All Habs Headlines: Friday June 8, 2012

On this day in hockey history…  1955 – Hector “Toe” Blake was named coach of the Montreal Canadiens. He replaced Dick Irvin.

ALL HABS HEADLINES

Brisebois on board: RDS reports that former Hab defenseman Patrice Brisebois will be joining the organization in some capacity.  Don’t base your entire perception of Brisebois on his much-maligned play on Montreal’s blueline; the 41-year old has always been great with fans and his contribution to the community was recognized as the recipient of the Jean-Beliveau trophy for the 2008-09 season, his last in the NHL.  Following his retirement, he pursued his racing hobby by participating in two NASCAR Canada races that same year.  Brisebois has no coaching experience, so it is highly unlikely he will be one of Michel Therrien‘s assistants.  Rather, he may have a part in community or alumni relations. Brisebois recently participated with Street Hockey de Rue, an organization led by our friend Na’eem Adam, designed to raise money for the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

Read more: Patrice Brisebois se joindrait au CH

Desjardins and Lapointe not so much:  RDS further confirmed that neither Eric Desjardins nor Guy Lapointe have any interest in being one of Michel Therrien‘s new Assistants behind the Canadiens’ bench.  Desjardins, 42, retired following the 2005-06 season.  He served for a short time as a Player Development Coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, but says he has no aspirations of getting back into coaching.  Hab fans will best remember him as one of the heroes on the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning team with 14 points in those playoffs in one of his 6+ seasons with Montreal.

Lapointe, 64, was a member of Montreal’s legendary “Big Three” on defense along with Larry Robinson and Serge Savard.  He won six Stanley Cups during his playing career with the Canadiens, and retired as a member of the Boston bruins in 1984.  The Hall of Famer has since served as a QMJHL General Manager, Associate Coach with the Quebec Nordiques, Assistant Coach and Scout with the Calgary Flames, and currently is the long-standing Coordinator of Amateur Scouting for the Minnesota Wild, a role he says he is happy with and not looking to change.

Names mentioned as potentially being interested in a position include Guy Carbonneau, Donald Audette, Jean-Jacques Daigneault, Eric Veilleux, Gerard Gallant, Stephane Matteau, Andre Tourigny, Gilbert Delorme, Ian Laperriere, Alain Nasreddine, Andre Savard, and Sebastien Laplante.

Read more: Oubliez Desjardins et Lapointe

(Photo by John Wright)

Where is he now? J.P. Cote:  If the name Jean-Philippe Cote sounds strangely familiar to you, it’s because the one time Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick played his only 8 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens back in 2005-06.  For many years, Cote was a pillar of the Hamilton Bulldogs’ defense, but he left for Germany’s DEL for two seasons between 2009 and 2011.  Cote was back in North America this year, starting out with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign but fought his way back to the American League with the Norfolk Admirals, where his veteran experienced quickly earned him a role as Assistant Captain.  This is relevant today as the Admirals are currently playing in the Calder Cup Final, and after a controversial overtime win last night on a winning goal that league officials later admitted should not have counted, are ahead in the series 3 games to none over the Toronto Marlies.  Despite being injured for much of those playoffs, Cote previously won a Calder Cup with Hamilton in 2006-07, so this would be the second of his career.

Read more: Bounce gives Admirals 3-0 lead

Kostitsyn set free:  Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile announced yesterday that his club does not plan on re-signing pending unrestricted free agent Andrei Kostitsyn.  Kostitsyn, Montreal’s first selection, 10th overall, in 2003 (often cited as one of the club’s bigger recent drafting errors), signed a one year deal with the Canadiens last summer for $3.25M.  His 36 points in 72 games this season make for his lowest points-per-game average since his rookie year, but there will be a market for him nonetheless.  Thick, 6’0″, 20+ goal scorers don’t grow on trees, as evidenced by the rich $16M over four years deal the Colorado Avalanche just gave David Jones.  Following the curfew-missing incident that likely burnt his bridges with the Predators, will Kostitsyn prefer to head to the KHL, or will he give the NHL another chance in a new market?  Time will tell.

Read more: David Poile talks Radulov, plans for next season

Dogs’ Slaney prepares off-season plan : When the Montreal Canadiens acquired him in the Hal Gill trade, Robert Slaney received only a brief mention in the news reports.  That’s what happens when you are part of a transaction that includes a player with ties to Habs royalty: Blake Geoffrion.  But the 24-year-old Slaney settled into his role with the Hamilton Bulldogs and now looks ahead to preparing for a full season with the baby Habs.

Slaney is a character forward with size, has good work ethic and a positive team guy.  He is projected to be a checking line winger with puck possession skills. Slaney will take some vacation time in June and then focus on a few areas for improvement.

“You can always get better in different areas.  I think that if I improve my speed and general strength by the end of the summer I’ll be doing OK.” — Robert Slaney

Read more: ‘Hab’ itual preparations

► Let the negotiations begin! At his first news conference Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin said that signing his two young stars would be a priority.  Bergevin began the process on Thursday by speaking to the player agents of Carey Price and P.K. Subban.  Both could become a restricted free agent if not signed by July 1.

Read more: Bergevin begins talks with Price, Subban

► Habs interested in Yakupov, Galchenyuk: According to player agent Igor Larionov, the Montreal Canadiens are interested in two of his star clients Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk.

“(Oilers GM Steve) Tambellini told me: ‘We like him (Yakupov). We want him. But we’re going to make a decision the day before the draft.’ I also know the Habs want to get one of my guys — either Nail or Alex.” — Igor Larionov

Thing is Larionov goes on to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in trading to get one or both of the coveted draftees.

Read more: Agent: Leafs Eyeing Trade Up for Yakupov

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