Great news from practice yesterday, Max Pacioretty was skating with the team. This comes less than a week after undergoing an emergency appendectomy that was supposed to keep him out for about a month. Pacioretty skating doesn’t mean he’ll be playing this weekend, but we should definitely see him earlier than initially expected. This is the same guy who, after the Chara incident left him with a broken vertebrae and concussion, was ready to play less than 2 months afterwards. Max Pacioretty IS Wolverine.
I know, we’re only two weeks in, but this team looks much better than last season’s. The new management’s motto “No Excuses” appears to really be sticking with the players. It was especially evident in Tuesday night’s loss to the Senators. Down three goals entering the third period, the Canadiens came out firing in the third. Had Craig Anderson not been spectacular, the Canadiens could have made a game of it. Bottom line is that the effort was still there in a situation where it wouldn’t have last season.
Not only does the team appear to be better, but it’s one that’s much more exciting to watch. Last year, the Habs were 16-15-10 and were shutout 5 times at home. That type of home record is unacceptable considering the price that fans pay for tickets, beer, and food. New coach Michel Therrien has made it a priority for the team to be more difficult to play at the Bell Centre, and this new focus has really shown in the team’s first 4 home games.
In other news, Canadiens fans don’t seem to know how to nickname the rookies Galchenyuk and Gallagher. Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard both of them be called “Gally”. Apparently, their teammates have started calling Gallagher “Gally” and Galchenyuk “Chuckie”.
Bravo Bergevin, Bravo
PK Subban’s holdout ended this week when he signed a 2 year / $5.75 million dollar contract. The new contract is one Bergevin can be very proud of. He banked on Subban’s itch to play and was right. I can picture Subban texting his agent right after the Habs won in O.T on Sunday and telling him to just get it done.
Rumours had surfaced last week that Bergevin wouldn’t budge on his offer of 5 million for 2 years. It was the first time since negotiations began last summer that we had heard any figures whatsoever. When I heard the offer I thought Bergevin was absolutely nuts to think Subban would agree to that low of an offer. Kudos to Bergevin, Subban eventually gave in.
The contract is a good one for a few reasons. Firstly, when it expires, Subban will still be a Restricted Free agent. The contract also expires at the same time as Gionta’s, Kaberle’s, and Markov’s, meaning that the team will have a lot of cap space if Subban deserves his big contract.
This is the second great contract that Bergevin has negotiated in his short time at the helm. This summer, he signed Pacioretty to a very cap friendly $27 million 6 year extension. It’s refreshing that the team now has a general manager that is making smart long term decisions, rather than throwing money around in an effort to save their jobs like Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier repeatedly did during their tenure.
Forwards Paul Byron, Mike Hoffman, Joel Teasdale, defenseman Josh Brook, and goaltender Carey Price all failed their medicals and are probably out until the start of the regular season.
Defenceman Joel Edmundson is listed with a day-to-day injury and might rejoin the team in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Habs forward Brendan Gallagher was absent for "family reasons" and will return to camp soon.
There's a palpable sense of excitement going into the new season. With a re-tooled team, a bunch of new players, and a new plan of action from head coach Dominique Ducharme, the Habs are looking fresh and capable.
Whether or not they'll make the Stanely Cup Finals again this season is highly debatable, but you best believe the boys will give it their best shot.
The Hurricanes' move comes as a form of revenge for when the Canadiens' general manager Marc Bergevin tendered an offer sheet to Carolina's star centre, Sebastian Aho, back in July 2019.
Bergevin seemed to have underestimated Tom Dundon and Don Waddell, the Carolina team managers, back in the day, as they chose to match Aho's offer sheet.
Unfortunately, the same didn't happen with the Hurricanes' recent offer sheet for Kotkaniemi. On August 28, 2021, the Hurricanes pulled out a $6,100,015 offer sheet for the Canadiens star player, with a $20 signing bonus, which led to the Carolina team winning one of the Habs' star players.
In an Instagram post, the Montreal Canadiens wrote "The Canadiens will not match the Hurricanes' offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Montreal will receive Carolina's 1st- and 3rd-round 2022 Draft picks as compensation."
The player shared an emotional post following the announcement, stating "It is truly hard to say goodbye to Montreal. I have experienced the best years of my life thus far in one of the world's greatest hockey cities and will always cherish the past three years." But, he went on to say that he's excited for his new journey.
It's been almost a week since the Carolina Hurricanes tendered an offer sheet to Montreal Canadiens centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi and there's a good chance that the Habs could lose their star player over a petty beef that goes back two years.
But how did we get here and why is this happening?
We've tendered an Offer Sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi 👀 https://t.co/4Mmw3n4DVr
This petty move can be traced back to July 1, 2019, when Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin tendered an offer sheet to Carolina's star centre, Sebastian Aho.
At the time, Bergevin severely underestimated his counterparts in Carolina, Tom Dundon and Don Waddell. They promptly matched Aho's offer sheet — which is now looking like it's a big discount for a player of his talents.
Bergevin also seemingly underestimated his colleague's capacity for revenge. On August 28, 2021, the Hurricanes pulled out a $6,100,015 offer sheet for the Canadiens star player, with a $20 signing bonus.
Perry, an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year, $2 million deal with the Lightning, the team he's lost against for the Stanley Cup in the last two seasons — one with the Habs at the end of June, and another as part of the Dallas Stars in 2020.
After facing off against him the last two years in the #StanleyCup Final, the @TBLightning have signed veteran forw… https://t.co/fMGCDxR910