All Habs Headlines: Thursday June 25, 2015

On this day in hockey history1963 — Dougie Gilmore was born. 1993 — Hockey Hall of Fame announced the newest honored members: Billy Smith, Steve Shutt, Guy Lapointe, and Edgar Laprade. 1998 — NHL Board of Governors announced that a new trophy would be awarded every year to the NHL’s leading goal scorer (Maurice Richard trophy).
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► Price wins everything!

  • At the NHL Awards on Wednesday night, Carey Price capped off an extraordinary season by picking up four major awards. Price won the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender), the Hart Trophy (most valuable player), the Ted Lindsay Award (most outstanding player voted on by NHLPA) and shared the Jennings Trophy. Price put up a 1.96 GAA and a .933 save percentage to go along with the Canadiens all time most wins, 44.
  • Price said, “There are always going to be difficult times and it’s how you react that really defines your character. I’ve been fortunate to have the right group people to show me the right way. My wife [Angela] has been a foundation for me, and so have my parents. Having my dad as a former player, he understands what it’s like to be in those kinds of situations. Having them to lean on really helped.”
  • On winning the Lindsay Award, Price said, “I’m very humbled. It’s something I’ll never forget. Especially coming from the players, no offense to anybody else. But I’m very humbled by that because I compete against these guys. I go to war against them. It’s a special moment.”
  • The wealth of awards for Price comes near the 10 year anniversary of Carey being selected fifth overall at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. It is vindication for former Canadiens GM Bob Gainey who called Price as “throughbred” when many fans and most of the mainstream media wanted to chase the young phenom out of Montreal.

► Karlsson takes Norris

  • Erik Karlsson won the James Norris Memorial trophy for best defenceman, Karlsson beat out Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty who placed second in the voting. Habs defenceman P.K Subban finished in third place.
  • Subban finished the season with 60 points and a plus-19 rating while Karlsson had 21 goals and 66 points with a plus-7 rating. Doughty had 56 points and was plus-3.

Canadiens 2015-16 schedule

  • The NHL has announced part of its schedule for this upcoming season and the Canadiens will open the 2015-16 season in Toronto against the Maple Leafs on October 7th.
  • The Habs will be the second last team to host a game with their first home date on October 15th against the New York Rangers after playing three games on the road.
  • The full NHL schedule will be released on Thursday.

Qualifying offers to five more Canadiens

  • On Sunday, we reported about a qualifying offer in the works for Michael Bournival. On Wednesday, it was confirmed along with qualifying offers to an additional five players: Alex Galchenyuk, Jarred Tinordi, Brian Flynn, Magnus Nygren and Christian Thomas. That leaves Eric Tangradi and Drayson Bowman as the only players without qualifying offers. Both played the majority of last year in the AHL.
  • If GM Marc Bergevin hadn’t tendered offers to the six players, they would have become unrestricted free agents.
  • If a deal cannot be reached the dollar figure on the players’ contracts for this upcoming year will be determined in court.
  • Expect sub-million dollar contracts for Tinordi and Thomas. Flynn will most likely sign for around 1 million a year. Magnus Nygren signed a four year deal to play in the SHL for Farjestad.  Even if he does sign a contract with the Habs don’t expect to see him playing in North America any time soon.
  • With Galchenyuk’s hiring of Pat Brisson as his new agent, contract negotiations might go more smoothly as Brisson and GM Marc Bergevin have done business together before.

► Bergevin willing to trade down?

  • In a radio interview with Radio-Canada, Marc Bergevin mentioned the possibility of using an old tactic he learned in Chicago. It would be to trade his first round pick in exchange for two second round picks.
  • The Canadiens are without a second round pick this year, it was sent to Edmonton in the Jeff Petry trade.
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets, the Calgary Flames, the Arizona Coyotes, the Buffalo Sabres and the Edmonton Oilers all have multiple second round picks this year.
  • Players like Daniel Sprong, Dennis Yan, Thomas Novak, Jeremy Bracco and Brandon Carlo could all slip to the second round.
  • Sprong is one of the most electric players in the draft and one of the reasons he might drop, aside from a talented draft class, is due to his questionable character.
  • Dennis Yan is a curious case because Future Considerations has him ranked at No. 99 but Central Scouting Service ranks him at a lofty 30th. Yan had 33 goals in his rookie season in the QMJHL.
  • Thomas Novak is the most likely out of the group to be taken in the first round. The centreman is a very creative player who plays a very strong two-way game and is an excellent skater.
  • Jeremy Bracco broke multiple records at the U.S. National Development Program that were held by Patrick Kane. The only reason the dynamic offensive player might drop to the second round is due to his size. The winger is listed at 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds.
  • Brandon Carlo is the complete opposite story, lists at 6-foot-5. Like Jarred Tinordi, Carlo is an excellent skater for a big man but offers little offense. I’m not sure it’s worth taking a risk like that in a draft with such talent.

► Cap goes up

  • The salary cap has been set at $71.4 million for this upcoming season with the salary cap floor coming in at $52.8 million.
  • This leaves the Habs with around $4.925 million left to sign six players (Tinordi, Thomas, Galchenyuk, Flynn, Bournival, Nygren.) With around 2.5-3.5 million likely to go to Galchenyuk that would leave the Canadiens with $1 million. Marc Bergevin said that the Canadiens would like to open the season with $1.5 million in free cap or more. A trade would in all likelihood have to be made to free up that cap.

Price was the right choice

  • Eric Leblanc of RDS tells a chilling tale of how the Minnesota Wild saved the Montreal Canadiens. In the 2005 NHL Entry Draft the Wild had the 4th overall pick one pick before the Montreal Canadiens.
  • According to Leblanc, the Canadiens wanted Benoit Pouliot of the Sudbury Wolves Pouliot was a very impressive prospect, with a point per game or better and over 100 penalty minutes in both of his full seasons in the OHL. The Canadiens already had former Hart trophy and Vezina winner Jose Theodore so why would they need a goalie? It would also be a PR members dream as he is French-Canadien.
  • In retrospect, Leblanc infers that the Canadiens were lucky that the Wild chose the 6-foot-3 winger and the Canadiens went with the best player available in their eyes instead.
  • Here’s how former Habs scout Trent McLeary described the situation [translated from French]: “Back then , Pouliot was a fantastic player in junior . We knew that we would be close to drafting him but that there was a high risk that this is not the case . It was not a huge shock to us.”
  • The tale should be taken with a grain of salt however. It was no secret that the mainstream media in Montreal were the ones lobbying for the Canadiens to take Pouliot and to a lesser degree, Gilbert Brule in the ’05 Draft. Brule was taken 6th overall by teh Columbus Blue Jackets. The media didn’t hide their displeasure when the Bob Gainey and the Canadiens selected Carey Price.

Who to pick at No. 26?

Bergevin shopping Emelin?

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