Have you noticed a theme in the photos accompanying the series of three articles featuring the thoughts of Brian Wilde? It’s not normally the image of a guy that we see at the Bell Sports Complex or the one presenting the sports report on our televisions. It’s summer which means it’s a relaxed time for fans, writers in the new media and even familiar-faced journalists.

But even though we are all a little more laid back, and dress differently, raise the topic of the Montreal Canadiens and our senses once again become keen. In the concluding portion of the interview with Brian conducted by Iain Carnegie, you will hear that concerning the Habs, Wilde’s opinions are sharp, passionate and direct. For media who cover the Canadiens and supporters who follow them, there is no offseason.

Written by Iain Carnegie, AllHabs.net

MONTREAL, QC — After some deep discussion regarding the forward lines, the defensive corps, and the prospects that are in the pipeline of the Canadiens organization, I decided to get Brian’s thoughts on two of the key young players held by the franchise.

It’s one thing to bring in existing talent from around the league (such as Erik Cole), but it’s entirely something else to groom players from the farm, nurture them, coach them, and turn them into franchise players.

Such is the case with two young superstars that wear the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.

Both Carey Price and P.K. Subban will become restricted free agents (RFA) at the end of this season, and I wanted to get Brian’s take on how far the Habs franchise should go to ensure that they both stay with the team well into the future. There was great discussion around the maturity of Price as he’s grown from a kid to a man. The most clear evidence of this is the fact that he’s seen all types of adversity and stood up to it every step of the way.

I, for one, was not on the Price train a year ago when Gauthier decided to fore-go re-signing Jaroslav Halak, but instead opted to put his faith in the young goalie. I’ve happily eaten crow over the past 12 months when it came to my opinion on that deal, as Price has shown not only skill, but character inside and outside of the blue paint.

As you’ll hear in the audio segment in the player below, Brian Wilde feels very strongly about the signing of this young star. He clearly has faith in Price being the number one goaltender for the franchise for a very long time, and questions why anyone would want to put that to the test after what we’ve witnessed in his growth over the past two years.

I had a real genuine laugh when Brian spoke about Subban and his chances of becoming a Norris trophy winner – if Nicklas Lidström decides to retire in the next 15 years! The style, talent and charisma of PK clearly rings true with Brian, and he feels as I do, that this champion should remain a franchise player for the Montreal Canadiens.

When I listen back over the past 60 minutes that I spent with Brian, there is one thing that clearly rings true for me. He has a belief in the intangibles of any given roster within the NHL, and feels that the Canadiens franchise stands out in this category.

As we wound to a close we discussed the cap era of the NHL, and how that makes differentials between teams throughout the league. There is something deeper than just skill sets on the ice. Brian made that point quite eloquently when he discussed the Washington Capitals from last seasons playoffs. Here was a team with plenty of skill that lacked the character of a championship team. A team that just “laid it down” after their first round victory because they were quite proud of themselves. It proved once again that it takes more than talent to win a Stanley Cup.

The future of the Montreal Canadiens looks very bright. Yes, there are things like health of the roster that can’t be taken out of the equation. But both Brian and I feel that given a healthy roster, and the return of Scott Gomez to the skill set that he can achieve, La Flanelle can go deep into the playoffs this coming season — deep enough to possibly bring the Cup back home to Montreal.

It was a true pleasure having this opportunity to listen in on Brian’s thoughts about the team – past, present, and future. He has such depth and experience, and I’ll forever be impressed with the passion that he exudes when he speaks about the sport and franchise which he loves. I hope that you too enjoyed this experience, and I’m looking forward to some great hockey discussions with each and every one of you throughout this coming season!

You’ll find today’s audio segment labelled “BW6” in the player below. You may also take the opportunity to listen to any of the clips that you missed.


  1. This 3-part series was a real home-run for Iain and the AllHabs network. Very fun to listen to and it was really all-encompassing.

    Again, kudos to Brian for being as forthcoming with his opinions and feelings as he was on all the topics that were brought up and for interacting with Habs fans on twitter.

    Good job all around,

    • Well Big T … your timing couldn’t have been more immaculate!

      I just spent the last 45 minutes re-listening to the audio myself, and I was thrilled with Brian’s commentary.
      In the end, the most important thing is that people like you feel they gained something from our chat and banter. Brian was fantastic in his candid talk about the franchise that we hold so dear, and you’re right in mentioning him being so forthcoming..

      Thank you so much for listening, supporting, and commenting! It’s much appreciated!

  2. In life, don’t ever be under the impression that the most professional organization that you can find has to be the so called ‘professional organizations’.

    My experience with Iain and Rick here the last three weeks doing this project and the time I have spent at this website over the last 8 months have taught me that a pro is a pro because of their commitment and their talent.

    And here you will find work that is second to none anywhere.

    Keep it up all of the writers here! The insights are always of the highest standard.

    • There is nothing more to be said to a comment like this than a big old Thank You! I know that all of us who work hard to contribute to the Habs nation greatly appreciate your praise.

      Let me say one more time however that – it’s because it comes from such a pure, passionate, educated, and well spoken source that we appreciate it all the more.

      It was a true pleasure having this time with you Brian, and we’re all looking forward to sharing the upcoming NHL season with you.

  3. Another excellent segment.

    Cup contenders? Wow. I think I need to be a little bit more of a glass half full kind of guy. Still think the Habs need some sand paper on the 4th line. Skewer me if you will but I really thought Konopka could have helped the Habs in terms of having a very physical presence on a physically small team. Seems to be a decent face-off guy as well. And Gauthier could have had him for a song. $750k. Thought that was a missed opportunity to address a organizational need.

    Agree 1000% on everything else Brian said. Sign Price and Subban long term ASAP. Very true. The longer he waits the longer he may lose bargaining power. These 2 are indeed franchise pillars. Cannot afford to lose either one of those 2 players.

    Regarding Carey. I thought the same thing during the season as Brian in that we were witnessing a boy becoming a man in front our eyes. He was speaking for the team post game. And who can forget how he dealt with being booed after that first pre-season game. “Chill out”. It does in fact take nerves of steel and yes, balls too, to make that statement. And he backed it up…in spades.

    Once again thank you Iain and very very hearty thanks to Brian Wilde for this.

    • That’s me – Cup half full kinda guy!

      I totally understand that many people don’t want to talk about the Habs having a solid chance at making a Cup run before the season even begins, but I can’t help myself.

      The more I look at what the franchise has done to put together the roster that they’ve got, the more I hear from insiders that this is the best room they’ve seen in the Canadiens franchise in at least a decade, the more I believe that it’s just around the corner.

      I’m going to hold my ground that I believe Ryan White will deliver what the fourth line needs. I understand your Konopka argument, but I’ll still stick to my guns.

      Just imagine how powerful this team can be as they are all from within the organization either through Hamilton – or at least 2 years playing for Martin (with the exception of Cole and Budaj). That brotherhood is going to make a ton of difference on and off the ice. And that’s what makes champions!

      Thanks for the great feedback and for supporting the posts! Much appreciated Brian!

  4. Great interview really well done. From what I understand your not paid for that but it looked like a professional radio interview. And it so nice for us hockey junkie to listen to those kind of thing in the middle of summer. Have a nice summer but more importantly a nice season and hopefully a Cup in June 2012.

    • Thank you Arnaud! Very kind words.

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the series. Nice to hear Brian give his thoughts without character limitations! And so true, even in the middle of summer, one can never get enough Habs talk. Hope to see you back in the future, and I hope I can live up to your expectations!


  5. Iain, great job on the interview and an added thank you to Brian for taking the time to do this with you.

    I agree with the general gist of the conversation, that team chemistry play a large part in a team’s success.

    I also tend to agree that Pacioretty could be off to a slow start, although I feel it might have much to do with the fact he hasn’t played an NHL game in such a long period, more so than the injury itself.

    I would therefore expect the same for Gorges and Markov.

    But with regards to Pacioretty, I really feel we are going to see what this kid is made of. Will he return to the lineup, scared of being hurt, “A la Komisarek”, or will he come back with a “veteran of war” attitude, and a mentality that if a broken neck from Chara can’t stop him, nothing can. It remains to be seen.

    Again, great interview!

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