(Photo by Stephane Dube | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

MONTREAL, QC. — Last season, we featured four unique podcasts in the Rocket Sports Radio lineup including Habs360, From the Press Box, Hab A Listen and Habs Unfiltered.

Habs360 has been billed as the most informative and interactive podcast about the Montreal Canadiens. All Habs Hockey Magazine has been proud to feature Habs360 since 2011. Through the years, close to 250 episodes have been aired.

On Wednesday, Rocket Sports Media Founder and President Rick Stephens announced that Habs360 will be relaunched as the Canadiens Connection for the 2018-19 hockey season. This engaging podcast will connect Habs fans with their beloved team from a trusted source.

“I’m thrilled to announce that the Canadiens Connection will join our Rocket Sports Radio lineup this season to bring listeners smart, penetrating insight about the Montreal Canadiens in a fun, interactive, inclusive format,” said Stephens.

“This evolution of our successful flagship show indicates a continued commitment to Habs fans around the world from our Rocket Sports team to bring the latest news, expert analysis, and intelligent commentary they’ve come to rely on over the years in a refreshing new format, while still retaining some key traditions and voices.”

The Canadiens Connection podcast will be hosted by Rick and sports journalist Joseph Whalen, airing live every Saturday at 1:00 pm ET. Whalen has been a key contributor to AHL Report, our sister publication, over the past two seasons and continues his studies in Communications and French at Memorial University.

“I have had the great pleasure of covering the AHL the past two seasons as a game reporter for Rocket Sports,” said Whalen. “I think this gives me a unique perspective on not only the Habs and Rocket, but the Atlantic Division as a whole.”

“I love talking sports and sharing opinions, so I am really looking forward to this opportunity,” added Whalen. 

Amy Johnson, the Lead Correspondent at AHL Report, offered this appraisal of Whalen’s skills, saying “While covering all home games for the St. John’s IceCaps in Newfoundland, Joseph reported on game action first-hand from the press box, providing analysis and commentary via our website and social media interactions, and posed thoughtful questions to both players and coaches in post-game scrums.”

She concluded by saying, “Last year, Joseph happily took on a new challenge by covering all Belleville Senators games, both home and away. Here he further honed his hockey analytics skills by learning to evaluate a new team, with new systems and personnel.”

Chris has moved into an advisory role for our flagship podcast assuring that some of the best aspects of Habs360 will be part of the new show. “Habs360 will transition to Canadiens Connection hosted by Joseph and Rick, and it will be a success,” said Chris. “I can confidently say that because it will be supported by the Rocket Sports team and the experience we have gained throughout the years.”

Chris will assume the duties of a senior writer for All Habs Hockey Magazine but he will never forget the connections he made with listeners. “I would like to thank the listeners for listening to Habs360, whether they listened to one or all 245 episodes,” said Chris. “Every single listener was important to me. Thank you for interacting with us during every episode and for the feedback you kept providing to help get Habs360 at the high level it was.”

On his new role, Chris said “I’m excited for the new challenge. My role as Senior Writer will give me more time to focus on the entire Canadiens organization including the Laval Rocket. Providing on-site coverage of players from the AHL will help readers understand their strengths and their progression as they move to the NHL.”

Canadiens Connection is just that – a connection between fans, journalists, players, coaches, management to thoroughly discuss their favorite game in an informative, thought provoking, and entertaining way. “Joseph sees the game well and has a firm understanding of the business of hockey, which translates to intelligent and thoughtful commentary,” said Johnson.

“Rick continues to bring a steadfast, captivating approach to hockey analysis, offering listeners a well-informed perspective of the game coupled with thoughtful insight, friendly debate, and passionate opinions,” said Johnson.  “His ability to think outside the box and evaluate both game play and coaching/management actions in an equitable, honest manner gives listeners the chance to step away from Montreal ‘groupthink’ with a relatable, easy-to-understand viewpoint.”

“In addition, Rick’s expertise in statistics and research analytics, coupled with his connections to insiders around the league, provides a unique, respected context unparalleled in the mainstream media,” added Johnson.

Canadiens Connection will debut this Saturday, September 22nd at 1:00 pm. ET. You can listen live at AllHabs.net or Blog Talk Radio.

You can listen to every episode at your convenience on your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher and TuneIn. Simply search for “Rocket Sports Radio.”

Be sure to follow @habsconnection on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for the Canadiens Connection podcast.

And don’t forget to listen to these other fine shows from Rocket Sports Radio: From the Press Box, Habs A Listen and Habs Unfiltered.