All Habs Headlines: Tuesday June 23, 2015

On this day in hockey history… 1999 – Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  2000 – The Minnesota Wild traded goalie Mike Vernon to Calgary in exchange for the rights to center Dan Cavanaugh and Calgary’s 8th-round pick. 2001 – Ottawa traded center Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders for defenseman Zdeno Chara, right winger Bill Muckalt and the second overall pick in the 2001 draft.
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(Photo by Journal de Montreal)


► Galchenyuk soap opera

  • With Canadiens fans not-so-patiently waiting to hear news that their young sniper, Alex Galchenyuk, has inked a new contract, the whole affair has turned into a bit of a drama
  • Late Monday, Galchenyuk told 25Stanley that he had retained the services of Quebec native, Pat Brisson of CAA Hockey. Brisson also represents Max Pacioretty.  Galchenyuk simply said that his contract with former agent Ian Pulver was ending and he felt that Brisson was a better fit.
  • Earlier on Monday, it was reported that contract talks were on hold as Galchenyuk had terminated his agent. Alex will become a restricted free agent on July 1st.
  • Pulver and Russian legend Igor Larionov founded The Will Sports Group. Speaking to the Gazette, Pulver said, “He didn’t fire me, he fired a Hall of Famer (Larionov.)”
  • Larionov told Pat Hickey that the parting of ways came after Galchenyuk and his family were unwilling to accept his advice, saying, “Ian and I were trying to help him to become a good hockey player but, more importantly, to be a good human being. I would speak to him every day; I think I spent more time talking to him than talking to my wife.”
  • Larionov went on to say that Galchenyuk expressed his unhappiness with his icetime and being benched by Michel Therrien.
  • Galchenyuk had 20 goals and 26 assists in his third season playing on the left wing. This was the former 3rd overall pick’s best statistical season into terms of total points and points per game (.575).

Team Canada grabs Bergevin

  • Hockey Canada has announced their management group for the World Cup of Hockey that’s coming to Toronto in 2016. Among those chosen, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was announced as an assistant to General Manager Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues.) Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings), Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks) and Rob Blake (Los Angeles Kings) are also part of the staff.
  • The Team Canada management group will be unable to select players 23 years of age and under (same rule applies to Team USA.) Those players will be eligible for the North American Youngstars team. They will likely include Connor McDavid, Nathan McKinnon and Aaron Ekblad from Canada and Jack Eichel, Seth Jones and Brandon Saad of the United States.
  • One can bet that Armstrong will have Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock high on his list of coaches.
  • Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles Kings) is the frontrunner to manage Team USA. All teams will have a training camp on September 4th.

Darche to Sports Hall of Fame

  • Former Canadiens utility forward Mathieu Darche has been named to the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame.  Darche played hockey for McGill from 1996 to 2000. Darche had 75 goals and 155 points in 250 NHL games.
  • Darche was selected for induction with his brother Jean-Phillippe who played five years as a linebacker on the McGill football team.

► Praise for Price

  • Carey Price’s former junior coach had glowing words for the Canadiens goaltender who is nominated for some of the NHL’s most prestigious awards after a record-breaking season.
  • Don Nachbaur, coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, was behind the bench in Tri-City when Price was a member of the Americans. Nachbaur told, ““I remember him making it really hard on the coaching staff as far as who to go with. That’s a real credit to him. You don’t always see guys that age who are capable of taking over from an older guy. I don’t think I’ve seen that type of maturity in all the years I’ve coached in the WHL. He was a winner from the word go.”
  • Nachbaur recalled that he learned new things about tending goal from the young phenom, “He taught me something about goaltending right there. Carey could read the release off the blade based on where the guys had the puck on their sticks. That’s a sign of an advanced thinker. He was that good.”
  • The veteran WHL coach raved about Price’s supportive qualities as a teammate and added, “Carey was destined to have a great career because he was that good at a young age. He always had a firm belief in himself that he wouldn’t be denied. I think that supreme athletes like him have a mindset that really defines them as being different than other players. They’re highly driven and they accept responsibility. At 16, he proved he was a capable goaltender, a great goaltender. Then, there were the accolades. He was a high pick with us out of Bantam, but in order to get drafted fifth overall by the Canadiens he had to perform. That’s what he did. So, it’s not surprising to see him now. He’s got a lot of good traits as a person, a winner and a teammate. He was born with talent, but he worked extremely hard to get where he’s at.”

► Prust to marry

  • Brandon Prust and his long-time girlfriend Maripier Morin were engaged in Italy! Prust shared the news with his followers on Instagram.

Took some convincing but she finally said yes

A post shared by Brandon Prust (@brandonprust8) on

Magee and Brown get invitations to Habs Dev camp

  • The Canadiens have invited right winger Brandon Magee and defenceman Travis Brown to development camp. The annual camp takes place from July 4 – 9 at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
  • Magee played five years in the WHL and never really put up outstanding numbers. The 5-foot-9 forward put up 29 points in 65 games in his first and only year with the Chilliwack Bruins. After being traded to the Victoria Royals in the 2011 offseason, Magee stayed with the organization for the rest of his junior career putting up solid points increasing his point per game pace every season. He recorded 23 goals and 47 points in 65 games in his first season with the Royals followed up by his breakout 2012-13 campaign where he talied 30 goals and 60 points in 72 games.
  • During the 2013-14 season, Magee exceeded the point-per-game plateau, with 67 points in 65 games and finished off his WHL career with a very good 61 point in 50 game season. He also had a very good playoff with nine goals and 15 points in 10 games.
  • The second camp invitee, Travis Brown, played four seasons of junior hockey and unlike Magee was drafted. Brown was drafted in the 5th round, 149th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012. He became a free agent after going unsigned.
  • Brown started his CHL career with the Moose Jaw Warriors and had a solid rookie season with 31 points in 66 games along with a plus-19.
  • The Moose Jaw Warriors took a step back in 2012-13 and that was reflected with a minus-22 rating but still managed to increase his point total to 39. The deficiencies of his club didn’t hold the 6-foot-2 defenceman back back from continuing to develop as he had 38 points in 43 games before getting traded to the Victoria Tigers where he continued on his tear with 15 points in 28 games.

► Bergevin still interested in Vermette?

  • According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Canadiens still have interest in free agent Antoine Vermette. The Canadiens were said to be pursuing the soon to be 33-year-old at the trade deadline but weren’t prepared to give up a first round pick.
  • Vermette is said to be seaking $6 million a year. In my opinion, the Canadiens would be insane to do this deal as they are already in some minor cap trouble an Vermette doesn’t fill their need for a first line centre. His career high in points is 65 and that was back in 2009-19 with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Last season the Saint-Agapit, Quebec native tallied 38 points in 82 games. Vermette started slow but was an essential piece of the Hawks Stanley Cup puzzle as he scored three game-winning goals in this year’s playoffs, with two in the finals.
  • Vermette does have playoff experience as he has played 78 playoff games recording 25 points and won his first Stanley Cup this year. He has 433 points in 834 games in his career with the Senators, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blackhawks.

Langway could have been a Bruin

  • Don Cherry shared a story on his Twitter account about the Bruins’ decision not to draft former Canadien Rod Langway.
  • Cherry wrote that he was informed that Langway wanted to play for Boston, was from the Massachusetts area and he even had a Boston accent. The Bruins didn’t end up taking him and instead chose a goaltender that never played more than a couple games in the NHL.
  • “We drafted a small goalie that never played for us and only played a few games in the NHL. We already had three dynamite goalies. Now guess who picked the defenceman right after us? Yup, you guessed it. The Montreal Canadiens couldn’t believe their luck.”  The Massachusetts native was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Langway played four seasons with the Canadiens before moving on to the Washington Capitals, playing 11 seasons and winning two Norris trophies. He ended his career with the Providence Bruins, the Boston Bruins’ affiliate. He was six games away from playing 1000 in the NHL.

► Isles in a trading mood

  • According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, right wingers Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner are both being made available by the New York Islanders and could be dealt this upcoming week. Both Okposo and Grabner and will be looking for new contracts after the 2015-16 season and it appears as though Islanders GM Garth Snow won’t be willing to sign the long term deals.
  • Okposo is currently making $2.8 million but will look for a big bump in pay in his potential first chance at free agency. Staple speculates that judging from his age (27) and his production (120 points in 131 games in the past two seasons) that he would command “$7 million per season on a 6 or 7 year deal.”
  • Grabner hasn’t really produced to his potential in the past couple seasons with 32 points after a 34 goal 2010-11 season. He had 13 points in 34 games last season. The 6-foot-0 forward, who is also 27, is widely known as one of the fastest players in the NHL.
  • Both players will be unrestricted free agents after next season. The Islanders will most likely be looking for draft picks as they don’t have a pick until the third round.
  • Okposo could be a great fit on the Habs as the power forward would form an outstanding line with fellow Americans Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk.

Stoll charged

  • Former L.A. Kings forward Jarred Stoll has been charged with one felony count after being arrested on April 17th. He is being charged with possession of cocaine. Stoll was also arrested on MDMA possession but those charges were not included in the complaint filed on Monday.
  • According to Rich Hammond: “If convicted of a felony, Stoll faces a maximum of four years in state prison but could receive a suspended sentence and probation at the discretion of the judge, according to information provided by the Clark County (Nev.) District Attorney’s Office.”
  • Stoll’s first court appearance will be on July 1st, the same day he is an unrestricted free agent. There has been no word from the league on whether Stoll will be receiving supplemental discipline. Stoll had 17 points in 73 games last season and has played close to 800 NHL games. He has won two Stanley Cups, both with the Kings.

Who to pick at No. 26?

Bergevin shopping Emelin?

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