Tag Archives: Mats Sundin

No big trade coming for the Habs

First it was Mats Sundin. Then Marian Hossa. The Sundin again. Then Marian Gaborik, followed by Ilya Kovalchuk. Now, it’s Vincent Lecavalier. Alexander Ovechkin and Jay Bouwmeester were also mentioned in there somewhere.

These are the players that the Montreal Canadiens have supposedly been after in the past year. Of course, none of them are currently dressing for the Habs and are not likely to in the near future.

But the above list goes to show how foolish the media and the fans are. They consistently come up with these ideas for the next superstar player to play for the Canadiens.

Never mind that the Habs are 8-2 in their last 10, despite having many injuries. Apparently, the team needs to be better.

This is why any of these trades don’t make sense.

Montreal will have a slew of free agents this summer. Not all of them will be back. So general manager Bob Gainey needs to make sure the team has a good young talent pool to choose from. Trading away said talent pool means more trouble for the team in the future.

Lecavalier will be making a lot of money, with a no-trade clause to boot, in the next seven years. Does Montreal want or need to have a large portion of their salary cap tied up in one player? No.

Montreal doesn’t have any trouble scoring. They have three good offensive lines as it is. Their pressing need is not more goals. So why try a bunch of players for someone who can put the puck in the net?

If anything, when the trade deadline has come and gone, Montreal will be after acquiring a couple of third and fourth line players (or maybe an extra defenceman) who can help in the playoffs and who have been there before. Maybe a Keith Tkachuk, or Bill Guerin. But they probably won’t make a trade for a big name player that will cost them a lot in youth and draft picks.

It’s just not worth it.

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Year in review 2008

Way back on April 3, this blog was born.

My first post was indicitive of what was to come for the rest of the year. It was aptly titled “Habs rule and Sens suck.” Nine months later, and you could still say the same thing.

In that time, I’ve had 12,028 people read my blog, 308 posts (not including this one) and 385 comments. I’ve also had 796 spam comments, so at least I’m popular amongst spammers.

Anyways, with today being a good day to look back on 2008, I thought it would be interesting to share what you all thought were my top posts, judging by how many hits it got.

#10: Tie- Photos of Cleary, June 5 (91 hits) and Hockey theme song gone?, June 5 (91 hits)

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

Coincidentally, the two posts tied for 10th were also written on the same day. The first were a few photos of Daniel Cleary hoisting the Stanley Cup (the first Newfie to ever win the Cup), and the second was about Hockey Night in Canada not renewing the contract for the traditional HNIC theme song.

Favourite line: “In three years time, most people will know the new theme by heart, and forget there was an old one.”

#9: Child porn is not art, May 28 (114 hits)

Cate Blanchett came out in support of Bill Henson, a guy who took nude photos of 12- and 13-year-olds and passed them off as art.

Favourite line: “The problem with this is that when someone else takes real child pornography photos, they might then be able to hide behind the “art” defence.”

#8: Rotten Neighbours, August 12 (149 hits)

All about a website where you can post comments about your neighbours, either good or bad.

Favourite line: “I think it’s a good website, but does have to be taken with a grain of salt.”

#7: The NHL’s best fans are…?, August 29 (166 hits)montreal

A guy in Minnesota used statistics to prove what we already know: that the Montreal Canadiens have the best fans in the league.

Favourite line: “The passion for the Habs is something most other NHL fans can only dream of.”

#6: The best of both worlds, April 3 (194 hits)

One of my first blog posts, it had to do with a census Canada story that there are more mixed marriages than ever before. It hit close to home, as I am in a mixed marriage, as are most of my friends.

Favourite line: “I learn about her culture, and she learns about mine.”

#5: Sundin to Montreal?, June 4 (197 hits)

http://www.thehockeynews.com/imgs/dynamique/photos/original/article_16813_2.jpg

I wrote this way back when the Montreal Canadiens were thinking of getting Mats Sundin. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one curious. Lots of debate, but the summer turned into the hockey season, it became obvious he wasn’t going to Montreal.

Favourite line: “Would I be heartbroken if Montreal didn’t get him? Of course not. Montreal has done the past few years by drafting smart and building around youth.”

#4: Nude pictures, December 5 (219 hits)

This blog post was about a couple of cheerleaders who took nude photos of themselves and sent them to their boyfriends, who in turn sent them to the rest of the school. The girls were suspended, so the parents decided to sue the school for some weird reason.

Favourite line: “By suing, the parents are actually bringing more attention onto their kids.”

#3: NHL rule changes, June 19 (223 hits)

It shouldn't take more than two minutes to decide if the referee was right in his call.

Just some general thoughts on NHL rule changes the NHL was making. It didn’t start getting me hits until the season began, but then it took off.

Favourite line: “This is a good new rule that could increase scoring, and might have to change coaching strategy.”

#2: Don’t have overdue books, Aug. 22 (370 hits)

This one surprised me. I had no idea what to blog about, and finally settled on a story about a woman who was arrested for not returning library books. But apparently, a lot of people were interested in this. It gave me my busiest day on the blog, as 183 people came to visit. I had no clue that so many people cared about this story, but there it was.

Favourite line: “She had to spend $30 for the overdue books, but her mom had to spend $172 to get her out of jail.”

#1: Kidney stones, Aug. 15 (406 hits)

My kidney stone

My kidney stone

Apparently, my post of what it felt like to have a kidney stone has touched a lot of people. It never dominated any day for statistics, but every day it seems like I get one or two hits for people looking for kidney stone information.

Favourite line: “I’m not too sure how many of you noticed, but since about a month ago, I’m two millimetres lighter.”

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Push the panic button! Quick!

The Habs haven’t played too well lately. It’s time to blow up this team and start over.

The Montreal Canadiens have a record on 9-4-2. That is dispicible. How dare they not have a record of 15-0-0. Especially in their Centennial year.

And they lost to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. I mean, just because they won 12 straight games over the Bruins before that is no matter. Obviously, the Bruins are a much better team than the Habs.

And they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs! Just because the Habs defeated both the Bruins and the Leafs earlier in the season doesn’t count.

It’s time to trade everyone away and start over. We should trade for Marian Gaborik and Ilya Kovalchuk, and sign Mats Sundin. And see if we can’t convince Calgary to send Dion Phaneuf our way as well.

We need to hurry. There’s no time to waste. The playoffs will be here in five months. Move it, move it, move it.

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Toronto Maple Leafs preview

Whoever said patience is a virtue must have been a Leafs fan.

Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs have been waiting for 41 years for the team to win the Stanley Cup again. They’ve sat through the Harold Ballard years. They were patient during the early part of this decade, always believing they had a shot at the Cup.

The next few years will be the true test of their patience. This is a team that isn’t very good, and won’t win many hockey games. Fans need to realize this, and let Toronto build the team over time the same way Pittsburgh did.

Forwards: One of the smartest things Mats Sundin did was decide not to come back to the Leafs. Okay, so there’s a chance he still may do so, but one look at the team roster and he would quickly decide that he may be better off playing in Atlanta or Los Angeles.

Toronto is the kind of team that an opponent can rest their checking line against. There’s just no one here that scares another team into making sure someone is shadowed at all times. Jason Blake is the only true goalscorer, but he’s only scored more than 30 goals once in his career. He had a disappointing 15 last season. That’s just not going to cut it.

At least their young players will be able to get lots of ice time. Guys like Jiri Tlusty, Mikhail Grabovski, Dominic Moore and Alexander Steen will be given every opportunity to succeed. But without a leader upfront, they’ll have no one to teach them anything.

Defence: On the bright side, Bryan McCabe and his defensive gaffes are gone. But so is his booming shot and the amount of ice time he eats up each game. Sadly, there is no one to replace him.

Tomas Kaberle will be the new leader of the Leafs blueline. He’ll have Pavel Kubina, Jeff Finger and Carlo Colaiacovo backing him up. Except for Kaberle, the minutes should be distributed more evenly amongst the rest of the defencemen. That’s not saying much, but it’s all they’ve got.

Goaltending: No more goaltending controversy. There was always an argument, who was worse: Andrew Raycroft or Vesa Toskala. Now, Raycroft is in Colorado, and Toskala has the number one job all to himself.

Toskala and Raycroft were both wrongly blamed for the team’s woes. They are good goalies, but the team was lost on the ice, behind the bench and in the general manager’s position. That is changing, and Toskala will benefit from it.

On the flip side, former Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph is now known as current Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph. He signed a one-year deal to be the backup, but watch for controversy when Toskala loses a few games in a row, or if Joseph gets off to a fast start.

Pool picks: Tomas Kaberle is a good draft pick to have for your pool. Jason Blake may be worth a late-round pick on. Stay away from: Nik Antropov. He plays well when he’s on a line with Mats Sundin. How will he fare now that Sundin is gone from the team?

Miscellaneous: The new coach, Ron Wilson, already seems to be fed up with the media in Toronto, and the regular season hasn’t started yet. How’s he going to act when this team loses seven games in a row and the media is calling for his head? He’s a good coach, but he hasn’t been given much to work with. Still, he needs to make sure his problems with the media doesn’t carry onto the ice.

Expected finish: Fifth in the Northeast division, 14th in the Eastern conference

Overall: For years, the Leafs have screwed up their future by trading away young players/draft picks for overaged players. The future is now, and the Leafs have no one to take over the reins. If the fans stay patient, this is a team that can turn things around, but it will take a few years.

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Montreal Canadiens preview

The Habs had a great year last year, surprising a lot of people by finishing first in the Eastern conference last season.

They won’t do it again.

Part of their success was because of their domination of the Bruins in the regular season, where the Habs had eight wins and no losses against Boston. That won’t happen again, and that means they’ll fall a couple of spots in the standings. But they’ll still make the playoffs easily, and their success will be measured in the postseason.

Forwards: The Habs probably have the deepest lineup in the league. They can roll three lines that always have a chance of scoring, and a fourth line that can bang.

Alexei Kovalev will try to lead this team again with his play. Saku Koivu will lead this team with his heart.

Alex Tanguay and Robert Lang were brought in through trades. They will help this team stay as the top powerplay in the league for the third year in a row.

Their youth will be expected to continue their progression,

Probably their best pickup this offseason was Georges Laraque. He’ll give the Habs the grit they need, and will take on the fighting duties so some of their other key players won’t have to.

Defence: An underrated defence. They have a powerplay point guy in Andrei Markov, a defensive guy in Roman Hamrlik and the league’s best shot blocker/checker for defencemen last season in Mike Komisarek. They also have youth guys in Josh Gorges and Francis Bouillon. They’ll be find on the back end for years to come.

Goaltending: Carey Price is the guy in Montreal. He needs to make sure whatever happened to him in the playoffs last year does not happen again. But then again, the guy is 21 years old. There’s a lot of pressure on him to lead this team to victory, but the Habsneed to make sure he’s protected and not let the pressure ruin his future, as have happened with many goalies who played in Montreal.

Also the media need to come up withsome new cliches instead of just using “The Price is Right” or “Price-less” all the time. Why not be creative with his first name? Something like “Price Careys team to playoffs” or something amongst those lines.

Pool picks: Look for Alex Tanguay and Robert Lang to improve on their point totals. Tanguay because he’s not on a purely defensive team anymore, and Lang because he’ll have better linemates and a better opportunity to get points then he had in Chicago. Stay away from: Saku Koivu. He doesn’t have to worry about getting points, and can focus more on defensive hockey. He’ll be a leader in other ways.

Miscellaneous: Mats Sundin who? The Habs were smart to try and sign Sundin in the offseason, and were even smarter when they realized he wouldn’t be making a decision anytime soon, so they moved on. If Sundin decides to come back halfway through the season, the Canadiens can make a trade if they sign him (Chris Higgins would net a good draft pick or two). But for now, they don’t need him.

It’s also the 100th anniversary of the team, so they’ll be doing everything they can to be competitive, and to honour their past.

Expected finish: Second in the Northeast division, fourth in the Eastern conference

Overall:This may be the only chance the Habs have to win the Stanley Cup. Ten of their regular players will be unrestricted free agents after this season (Tanguay, Koivu, Kovalev, Lang, Begin, Kostopoulos, Bouillon, Dandenault, Komisarek and Brisebois). Another four will be restricted free agents (Higgins, Plekanec, Chipchura and Latendresse). That’s going to lead to a lot of players leaving this team next summer, just because they won’t be able to keep all those players, and the younger ones will be getting pay raises.

But until then, this is a team that will compete for the Stanley Cup.

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No hall of fame for Mats?

I know I wasn’t going to post anything else about Mats Sundin and the potential signing with the Montreal Canadiens until he made a decision, but The Hockey News has an interesting column posted.

Brian Costello has the top 10 reasons why Sundin shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. The more I read the list, the more I have to agree.

He’s never won the cup. Never won a major award. Never been the best at his position. Is barely a point a game player.

You can read the full list here.

Sundin is perceived to be a better player than he is because of the fact he plays with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Canadian media gives him lots of coverage. It was the same for Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour. The media talk about their hearts and courage and leadership, but that isn’t enough to get a player into the hall.

Do I think he’ll get in? Yes. Does he deserve to be there? I have more doubts now than what I did yesterday, thanks to the article.

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Brett Favre

Brett Favre.

This guy is worse than Mats Sundin.

He retires, doesn’t want to retire, wants to start, wants to be traded, willing to be backup, etc. He is way too indecisive.

The worse is the fact that he considered taking $20 million to stay retired. Could you imagine that conversation?

Brett: I want to come back.

Packers: But you’re retired.

Brett: Doesn’t matter. I love the game too much.

Packers: But it will screw up our plans for future.

Brett: I made a mistake. I don’t want to retire. I want to play. I love the feeling of being in front of a crowd, thrilling everyone with my on-field exploits. It’s the greatest feeling in the world, and I was wrong to give it up.

Packers: We’ll give you $20 million.

Brett: Well, I never really loved the game that much. Let me get back to you.

He decided not to take the money, and will be showing up to training camp. Mats Sundin pulls this stuff every few years. With Farve, it’s every single year. It’s tiring. I don’t need to watch it unfold. Let Aaron Rodgers start, and keep starting him. Farve can take mop-up duty if he wants it.

Just let it end already.

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More on Sundin

Apparently, Mats Sundin is not interested in money, or interested in Stanley Cups. That’s what Ken Campbell of The Hockey News writes (read it here).

So that means Sundin will want to go back to the Toronto Maple Leafs. My big question is why? Campbell makes a lot of big assumptions in his article: If Sundin doesn’t retire, if Sundin doesn’t want money, if Sundin doesn’t want a Cup, etc.

At this point, let’s create a wordwide ban on Sundin until he decides what he wants to do.

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NHL schedule

Sorry for not posting much yesterday. The details will come in a future blog posting when I have more time to share my story.

In the meantime, the NHL has released its schedule (see the full schedule here). Not sure if Habs fans will have to wait for Oct. 10 to see Mats Sundin play his first game in a Habs uniform, or Feb. 15, when the Canadiens visit the Vancouver Canucks to play against Mats.

Another important game will be on Feb. 24, when the Ottawa Senators play the Carolina Hurricanes. That will be the day when the Sens are mathamatically eliminated from the playoffs.

My favourite game will be the one next June, when the Habs clinch the Stanley Cup. No word on the opponent at this time.

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Sundin to Montreal?

There’s been a rumour that Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin may be on his to Montreal.

Not sure how accurate the report is, considering the Habs can’t talk to him until he becomes a free agent on July 1, so Sundin may have no interest in going to Montreal. Plus, the media and fans are the same as Toronto, so Sundin may want to be like Scott Niedermayer and decide to go to a team where he won’t be recognized once he leaves the arena.

But Sundin in Montreal would be a good fit. It would give Montreal a good first-line centre, and allow Saku Koivu to move down to either the second line, or have one of the two be a winger. Sundin has always played with a lot of heart, and could be that extra push they need when it comes to the playoffs.

Would I be heartbroken if Montreal didn’t get him? Of course not. Montreal has done the past few years by drafting smart and building around youth. If they did sign Sundin, they would need to make sure it’s not at the expense of their younger players.

Sundin has played great on a bad team for years. How might he do with some good teammates for once?

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