Price Story: Embarrassing for Montreal

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We’re used to it as every season it seems, someone, somewhere, in the traditional media, is claiming something about someone in the Montreal Canadiens’ organization that is totally off the charts. Whether it be the so-called story of then coach Michel Therrien stating out loud that Max Pacioretty was a bad captain, the rants of Brendan Kelly in the Montreal Gazette grinding his axe, or stories of night life in the City, it seems like some of those “reporters” are seeking sensation, viewership or readership at all costs. Anyone remember “the darkest day in history” about the Kostitsyn brothers?

It’s nothing new, we even touched on the topic a while ago on this blog. Well this time Montreal, you have reached a new low and Angela Price, the Canadiens’ goaltender’s wife, took Instagram by storm with a statement that really, she should have never had to make to start with!

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Source: radiox.com

After a claim by controversial Rejean Tremblay, who stated that Misses Price wanted out of Montreal or she was threatening to leave her husband Carey Price, Angela had read and heard enough! She took advantage of her popularity to slam Tremblay in the teeth, taking any credibility the old goat might have had with it, by publishing a picture of her and her husband, happy and in love, as she completely denied the so-called claim.

This is just plain shameful and to be perfectly honest, a total embarrassment to all Habs’ fans around the country, around the world. Stories like this one, which I named “Potinage Artistique” in French (potin meaning gossip), should never have legs yet, they are made on so-called reputable media outlets in and around town.

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Michel Villeneuve got fired from a radio station for threatening the Canadiens several months ago. When will Tremblay run out of platforms to belittle and attack everything surrounding the team against which he holds a grudge ever since the Habs since they denied him the rights to use the team colours for his series “Lance et Compte” way back when? Enough is enough and fans, readers and viewers have to start standing up against this non-sense!

I have personally thrown the Rejean Tremblay and Brendan Kelly’s of this world out the window into the street a long time ago. The Montreal Gazette’s sports pages are only good to protect the bottom of  bird cages ever since reputable journalist Dave Stubbs left them to work for the NHL and I will soon follow suit with anyone giving Tremblay a platform to spread his self-serving hater against the team that I love. I happen to think that more should do the same but to each their own.

The ripple effect

People are wearing blinders if they think for a second that such situations don’t have a ripple effect around the NHL. As if having the highest tax bracket in North America, living in a place where a foreign language is predominant, never ending road construction and winters, or the fishbowl effect of constant scrutiny by herds of media and fans wasn’t enough, players decide between that and a quiet lifestyle making as much if not more money. Think about it for a second. Take the rose glasses off and ask yourself: where would YOU want to play at the same contract if given a choice?

Oh some players will do it anyway, but you better believe that this will come at a premium as at equal salary, players are more likely to pull a Radulov and play under the hot sun of Texas, away from this circus and the clowns spreading crap like the Price story.

But hey, let’s fire Marc Bergevin as ultimately, it’s all his fault right, axe grinders? Go Habs Go!

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Radulov Heading Home… Trade Brewing?

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July first is a marked date in the NHL, where the frenzy is at its peak for the first time since the spring trade deadline. Sports radio and television stations have hours long specials, battling for scoops in hope to be the first one to break a signing or a trade. And since the arrival of the salary cap, combined with the loser point keeping the standings tight, trades are few and far between in the league and teams have very little chance to improve their situation so days like today are great for fans and media to see teams address the needs for the upcoming season.

This year was no different and two of the tops available free agents were Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov, both of whom played a key role in the Habs’ success this past season. It’s been a long saga for both pending UFA’s marked by the fact that there was an expansion draft and the Canadiens could only protect so many players, and they couldn’t agree to a contract prior to the deadline arriving. In both cases, the sticking issue doesn’t appear to be the dollar figure as much as the length of the contract. Markov wants two years, the Habs want one year. Radulov is rumoured to want 6-7 years, the Habs want a much shorter term.

Radulov going home

Some very interesting information came out all day long about the negotiation between the Canadiens and the 30 year-old right winger and fans were taken though a roller coaster of emotions following insiders (real and fake), waiting desperately for the news they’ve all been waiting for. So allow me to give you a recap of the day’s events, and some things that fans might have missed in one language or another.

  • Radio commentator Martin McGuire is not one to invent things like others in the business. He said in the afternoon that Radulov and the Canadiens had reached a deal on a four year contract.
  • A few reporters in Quebec, including François Gagnon, said earlier that the Habs had made a final offer to Radulov, a take it or leave it type of offer. They also mentioned four years.
  • Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud), a russian journalist covering the KHL, tweeted that the contract signed by Radulov was a deal for the Habs as he was offered much more money and term in the KHL. He erases his tweet soon after but one of my followers, @AlexNyko, will be able to attest as he re-tweeted the post.
  • Then Radulov posted a video on his Instagram account, where he is sitting on a plane, telling people that he is going home. Did he mean Russia? Montreal?
  • We know that Radulov was vacationing in Italy and I don’t know if players still need to physically sign their contracts or if they can do it electronically like you do in the real estate business.Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 5.31.48 AM

Like when trying to solve a crime, this is all circumstantial evidence until the team or one of the reputable insiders comes out with the DNA. Until then, it’s all speculation.

Markov in limbo

Insisting on a two year deal could spell the end of the longest serving Canadiens on the team. I don’t know why the 39 year-old Markov can’t do what Nicklas Lidstrom, Rob Blake, Joe Sakic and many other star players have done before him and go year to year. Is he really better than those Hall of Famers? But the Habs have loaded on defensemen today when acquiring Karl Alzner and Joe Morrow, and they had already acquired David Schlemko not long ago.

Trade brewing?

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Could Duchene finally be traded?

No matter what happens with Radulov and Markov, Marc Bergevin has yet to get his hands on a top-six centre, a big need on his team. While UFAs like Joe Thornton (SJS), Nick Bonino (NAS) and Martin Hanzal (DAL) have all signed new deals, Joe Sakic has yet to find a taker for Matt Duchene and if he wants him traded, time is the essence. Sakic has not done anything substantial to improve his team today, a team that finished in the basement of the NHL, and that can’t sit well in Colorado.

I have a theory (not a scoop), which I shared on Twitter: if Radulov signs an extension, Alex Galchenyuk very well could be sacrificed in a trade for a top-six centre. Will it be Duchene from Colorado? Maybe but the Avs are wanting a top end defenseman in return, something the Canadiens don’t really have. But Galchenyuk is a nice piece for them, one that the Habs might be dangling in front of them.

Then there’s the Edmonton Oilers who are trying to sign both Connor McDavid ($13 million?) and Leon Draisaitl ($9 million?) and this could force Peter Chiarelli to find a taker for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Could a trade involving Brendan Gallagher and some added incentive be enough to get the young centre? “The Nuge” is making $6 million per season while Gallagher’s cap hit is $3.75 million. Both contracts go until the end of the 2020-21 season. This would save the Oilers some cap space.

Expect the unexpected“, said Marc Bergevin in a couple of occasions in the last week or so. But what are we expecting exactly?