Thursday, August 27, 2009

News and Notes

Not much is happening as summer winds down in Habsland, but there have been a few stories this week that have caught my attention. Let's all keep in mind, however, that these are simply of note since there isn't much else to write about. Here are 3 stories that I thought I'd chime in on.

Habs Get Senator; No not Kovalev

On a day when Kovalev, while playing golf in Montreal, revealed that he still hopes to one day play for the Habs there was another story with a Habs-Senator connection. This one involved our last Stanley Cup winning coach and current RDS flip-flopper: Jacques Demers. Stephen Harper (Canada's Prime Minister for the international readers) appointed Demers to the Senate today along with 8 others. Jacques gladly accepted the position and will join Frank Mahovolich as the voice of the Habs on Parliament Hill. I for one am glad for Jacques as I have always quite liked the man. I'll always remember the Stanley Cup (and the McSorley stick), the RDS commentary, but most of all the courage it took for him to tell the world about his illiteracy. I think that as far as the current Habs go he is the closest thing we have to a true champion (in hockey and in life) and I think he'll do a great job in Ottawa. Whether this is a ploy by Harper to win votes in Quebec or maybe from Habs fans is irrelevant as Demers still managed to top a list that would have surely included other Quebecers. Now, we will still see him on TV (although, less than before) where he will likely be high-fiving Brunet, combing Joel Bouchard's hair and talking about 1993, so we haven't entirely lost him to the Nation's Capital quite yet.

No Big O

You can count me among the disappointed to hear that the Habs have canceled their late November game at Montreal's biggest stadium. I for one was looking forward to a night back in my favorite sports venue, watching my favorite team; I was exited at the prospect of feeling the energy of the concrete-bowl one more time. Can you imagine how loud it would be after a goal? Just think to when the Expos were drawing less than 10,000 fans to a game and it was still the loudest park in the majors. I don't know who had the genius idea to schedule the game during Alouette playoff season, but you need just ask U2 to realize that the old stadium cannot play host to two major events in one weekend. This is pretty poor planning when you think of it as the stadium is vacant 51 weeks a year and the Habs have 20+ Saturday games in a season. To me that would have been the marquee event of the centennial; better than hosting an All-Star game which no cares about, better than having the snooze-fest that is the NHL draft at the Bell Centre and even better than wearing a slightly different shirt for a meaningless game. I hope someone gets on re-scheduling this event as I think it would have been quite the memorable game. Maybe if they can't play there though they could play at Molson Stadium...I am pretty sure the Als won't be needing it.

Team (Robidas) Canada

As you may or may not know most Olympic hockey teams are having camps now or over the next little while. This will serve as the only time these players will be together before the Games themselves. I have been reading mostly about Team Canada and what I read sometimes amuses me. Yesterday the lead article on RDS was about Robidas, not about the other, better, 45 players there, no it was about the worst one, Stephane Robidas. Maybe I am missing something, as afterall I am a Quebecer too, but do people only care about players from their own province on the National Team? The article was questioning whether Robidas may be out of his league and may not make the team. MAY BE??? MAY NOT MAKE THE TEAM??? No kidding, RDS, he is out of his league, he has a hard time cracking the top-4 on a non-playoff team. They can certainly write what they want, about whom they want (as I am doing now), but please, get over yourselves. There are 46 players at this camp and believe it or not the National Team includes players from Ottawa, Toronto and beyond. I guess that article served as a reminder of what I'll have to put up with 82 times this year as I sit through 40 Lapierre, Latendresse and Laraque interviews only to be riveted yet again in the second intermission by the voices of Bruno Gervais, Jason Pominville and Daniel Briere.

All this Olympic talk has made me realize that there are no Habs on this 46-man roster. We couldn't even muster one courtesy spot, but then again who could be there? Am I the only one who thinks that the Habs not having a good Canadian player is a crime? Ya we have Price, Lapierre and Cammelleri, but come on, they are all inferior to the players that are there. Is it time the Habs found an elite Canadian player? Is that what we are missing?

Now, I'll take in one step further and present a little survey. Below is the list of the 46 players who are at the camp and from that list the 23-man roster will likely be selected. There is the chance that a player not on the list plays well enough in the first half of the season to get a spot, (or injuries may play a part) , but our team is more than likely contained within. I have had enough with Captains Canada (ie. Captains 'unable-to-ever-lead-your-team-to-the-playoffs) Doan and Smith and there are a few other relics I can do without. I have made my selections in bold and encourage you all to suggest your rosters. I didn't choose players from outside this group, but please feel free to do so if you have a player (or a few) that you feel strongly about.

Forwards (13 of 25)

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers
Ryan Smyth, Los Angeles Kings
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Dany Heatley, Ottawa Senators
Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers
Dan Cleary, Detroit Red Wings
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues
Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers
Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres
Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Defence (7 of 16)

Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary Flames
Robyn Regehr, Calgary Flames
Dion Phaneuf, Calgary Flames
Francois Beauchemin,Toronto Maple Leafs
Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Dan Hamhuis, Nashville Predators
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Stephane Robidas, Dallas Stars
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
Marc Staal, New York Rangers
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Goaltenders (3 of 5)

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

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