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Rookie Camp!

  • Hey everyone, this season I’ll be posting game day blogs but I wanted to get a jump on the breaking Habs news: Rookie Camp!

    Ok so its not breaking, or really newsworthy.. but it is the perrenial first sign that the summer pergatory is coming to its conclusion, and that we will be shortly experiencing snow, ice, dead car batteries, hands that will not warm no matter how you try to conceal them… oh yeah and hockey.

    So who is the most likely to make the roster out of this crew of rookies? Would it be better if young guys like Max Pac, Subban et al had a year in the AHL to fine tune?

  1. It’s almost always beneficial to get started in the A… but there’s always exceptions…that being said who really knows? If they can fill a need or role we’re lacking then they will most probably get the chance..

  2. #2 habknot says:
    September 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Well, its hard to see a D-man cracking the top six until injury (and then it would almost surely be O’Byrne).
    Also we have so many forwards able to take a regular shift (if we can still group Laraque in there after last year), that its hard to see a rookie getting ice time.
    Halak/Price seem solidly in place so…..
    That leaves the 3rd/4th line forward/powerplay defenseman (see Streit/Weber). Weber is of course still the number one candidate, but I think PK has an outside chance. He is way more physical than Weber; kind of a hybrid of Streit and Bouillon. I agree with HB that a full season in Hamilton will give him more poise and confidence, but he may just turn into a kid you can’t keep on the farm.

    Also who will be the seventh D if Subban is in Hamilton? I think we are better with O’Byrne taking a regular shift in Steeltown and have Shawn Belle in the pressbox (is Valenteko still on our team, or is he in the KHL?). I still think O’Byrne has higher potential (kind of Gill – like actually), and just needs to get used to placing his large frame in the right place more often. We don’t want MaxPac or D’Agostini in the press box, so down they go if not playing full time. I think Chipchura and Stewart are better candidates to be on the big team and in and out of the line-up.

    There are blades on ice in the arenas all over Quebec, we’re warming up!

  3. Other than Weber I do not see any other D Man making the team, and Weber could play forward and Point on the PP.

    I think our team is set with no rookies making the team at the start. I would like to see us not make the same mistake that we made with Latendresse and Price with any newcomers. Lets be more patient.
    I do think that there is still a possibility of a trade and Halek may be part of it before we are done. That may open room for Desjardin or Sanford to come up and play. We have two big goalies that we need to find a place for them to play so it seems we are deep in that position at the moment, only time will tell if any of them well develop into NHL caliber.
    I would like to see Obryne start in Hamilton if we can send him down, I would have to check if he needed to clear waivers? Anyway looking forward to the season and our chats.

  4. #4 Mats Naslund says:
    September 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Alot of the talk so far has surrounded Subban and Pacioretti. Pesonally I would LOVE to avoid the kind of confusion and personality crisis this team went through last season. You had guys literally caught between the 1st line and the pressbox all season long. We saw first hand how terrible that can be to a team’s psyche, especially if things go bad. There were too many guys playing the same role – and none of them got enough of a chance to trully contribute. Now that the big shift has been made it is time to give guys like Latendresse, Sergei etc the chance to prove they can stick with the big team. Max will be fantastic when his time comes. I can’t wait for PK to be on the TV every night – but I will if it means that we stop saturating our lines with youngsters who are benched every time they hit a rough patch. O’Byrne was a perfect example last season of the serious damage a player’s confidence will take if you don’t get him back out there quickly after a bad game. Its far too early to project lines, but I would much rather see some of the young guys down in the AHL where they can spend a year learning defense, and how to use their strength.

  5. BTW, MatsN, great news that you’ll be blogging this year. Your comments are always well informed and insightful. Congrats to you and HB. Looking forward to a great year!

  6. #6 PACTUM SERVA says:
    September 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    So any news on whats been going on in camp guys? Should be an interesting 2 weeks leading up to the season.

  7. #7 Mats Naslund says:
    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I have heard that Gui! showed up in great shape and has been very physical in camp thus far. Hopefully Latendresse can get a quick start this year as I think he’d be a great fit fo one of the top two lines if he can use his frame to cause prolems in front of the net.

    I’ve also heard that BGL is much lighter than last year which is a good sign for the Canadiens who will want Laraque to be in the lineup FAR more often than last season. Apparently the yoga and vegan diet Laraque has turned to have been very good for his back, but it remains to be seen how he’ll hold up during the 82 game grind. He’s the lightest weight he’s been since he was drafted which I think will really help him. Last year he was criticised for being out of shape and slow. This year he should be able to justify his ice time even in games with no heavy-weight title implications. Dave Stubbs wrote about him in the Gazette:

    I heard that Max Pacioretti was hitting the gym hard during the offseason and lowered his body fat huge. Good sign, alhough I still hope he begins the year in the AHL.

    The other Max (Lapierre) had off season surgery on his ankle that is still giving him some problems and minor discomfort. The idea of a injured Lapierre to start the season sure makes on question the depth of the team at centre. Maybe Chipchura could fill in if a centre goes down?

  8. #8 Mats Naslund says:
    September 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I just noticed while reading through some camp news at RDS that both Sergei Kostitsyn and Kyle Chpchura have yet to take the ice due to off season surgeries. Here’s hoping that is precautionary rather than setbacks.

  9. #9 PACTUM SERVA says:
    September 15, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Looks like markov was offered the “C” but rejected it.

  10. #10 Mats Naslund says:
    September 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    This is one of those issues that will be talked about the Habs universe until it is resolved, but to me it is a non-issue. Offering Markov the captaincy was a token move. Montreal HAD to offer him the C as he is far and away the most talented of the remaining players from last season. Everyone involved with the Habs has publicly stated that Markov is a very quiet guy who does not enjoy the off-ice spotlight at all. He doesn’t speak french, and speaks only a small amount of english. Realisticly there was no way he was going to accept the job. This is not to say tht Markov will not be a leader – in fact the opposite is true. Markov’s best contribution as a leader comes from his brilliant on-ice play. Now that Gainey and Martin have exhausted this option publicly, they will be free to choose from the remaining candidates without offending those within the organization, as well as outside, who believed the captaincy belonged to Markov.

    I believe there are a bunch of guys who could do a great job as captain. Gomez and Gionta certainly have more established experience, but if either Gorges or Lapierre can take their on-ice game to the next level, you have to believe either one would make great captains. If people are willing to brave Markov (aka another european born captain), then why not give either Spacek or Hamrlik the C? Both guys have loads of NHL experience, and have played leadership roles on past teams.

    Ultimately I think the C will go to Brian Gionta. We’ve gotten used to plucky little captains who are able to win us over by their ability to hang with the big kids. No he doesn’t speak french, but I trully believe that job is being saved for Max Lapierre at this point. I wouldn’t be suprised at all to see Max or Josh Gorges as an A this season.

    *edit I guess we spoke too soon. Martin denied the reports that were all over mainstream media this afternoon that Markov was offered the captaincy. He said that the decision would be made after camp finishes. Does anybody in the media ever confirm reports these days?

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