► Fucale ranked 8th
- The well-respected InGoal Magazine has ranked Canadiens Zach Fucale eighth in their list of Top 50 Goaltending Prospects for 2015-16.
- On Fucale, Greg Balloch from InGoalMag writes, “Despite his constant appearances in the spotlight at the World Juniors and the Memorial Cup, Zach Fucale remained one of the hardest top prospects for scouts to get a read on. Inconsistent play has marred his reputation, but questionable defensive play in front of him can also be blamed for a good chunk of those struggles. As a 36th overall pick, his ceiling remains high, and he can still be counted on as the guy to bail his team out with big saves on high-danger opportunities.”
- Fucale will be looking to shore up his stock this year with the AHL St. John’s IceCaps or ECHL Brampton Beast after struggling in 2014-15.
- The Winnipeg Jets had the top goaltending prospect in 22-year-old Connor Hellebuyck. Malcolm Subban, a Bruins prospect is listed second. The Jets had another player listed in the top-5 with 20-year-old Eric Comrie being ranked fourth.
► Condolences to the Fillion family
- The Canadiens have lost another one of their own as we all mourn the loss of two-time Stanley Cup champion Bob Fillion.
- The 95 year old was the oldest living Canadien after we lost Elmer Lach earlier this year.
- The Thetford Mines, Quebec native played 327 games in the NHL contributing 42 goals and 103 points all of which came wearing the Canadiens uniform.
- After he retired from the NHL in 1950 he went on to play a year in the Quebec Senior Hockey League where he had 33 points in 44 games.
C'est avec tristesse que le Club de hockey Canadien a appris ce matin le décès de M. Bob Fillion, à l'âge de 95 ans. pic.twitter.com/NKSbcey8Nn
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) August 13, 2015
► Gallagher looking forward to this year
- Brendan Gallagher was at a celebrity softball game supporting the Shriners Children’s hospital, a non profit hospital that won’t turn their back on you no matter what the financial situation and the media took advantage to ask the winger some questions on his team.
- On the upcoming season: “Yeah, I think we’re really looking forward to it, there’s always a bitter taste in your mouth when you lose but especially last year with how close we feel we are getting it’s just a matter of learning for it and making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
- “We are a group that feels we are ready to take that next step and really push to be the last team standing but it’s not going to be easy, we can’t get ahead of ourselves it’s going to be as difficult as any just to make the playoffs we got to be ready for the start of the season and it starts in training camp.”
- On the acquisition of Zack Kassian: “I think with Zack Kassian he’s a big body, he’s a skilled guy for his size he can play with anyone up and down the lineup so we are looking forward to him coming in and hopefully he can bring us a lot of energy, play the type of hockey he’s capable of playing.”
- On the recently signed Alex Semin: “With Semin he’s a guy that teams have to be aware of he’s dangerous each time he’s on the ice he doesn’t need much time and space to put the puck in the back of the net so, two guys I’m looking forward to playing with and learning from as well.”
► Proud father
- Congratulations to Canadiens prospect Charles Hudon and his girlfriend Krystel Fey on the birth of their first child. As depicted in his photo, the baby boy was delivered at 10:23 PM.
► Bad shot of DD
- This gut wrenching picture of David Desharnais surfaced over the weekend. It was taken as Desharnais participated in a charity hockey game with Patrice Bergeron and Simon Gagne.
► Prospects ranked 17th
- Corey Pronman of ESPN.com published his ranking of teams farm system and the Canadiens were ranked 17th on the list.
Pronman had this to say in the Canadiens’ farm system: “The Habs have moved picks and drafted late in the first round in recent years, and they lack the high-end talent people have become accustomed to seeing from the Habs. Forwards such as Nikita Scherbak, Charles Hudon and Martin Reway are intriguing, as is recent top-rounder Noah Juulsen, who turned heads at the recent World Junior camp, while former top defensive pick Tinordi has stagnated.”
- The Oilers were ahead of the list while the leafs and Sabres rounded out the top 3. The Pittsburgh Penguins were ranked dead last which is a bi-product of being good for so long.
► Not your average beer league
- TVA Sports recently did a piece on the Montreal Owls, a hockey league comprised of players that are either partially blind or completely blind.
- Instead of using a puck the players use a can on the ice as it makes noise making it much easier to identify its location. The league is also working on developing what they call the “Hirondelle” that will look like an actually hockey puck however will make noise.
- The players play at Francis Bouillon arena and the Longueuil Sporting complex and referees travel from far out to officiate the games, none have a longer trek than Robert Gignac who travels from Shawinigan to Montreal once a week. He is often told by the players that he’s the most blind out of everybody on the ice.
The most inspiration story was of Guillaume, a goaltender in the league that is completely blind. “I spent one year crying every day because I was blind from birth […] everybody in this league is my family.”
- “A lot of guys came here and it’s their first activity as a blind person, there’s people who have lost confidence, they play hockey and are part of a team and they regain confidence.” said league president Gilles Ouellette.
► Gonchar back in Pittsburgh
- The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed former Canadiens defenceman Sergei Gonchar to a professional tryout contract.
- The 41-year spent part of last season with the Canadiens, he recorded one goal and 13 points along with a plus-7 rating in 45 games. At some moments last season the Chelyabinsk, Russia native played 20+ minutes with Nathan Beaulieu before the Canadiens acquired Jeff Petry.
- Gonchar spent 5 seasons in Pittsburgh, before going to Ottawa, in which he had 54 goals and 197 points in 322 games to go along with two appearances in the Stanley Cup finals and a Stanley Cup.
- He is third in Penguins history with 44 playoff points by a defenceman.
- Chances are the veteran won’t make the Penguins as they already have six defenceman signed to one-way contracts and a plethora of prospects like Derek Pouliot coming through the system. I’d expect a situation like the Canadiens and Francis Bouillon had when Bouillon came into camp last season with the sole purpose of pushing some younger players and to give some every game players some time off during the pre-season.
► Hagelin re-signs
- The Anaheim Ducks signed the recently acquired Carl Hagelin to a four year contract extension worth $4 million annually. The 5-foot-11-inch winger was acquired on the second day of the draft in exchange for hometown sniper Emerson Etem.
- The swede played four seasons for the New York Rangers with his climax in points set at 38 in 2011-12, that number was set in 64 games. In the last two seasons Hagelin has had 33 and 35 points respectively with 17 goals in both seasons. He’s had 26 points in 73 playoff games.
- The former 168th overall pick in 2007 will have ample opportunity to play on the first line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who have had a carousel of left wingers for their entire careers.
► Lemaire a Leaf
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 14, 2015
► Diamond in the rough?
- All Habs Hockey Magazine editor-in chief Rick Stephens takes a look at Canadiens prospect Lukas Vejdemo and if Trevor Timmins has found another hidden gem. The piece includes an exclusive interview by Amy Johnson.
► Are you ready?
- Corey Desormeaux details why Habs fans should be excited about this year’s version of the Montreal Canadiens.
► Mac attack
- Nic Phelan takes a look at Ice Caps defenceman Mac Bennett.
► Got questions? We have answers
- Staff writer Ty Prater answers your questions including questions on Bergevin, Galchenyuk, Semin and Jeff Skinner.
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