We Are Not In Montreal Anymore Toto …

It’s a strange feeling.


For the past ‘what seems like ever’ – the city of Montreal has not had very many grey areas when it comes to Le Club de Hockey Canadien. Or – as they have become know; the eHabs …. ( as in commerce ).

In the media, in the streets, in the pubs and in living rooms all across the world, it has either been ranting over the fact they are good or ( more times than the latter) very, very bad …

Suddenly, it is calm in Montreal. No one really knows what to do. No one really understands this club that takes to la glace these days. They (the team) are looking for an identity. The fans are looking also. What team do they cheer for? Who are these guys that take our money?

Is it the team which appeared almost too easily to beat the New Jersey Devils? A squad which is first in the Eastern Conference. Or – is it the silly bunch of skaters who appeared like deer in the headlights when those noted champions – The Toronto Maple Leafs arrived at Le Centre Bell for what turned into a game of shinny …?


Marc Bergevin don’t know. Michel Therrien don’t know. The dude who waved hello to Eddy Palchak for sixteen years every morning on his way to work don’t know. They are a team which seem sound. For now …

Something will happen.

What? A betting man who loves the underdog won’t bet on the team winning a Stanley Cup nor will the same man’s hooker girlfriend allow him to bet the other way. An implosion is due. An explosion imminent.

Will the eHabs skate out against The Mighty Bruins and spank the Bostonian’s monkeys with goals and fists? Perhaps the destruction will take place as Michel ( aka Rodney Dangerfield) Therrien loses control of his ‘I have a second chance demeanor’ and tosses P.K Subban into the penalty box with his non – ringed hands. Any hockey man knows a Therrien meltdown is coming. It’s a matter of time.


Will it be just as the eHabs discover themselves on the crease of victory or will it be just before Tomas Kaberle flings a four million dollar water bottle at Madame Therrien’s son’s French Canadian head? Pressing questions for serious Montreal hockey questions.

The eHabs will find out who they are. The fans will find out as well. Therrien?

Guy Carbonneau can let him in on things once the eHabs stop playing hockey in 2013.

With or without a Stanley Cup ring blocking  his ears …



Molson in Meetings – Roy Out?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or something like that …

According to a source, Montreal Canadiens’ owner Geoff Molson has spent almost the entire past two weeks behind closed doors.

High – security type stuff.

One man is conspicuous with his absence. That man’s name is Patrick Roy.

According to someone whose job allows a view of such comings and goings …Roy of Rempart fame has visited the least amount of times compared to other coaching camdidates. What does that mean?

Depending on a person’s passion, rational thinking and the amount of beers digested after dinner – Roy’s resting in Ste. Foy could dIctate a number of possibilities …

Molson and newly- appointed G.M. Bergevin, may have hired their coach a while ago. These ‘cloak and hockey stick’ meetings – an opportunity to solve different issues. Small matters such as what train to place Scott Gomez on, how to keep Grigorenko away from future KHL visitors and Carey Price far as possible from buckin’ broncos …

For argument’s sake, if Patrick or anyone else has been hired as the Habs’ new leader; why allow a distraction when important issues such as draft day approaches. Especially if their man is Roy. The phone would be ringing more often in Molson and Bergevin’s office than a pleasant pizza joint with a half- priced pepperoni pizza on sale.

Who needs that when Rene Bourque is AWOL and Tomas Kaberle added an offspring to the world who just may grow into another … well, Kaberle!

L’absence de Roy could also imply the team is still looking for the perfect candidate to raise the team to new heights. Although, no candidates have passed before Molson in person for at least a week.

Could Bergevin and Molson be smarter than your average Belarusian brother? Are they speaking to their new coach via Skype? Plotting strategy and making a draft plan to suit the new bosses’ needs … ?

Given the Montreal Canadiens’ recent success with a ‘tight- lipped’ mentality, a fan of the team can only hope for one thing;

Silence is golden …

Monday Q Tip

Did you rake the leaves, wash the car and feed the dog?

Perhaps you raked the dog, washed the leaves and stuffed Kibbles n’ Bits into your car’s gas tank … ?

No worries – at least you did something this past weekend. That’s more than the;

St. Louis Blues

In case all your weekend tasks kept you away from your television / computer / buddy who is a hockey fan – the L.A. Kings swept the Blues in four games. If your are keeping track of such things – the Kings have now eliminated the number one and two seeds in the Western Conference.

The Kings had just a little more experience than St. Louis and combined with the loss of Halak, this series was as anti- climatic as discovering your new girlfriend is a he and adores playing horseshoes ( not that there is anything wrong with horseshoes ).

Blues’ goalie Elliot, the keeper of the season’s best goals against average – did not play bad. On occasion – when a team requires a win, a change between the pipes shakes things up. Adorns a team’s Christmas tree a different perspective as they gander back toward the crease. St. Louis had this advantage all season with the best goalie tandem in the NHL. Unfortunately, Halak picked the worse time to be run over by his teammate and injure his lower body. The series would have been different otherwise …

A Special Birthday

Yesterday, Denis Brodeur and his wife, spent the day wondering where the years have gone. For them, forty years appears like yesterday as they sat around reminiscing and watching the Devils take a 3 – 1 commanding lead against the Flyers.

Was it really their little boy? The one who cried when he first lost a game as a net minder in Atom hockey? Was it him standing in goals yesterday as the newly – turned, forty year old, winningest goaltender in hockey history? Saving his way to yet another Devils’ win and accumulating more wins and lore to pack in his suitcase for his eventual trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame?

It sure was M. et Madame Brodeur.

For one moment, do not think his teammates are not aware of these facts and are giving that little extra.The little Devils – all the way to the big ones … are going to help anyway they can to give Martin Brodeur the best birthday present in hockey.

Lord Stanley’s Cup!

Sentimental fans, even the ones who live under the Arch in St. Louis, must all be cheering for Brodeur and nostalgia … Sorry Mr. Quick – your time will come!

Speaking of goalies …

Since that fateful morning in 1985 when Flyers’ net minder Pelle Lindbergh drove his Porsche into a wall, his former position continues to ‘ haunt ‘ Philadelphia.

Ironically, as a young lad in Sweden – Lindbergh dreamed of playing for the Flyers and skating in his idol’s steps. His hero? Bernie Parent. Pelle’s parents going so far to bring the little Lindbergh to North America to see Parent play …

Pelle’s Porsche – Curse?

The Flyers, about now – wish either Lindbergh or Parent were in goals. Bryzgalov cannot make the ‘ big save ‘ and it is deflating the Flyers’ playoff balloon. The man whose fear lies ‘ in the woods ‘, is not out of the woods. He is not playing bad. He is playing much better than he did against Pittsburgh. Sadly, he cannot channel Patrick Roy of 1986 or Pelle Lindbergh of 1995 … Ouija board anyone?

This is not your Father’s hockey league …

It used to be, players, coaches and presumably their wives – all remained with one organization for minimum ten years. Unless, of course – your name happened to be Marc Bergevin and you played defense.

Now – everyone is moving so much, a GPS is required to keep up to date in your hockey pools.

The Hawks have announced, Norm ( no relation to the t.v. Star ) Maciver, a former assistant coach in Boston and most recently director of scouting in Chicago – has been appointed the new Ass’t G.M. in Chicago …

Maciver takes Montreal G.M. Bergevin’s place who held the same positions in Chicago.

Marc? I’ll be right there ….!

Now, it is reported Bergevin – is recruiting Leafs’ director of player personnel Rick Dudley to come and be his assistant in Montreal. Dudley has been with the Leafs since 2011. Dudley was the G.M. in Atlanta before his Toronto tenure and was replaced by former Hawks’ assistant G.M Cheveldae when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. If this is the case – Dudley ( a former Buffalo Sabre ) would replace Larry Carriere ( another former Sabre ), as the assistant G.M. in Montreal.

Scotty Bowman was a coach in Montreal and the G.M. in Buffalo. He is presently a senior advisor in Chicago and his son is the G.M. Of the BlackHawks.

No news whether Denis Savard; a former BlackHawk / Habs’ player and a past coach in Chicago – is returning to Montreal or ending up in Buffalo.

Confused … ?

Go outside and get the Kibbles n’ Bits from the gas tank. Things will be more smooth after that …

Finally …

Max Pacioretty greets Zdeno Chara at the World Hockey Championships!

Can you read Max ‘s mind?

Bergevin to Habs – CHarma comes Back!

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away …

Way before Gary Bettman destroyed the notion of dynasties with his salary cap, parity- driven ideas. A time when Ilya Bryzgalov’s Father may have started the genetic fear of bears in the woods.

The Montreal Canadiens did the Chicago BlackHawks a huge favor. A singular gesture which is making it’s way back to Montreal – almost sixty years later.

Some would say, this was the first gift and sending Chris Chelios to the Windy city – the second. If this is the case, Marc Bergevin as Montreal’s new G.M. is the first payback for Montreal ‘ donating ‘ Edward CJ ‘ Eddie’ Litzenberger to Chicago in 1955.

Litzenberger began his hockey career with the Regina Pats in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League. In the beginning – his scoring prowess was evident as he led the league in scoring. He potted 44 goals in 40 games and continued his ways into the playoffs. Mr. Litzenberger led the playoffs in scoring with 14 goals in 12 games.

In 1952–53, he made his debut with the Montreal Canadiens, playing 2 games with the team before being sent to the Montreal Royals. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in the Quebec Senior Hockey League and was named to the Second All-Star Team.

‘Eddie’ played 29 games with the Canadiens in 1954 – 55. His 11 points ( 7 goals 4 assists )and potential were given to the Chicago Black Hawks.

The rest, as they say – history …

He posted 40 points in 44 games with the Black Hawks and was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy. Litzenberger was also selected for the NHL All-Star Game that year. Following three consecutive 30-goal seasons and being named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1956–57, Litzenberger was chosen to wear the ‘C’.

The gift from Saskatchewan via Montreal – the Captain of the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957–58.

Litzenberger was at the helm of a Black Hawks ship whose crew consisted of future Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote and Glenn Hall. Captain Eddie led this team to a Stanley Cup championship in 1960–61. It was the first Stanley Cup the Black Hawks had won since 1937–38. Twenty – two years!

Fast forward to the upcoming 2012 – 13 season in the National Hockey League

It will be twenty years since the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Although the team is not on the verge of bankruptcy as were the 1950’s Hawks, the 2011 – 2012 Habs left many fans bankrupt in their souls. Enter ‘ the gift ‘ Marc Bergevin.

An up and coming General Manager who learned his craft under the recent tutelage of Stan Bowman in Chicago. The son of a coach whose name Scotty brings people back to a glorious time in Montreal.

A galaxy far, far away …

The Montreal Canadiens’ New Coach? Relax!

Relax don’t do it
When you want to go to it
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
When you want to come

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

One can only hope this is the song encircling the Habs’ new G.M. as he gets acquainted to his new office in Le Centre Bell.

Aside from little things such as removing Pierre Gauthier’s signed print of the Marx Brothers from his wall, M. Bergevin must commence repairing the on-ice Canadiens de Montreal. Pronto …

Forget the off-ice stuff. For now.

Leave that to Mr. Molson – after all, he comes from a long line of superior marketers. Who else but the Molson family could get folks from Port Hope, Ontario to drink Molson Export by re-naming and bottling the same beer as Molson Canadian. A spade is a spade and a drunken Wendel Clarke fan is a drunken Wendel Clarke fan.

Bergevin may or may not have his priorities in the following order;

  1. Hire a coach
  2. Concentrate on the draft.

If the number one choice is his number one choice – presumably a logic is tossing about in his Chicago – raised, Montreal – born mind. It all depends which type of team he is envisioning in his  thoughts.

A successful squad in the NHL is basically built in three ways. A trio of options that usually lead to a parade somewhere.

  1. A balance of speed and tremendous talent on the top two lines, countered by toughness and a couple of talented fifteen goal scorers on the bottom two lines.
  2. Three lines of talent blanketed with a tough fourth line.
  3. Four lines of character with two superstars.

As for the defence …

  1. Two offensive – minded players with speed, three tough and defensive – minded defence men and two that possess a combination of both.

Goaltending …

The goalie must stop pucks at key moments in a game. The type of save that lifts his team to greater heights. There is nothing worse for a player sitting on the bench witnessing a soft goal when they are doing their best to win a close game.

A goalie’s feelings work in reverse. A soft goal more often the end result when he sees his mates not scoring when he keeps them in the game. This was part of the problem for the Canadiens in 2011 – 12.

Bergevin’s job is to understand in himself which type of team he feels can win. He must keep the pieces of the puzzle that are part of the solution and rid the current day Habs of the parts that are non – conducive to his dreams. The coach he hires must be on the same ice rink. The new guy cannot be skating in Quebec city while Bergevin and his team are practising in Brossard.

Bergevin’s Options ( according to everyone but him).

Names of possible coaches are being bandied about in Montreal as loosely as loose lips sink already  sinking CH ships.

Bergevin should consider the following if indeed some of the candidates are his candidates as well;

Marc Crawford

The last five years Crawford coached in the NHL, his teams missed the playoffs. Vancouver, L.A. and Dallas. Crawford holds a.536 winning percentage as an NHL coach in fifteen years. He won a Stanley Cup in Colorado in 1995 – 96. It must be noted – the Avalanche team that won was filled with talent. Foote, Deadmarsh, Forsberg, Sakic, Nolan, Lemieux and Patrick Roy to name a few. Jean Perron and Jacques Demers won a Stanley Cup because of Patrick Roy – they are not considered to be candidates for the current day Habs. Just saying …

Bob Hartley

Almost a mirror image of Crawford. Hartley won a Stanley Cup in Colorado with pretty much the same line-up as Crawford possessed. Again – a certain M. Patrick Roy was between the pipes. In the last six years as a coach in the NHL (Colorado and Atlanta ), Hartley’s team missed the playoffs five times. Career -wise, the Hawksbury born coach has a winning percentage of .579 and most recently coached the Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions in the Swiss league to a championship.

Alain Vigneault

Anyone who follows the Habs is aware Alain Vigneault commenced his NHL coaching career in Montreal. M. Vigneault is a good coach who possesses a good sense of humour ( he coached Maxime Lapierre ) and a career winning percentage of .581. In Montreal for three seasons and twenty games ( 1997 – 2000 ), Vigneault was learning his craft as his borderline .500 record attests. Recently, M. Vigneault was blessed with a very talented team in Vancouver. A Stanley Cup finalist last season and a somewhat surprising exit in the first round this year. Does his stint in Vancouver and his gained experience allow him a return to Montreal? There are no Sedins in Montreal. Just sayin’…

Michel Therrien

Like M. Vigneault, Therrien started his career in Montreal and parted with a .500 record. He then went to Pittsburgh where he had two winning seasons with Malkin and Crosby. The following season – again with a talented Pittsburgh team, Therrien was fired with a 27 – 25 won / lost record and Pittsburgh went on to win the Cup under Dan Byslema. Really, Therrien has no business being considered for the job … If you can’t win with Crosby and Malkin, where can you win?

Guy Carbonneau

Probably the most sane choice of the bunch. He is the only Canadiens’ coach to gain over 100 pts in the past 18 seasons in Montreal. Very popular with the fans in the city and what could be his downfall – also allegedly very popular with the clubs around Montreal as well. He is associated with Bob Gainey which is bad yet he is no longer speaking to Bob Gainey which is good if he hopes to regain the coaching job. Bergevin and Carbonneau played their youth hockey in Quebec and come from the same era. This may help Guy get the job. Sheesh – the guy won with Kovalev on the team! Credit is due …

Patrick Roy

If a vote was held tomorrow in Montreal for a new mayor – Patrick Roy would get the job and he is not even a politician …

If M. Roy did not possess a winning attitude, M. Hartley, M. Crawford and M. Perron would not be Stanley Cup winning coaches. His ego and winning attitudes are legendary and dangerous. Roy wins when he can control situations and loses when he cannot. To be named as a rookie head coach in Montreal, Bergevin must understand Roy’s intentions. Roy must commit to Montreal and not have his heart in Quebec. Roy and Bergevim must also come to a very strict understanding about who is boss and where.

As an opponent and journeyman – Bergevin is well aware of Roy’s reputation. He probably knows better than anyone in the Habs organization the real stories of Roy. The ones the Habs were not privy to. Roy’s passion is what the Habs require – Roy’s passion is what the Habs do not need right now. Good luck Marc Bergevin …

The Result?

The great thing about Bergevin being hired is the fact he has never been part of the Canadiens’ organization. He has a mind of his own that was formed outside of the madness.

M. Bergevin did not arrive in Montreal and think about taking the job without ideas in his head. These ideas were talked about in his meeting with Molson and Savard. The Habs’ brass obviously enjoyed listening to Bergevin or else the Hawks’ former assistant G.M would be walking in the Windy city right now with his wife.

He could fool everyone and bring in some guy who is not on the top of the gossip lists in Montreal.

Someone like Joel Quenneville …?

Shooting stars never stop
Even when they reach the top
Shooting stars never stop
Even when they reach the top

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Top Ten ‘ Things to Do ‘ List for Marc Bergevin

Les Canadiens de Montreal announced after many days of agonizingly slow speculation – Marc Bergevin is the new G.M of the hockey club.

Bergevin’s job will not be easy.

He grabs the reins of a franchise that need to rebuild their on – ice as well as their off – ice product. The organization has also taken many blows to their image. A fact that leaves the new G.M with plenty to do.

Thanks to some spies, here now is a copy of Marc Bergevin’s top ten things to do list;

10. Revoke Pierre Gauthier’s grandmother’s press pass.

9. Send Youppi for a makeover session. His hair colour? Top priority.

8. Elevate Bob Gainey‘s retired number a little higher to the rafters and – in turn … out of the general public’s sight lines.

7. Cancel monthly payments on Scott GomezAnthony Robbins motivational tapes.

6. Paint the exterior of the Bell Center a more friendly, ‘ welcoming ‘ shade of blue.

5. Find out how tall Brian Gionta really is …?

4. Make room in garage for the Molson beer delivery that is arriving on Monday.

3. Using Chicago connections – find out if Chris Chelios holds a grudge and if not, does he still have interest in playing?

2. Those kids that skate around just before the Habs take the ice? Call their parents and instill a 5 pm curfew.

Finally, upon seeing the work that lay before him, Marc Bergevin’s number one ‘ thing to do ‘ ?

1. Call Stan Bowman to see how far the bridge was burned behind him!

Marc Bergevin to be Announced as the Montreal Canadiens’ New G.M.

The Montreal Canadiens have hired Marc Bergevin as their new General Manager.

Marc Bergevin

The 46-year-old Bergevin arrives from the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office where he held a variety of positions for the past seven seasons. Bergevin also played for the Blackhawks, one of eight teams for which he played during a 20-year career.

Marc Bergevin spent his seventh season with the Blackhawks as Assistant General Manager after being named to the position on June 15, 2011. Bergevin has held various other positions in the organization, most recently as Director of Player Personnel.

Bergevin, a Montreal native, served as an Assistant Coach on Joel Quenneville’s staff during the 2008-09 campaign. He also spent three years on the Blackhawks scouting staff, including one as Director of Pro Scouting during the 2007-08 season.

Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the third round (59th overall) of the 1983 Entry Draft, Bergevin spent 20 seasons in the National Hockey League as a defenseman, collecting 181 points (36G, 145A) in 1,191 games with Chicago (1984-89), the New York Islanders (1989-90), Hartford Whalers (1990-92), Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-95, 2002-03), Detroit Red Wings (1995-96), St. Louis Blues (1996-2001, 2001-02), Pittsburgh Penguins (2000-01, 2002-04) and Vancouver Canucks (2003-04).

Bergevin also skated in 80 career Stanley Cup Playoffs contests with five different teams, recording nine points (3G, 6A) and 52 penalty minutes.

Bergevin and his wife, Ruth, reside in Chicago and have three children: two sons, Wes and Rhett, and a daughter, Elle.

More details to follow …

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