Monday, 27 February 2012

What's in a Number: The Canadiens #57 and #25

On Trade deadline day the Canadiens traded forward Andrei Kostitsyn.  They also acquired forward Brad Staubitz off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.

In another roster move the Canadiens called up prospect Blake Geoffrion of their AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs.

Blake Geoffrion will make is Montreal Canadiens debut.  Blake Geoffrion will be the fourth generation family member to play for the Canadiens.  His great-grandfather was Howie Morenz.  His grandfather was Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion.   Blake's dad, Danny Geoffrion, also played for the Canadiens back in 1979-80.

Normally the Canadiens assign numbers to rookies, but in this case, due to Blake's rich family history with the club, Blake got to choose.  He's decided to go with #57.   Paying homage to both Morenz (#7) and Boom-Boom Geoffrion (#5). 

Blake Geoffrion will be the 5th different player to don the #57 for the Montreal Canadiens.  The last player to wear #57 was Benoit Pouliot who did it for two season as recently as 2009-2011.  Chris Murray was the first ever Habs to wear #57 back in 1994-96.

Brad Staubitz will also make his Montreal Canadiens debut.  A veteran of several seasons in the NHL, Staubitz has opted to wear #25.  No. 25 was recently worn by Mathieu Dandenault through the 2005-09 seasons.  No. 25 was worn by distinction by both Jacques Lemaire, 1967-79, and by Vincent Damphousse, 1992-99.  Don Aiken was the first ever Hab to wear #25 back in 1957-58.

Mario Perrazzino
Twitter:  @GOHABSdotCOM

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Has the next Canadiens GM been chosen? Maybe!

Today (Tuesday Feb 22, 2012)  there was an interesting back and forth tweets between @TonyMarinaro and myself @GOHABSdotCOM.

@TonyMarinaro writes ... Disappointed Habs fans do not worry. I have been told that everything will play itself out this summer. Everything.

I countered: @GOHABSdotCOM:  @TonyMarinaro does that mean #habs current regime will still be in place at the draft?

To which Tony replied: @TonyMarinaro:  @GOHABSdotCOM read between the lines.

Which now got me thinking.  Just this week Habs let it be know around the league, with days prior to the trade deadline, Travis Moen, a UFA after this season, is no longer being offered as trade bait.  

Who says?  And why?  Is it Geoff Molson calling the shots?  Gauthier? 

I doubt it's neither.  Gauthier can't be trusted like I can't be trusted next to a cookie jar.  Gauthier is responsible for the two biggest albatross in recent NHL memory in the trading for Scott Gomez and in the trading for Tomas Kaberle.  I think Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is getting a bonus for unloading Kaberle.  But that's a discussion for another day.

Was it Geoff Molson who asked that Moen be removed from the trading block?  I doubt it because Molson knows as much as evaluating NHL talent as I know about quantum physics.

So my guess is, that the incumbent GM has already be known who he wants to retain moving forward. 

And is that incumbent Pierre McGuire?  Hmmm, as recent as last week McGuire, who does daily hits on TSN990 Radio in Montreal, shared his vision of the seven pieces of piecing  winning product.  He mentions the Canadiens have four:  In Goal they are set with Carey Price.  On defense with Subban and Emelin.  Power Forward with Max Pacioretty.  Missing, are three top centres including a shut down guy.  McGuire mentions Lars Eller can become that shut down guy.  Which leaves to two top tier centres missing. (IMO, it's only through drafting and developing you can find that).  And McGuire did say " with all due respect to  Tomas Plekanec" but he's not a top 2 centre. 

We'll see come draft day when according to Tony Marinaro, this should all be play itself out.

Mario Perrazzino
Twitter: @GOHABSdotCOM

Monday, 6 February 2012

Habs poor start traced to pre-season

Pat Hickey of The Gazette explains that corporate greed made no favors for the Canadiens poor start.

Hickey: Habs suffered from busy preseason

Just this weekend I was thinking the same thing.  If you recall the Canadiens had a poor training camp record and it continued during the preseason.
I always wondered how could a team gel and work out the kinks on Power Play without Markov in the lineup, and with new faces on defense all together (Emelin, Diaz, Campoli), and how would Erik Cole fit in.

Instead, they play so many home games at the Bell Centre during preseason because they can.  The players aren't paid during pre-season, and 15,000 people flock to the Bell Centre regardless.  Easy money right?

Sure.  But short sighted because their poor start of the start of the season compromised their entire season and now they won't be generating any revenues during the playoffs (each home game brings in $1.5M-$2M of revenues) because most likely, they won't make the playoffs this season.

A few facts about Habs' preseason schedule. Canadiens played 8 pre-season games of which 6 were designated home games (they played 5 at Bell Centre and 1 in Halifax).  And they played two road games (Ottawa and Quebec City).  The 5 home games, fans and season-ticket holders were charged for the games at regular season prices (season and mini-season ticket holders were forced to buy these tickets as part of their package).  Oh yes why the disproportion home vs road during preseason?   Well the Canadiens entice visiting teams to play at the Bell Centre paying for their trip and accommodation.  Otherwise some of these visiting teams would be playing in front of crowds of less than 5,000 in their own rinks during the preseason.  Having the games at the Bell Centre, Habs get to keep the gate revenue and this revenue helps pay for revenue sharing. 

Incidentally, the Canadiens record during the preseason this past season? 1-6-1.  They have yet to recover since.

Mario Perrazzino
Twitter:  @GOHABSdotCOM