BUFFALO – If you thought Dougie Hamilton getting traded at the draft last year was a monumental event, how would you react if P.K. Subban were moved by the Montreal Canadiens? That is not to say it will happen at the draft tomorrow, or ever, but if you’re a ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ kind of person, you’d have to think this story is getting some serious legs.
Because there’s smoke. Lots of it. Like more than there is when all the kids decide to hotbox after the prom. There has been chatter for sometime about the possibility of Subban getting dealt, and Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning did nothing to quell the wildfire when he told Matt Sekeres and Blake Price of TSN 1040 in Vancouver when asked whether he has called Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin about Subban, “Yeah. I think there’s a lot of teams that have reached out to find out what it would take to try to complete a deal of that magnitude. We’ve been one of the teams that have talked to them, but we haven’t gone down the path to make belief that’s something that’s going to be real or not.”
The last time Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price saw NHL action was Nov. 25. The next time he sees a similar level of competition, he’ll be facing off against some of the world’s top talent at the best-on-best World Cup of Hockey.
Price, 28, had a troubling 2015-16 season that saw him able to suit up for only 12 games all campaign and plagued by injuries. Before the first month of the season was through, Price had suffered his first lower-body injury of the season, and less than a week after his mid-November return, Price was back on the shelf, this time for good with what was later revealed to be an MCL sprain.
“The MCL provides support to the inside of the knee and is essential for stability and knee function,” Dr. Vincent Lacroix, the Canadiens’ head physician, said at the time Price was shelved for the year. “Acute, isolated MCL injuries are managed without surgery. Rehabilitation treatments lead to full functional recovery. The recovery process can be long in the case of an elite netminder such as Carey, due to the high demand placed on this anatomical structure by modern goaltending techniques.”
However, even with the injury, Price was named to Canada’s initial 16-man World Cup roster and Canadian GM Doug Armstrong said the team’s understanding was that Price would be healthy before the tournament began. Appearing on TSN’s That’s Hockey Tuesday, Price confirmed not only that he would be healthy, but that he already is. Read more
You may have heard by now the P.K. Subban, the star Montreal Canadiens defenseman, has a no-movement clause kicking in July 1. That clause will prevent Subban from being dealt to any team he doesn’t choose to be traded to, which means if the Montreal Canadiens want to move the 27-year-old defenseman, he’ll hold some of the power.
Because of the clause, some have speculated that Subban could be moved out of Montreal, with his slight dip in production and offensive style of play as reasons the Canadiens might be looking into a more defensive-minded blueliner to fill Subban’s spot.
While the rumor isn’t exactly dead, per se, any chance of seeing a shocking Subban trade this summer seems incredibly slim. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, speaking to TSN 690 in Montreal, there has been a Western Conference GM that kicked the tires on Subban in the past two three weeks, asking what it would take to land the blueliner. That GM was told “flat-out” by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin that Subban would not be going anywhere. Read more
Beards have become as synonymous with playoff hockey as lengthy overtimes and the Stanley Cup, but Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur thinks San Jose Sharks stars Brent Burns and Joe Thornton are going a bit too far with their facial hair.
While at the Bell Centre for the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence, ‘The Flower’ broached a number of topics from the Canadiens having a coach who can’t speak French to the heart-and-soul type player Brendan Gallagher has become in Montreal. And when talking about long playoff beards, like the grizzly look Burns and Thornton have taken on, Lafleur didn’t hold back.
“To me, to see the Sharks with the long beards, I think it’s a disgrace for hockey,” Lafleur said, via the Montreal Gazette. “I hate it. It’s not a good image for the NHL. I don’t mind a guy wearing a beard, but to his belly…enough is enough. The team’s managers should put their foot down.”
Lafleur added, laughing, that the reason the Sharks weren’t playing well was because they couldn’t see the puck through their beards. Read more
News came Wednesday that Kirk Muller turned down a one-year deal to remain an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues, and it didn’t take long for Muller to land a new gig. The Montreal Canadiens announced Thursday evening that they have brought Muller on board as an associate coach.
“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Kirk Muller, and are extremely happy about his desire to return to the Canadiens’ organization,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said in a release. “Kirk brings a great deal of experience, determination and leadership, and I have no doubt that these qualities will be essential for our coaching staff. Kirk has a thorough knowledge of the Montreal market, he enjoyed success as a player, and as captain of the Canadiens, and these assets will certainly contribute to the success of our team.”
Muller, 50, had previously spent five years as an assistant coach with the Canadiens from 2006-07 to 2010-11, coming to organization following one season as coach of the CIS’ Queen’s University Golden Gaels. Muller also spent four seasons, a total of 267 games, with the Canadiens during his 19-year NHL career. Muller was an alternate captain for the Canadiens for two seasons and one season as captain. Read more
Tuesday night was a terrible night to be a Washington Capitals fan. Wednesday will be an even worse day to be one. And the coming days, both in the short- and long-term in the off-season, will be tinged with regret and lamentations about what might have been.
This was a year when the Stanley Cup was the Capitals to lose…and they lost it. With a number of the heavyweights already out of the tournament in the first round, the Capitals came into the second round as the best team in the NHL and the prohibitive favorite. Instead, the Capitals and their fans will be left to ponder why a team with such an abundance of talent at all positions is such an abject failure in the playoffs.
There’s not yet any official word on whether or not an expansion team will be granted to Quebec City for the 2017-18 season, but NHL hockey will be played at the Videotron Centre as early as next season.
The Montreal Canadiens announced Tuesday that they will head to Quebec City on Oct. 4 for a pre-season game against the Boston Bruins. The contest will mark the second-consecutive season the Habs have hosted an exhibition game at the Quebec City arena, and the seventh such time since the 2009-10 season. It’s become a pre-season tradition for the Canadiens to head to Quebec City for at least one game of their exhibition schedule. However, that tradition could be coming to a close and the October 2016 pre-season contest could potentially be the final time the Canadiens are the home side at a game played in Quebec City.
If the NHL decides to expand to Quebec’s capital, the Videotron Centre will become the home of the new Canadian franchise and a place where the Canadiens are one of the most despised visiting teams. Read more
If center Steven Stamkos fails to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer, it’s assumed the Toronto Maple Leafs will be his destination of choice via free agency. However, he could entertain an offer from another major Canadian franchise.
In an interview with Richard Labbe of La Presse, NHL Network analyst and former Lightning GM Brian Lawton said he believes Stamkos would consider a contract proposal from the Montreal Canadiens. He suggests Stamkos’ long-time friendship with Habs star P.K. Subban could be among the factors working in Montreal’s favor.