wanted a defenseman (like Cam Fowler) as part of the return for Myers. Read more