All Habs Headlines: Monday January 14, 2013
On this day in hockey history… In 1943, in his only season in the NHL, rookie Alex Smart became the league’s first ever rookie to record a hat trick in his first game. Smart would play 7 more games for the Canadiens, totaling 5 goals and 7 points over his 8-game NHL career.
ALL HABS HEADLINES
► Will NHLPA Grieve Gomez?: Yesterday, the Habs decided that it would be best for the team to tell centre Scott Gomez to go home. With the decision already taken to buyout the Alaska native at season’s end, the club did not want to risk the possibility of him being injured, which would eliminate the possibility of terminating his deal in the off-season.
Now some – including reporter Michael Farber – are speculating that the Player’s Association may file a grievance over this handling of a player. It is unclear what there would be to gain from such a filing, however. It could force the Canadiens to keep Gomez on their active roster, thus holding down one of the 23 active roster spots while Gomez sat in the press box. But if it were to come to that, Marc Bergevin would have the option of waiving Gomez, and then sending him to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs to ride the bus with his teammates and sit in the stands at Copps Coliseum.
Would Gomez really prefer to do that than sit out the season at his leisure? Unlikely. Thus, it would seem logical for yesterday’s decision will stand.
►Checking in with Camp: Day two of the shortened Montreal Canadiens’ training camp featured similar activity to Sunday, with coach Michel Therrien employing the same lines despite assurances he’d experiment with different trios before opening night. That means – with Tomas Plekanec again skating on a separate sheet of ice from his healthier teammates – the following units:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
Galchenyuk – Eller – Gionta
Bourque – Prust – Moen
Armstrong – White – Dumont – Gallagher
Markov – Emelin
Gorges – Kaberle
Bouillon – Diaz
Tinordi – Weber
Highlights on this day included a shootout / breakaway competition, where Alex Galchenyuk showed off the quick hands Habs fans are dreaming of, putting an impressive deke on Peter Budaj before also beating Carey Price. Galchenyuk and Rene Bourque advanced to the finals where both missed, allowing Andrei Markov to score on a hard shot and win it for his side.
Practice ended in a unique way, with Brandon Prust educating Ryan White on some of the finer points of fighting technique at centre ice. The two didn’t exchange any actual punches, but grappled and maneuvered in a friendly manner. Camp continues in Brossard at 10 AM again tomorrow.
Watch: Galchenyuk’s dazzling shootout goal on Budaj (via TSN)
► ‘Dogs Summon Reinforcements: Already struggling, the Hamilton Bulldogs will be severely shorthanded for their two mid-week contests against the Abbotsford Heat. After having lost leading scorers Gabriel Dumont and Brendan Gallagher as well as blueliners Mike Commodore and Jarred Tinordi to Canadiens’ camp, the club will also be without Mike Blunden, Patrick Holland, Michael Bournival, Louis Leblanc, and Frederic St. Denis, all called up temporarily to take part in an intrasquad game in Montreal Thursday night. With their Bulldogs’ teammates unluckily all the way in British Columbia this week, it would not be possible to shuttle them back and forth in time to suit up.
Thus, the Bulldogs are reaching out for reinforcements. Yesterday, the club inked Tyler Murovich to a tryout agreement, and today signed two more ECHL’ers to similar deals. Winger Riley Armstrong is the younger brother of Montreal’s Colby Armstrong and has 2 NHL and 402 AHL games of experience under his belt. The signing likely triggered childhood memories for the older Armstrong of being asked to phone up his kid brother when his pond hockey game needed another player to make even teams. Also signed was blueliner Mark Isherwood, a teammate of Armstrong’s this season with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies but who has never played beyond that level.
Lastly, the team also recalled tough guy Ian Schultz from the ECHL, he who played 60 games for the ‘Dogs a year ago but whose career seems headed in the wrong direction. All should be available for Hamilton’s next matchup tomorrow evening, though it’s likely they won’t last longer than the week with the group.
Read more: Montreal Reassigns Ian Schultz to Hamilton
► Canadiens Provide Details on Fan “Thank You”: Though it’s unlikely the Canadiens had to do anything at all to get fans to return in droves to the Bell Centre, they’ve followed the example set around the league by offering a token “thank you” / “sorry” gesture to fans in welcoming NHL hockey back to Montreal.
As had been previously leaked, the team will play an intrasquad game at the Bell Centre this Thursday at 7 PM, with doors opening at 5:30 and admission being free to all. Further, the team will offer a meal combo (hot dog, chips, and drink) to all in attendance, and merchandise at the boutique will be 50% off that day.
The party will continue on Saturday morning prior to the team’s home opener, with the morning skates for both the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs being open to the public. At the skate, a meal combo will again be offered to all, and the boutique sale will resume for a second day of discounts.
Read more: Hockey is Back!
► Darche Gets Call, Campoli Waiting: Though veterans Mathieu Darche and Chris Campoli both finished last season with the Montreal Canadiens, both entered the NHL lockout this Fall as unrestricted free agents without contracts. Yet despite that fact, both played central roles in collective bargaining negotiations, being two of the players who most frequently represented the NHLPA in meetings with Gary Bettman and the owners.
The hard work may pay off for Darche, who is currently attending the New Jersey Devils’ camp on a tryout after making it clear that it would be NHL or retirement for him. Campoli, on the other hand, is still playing the waiting game, not unlike two years ago where he was also without a contract as training camps began. That year, injury woes struck the Habs early and so then-General Manager Pierre Gauthier sent a lifeline his way. He hopes that managers around the league aren’t holding his involvement in negotiations against him and using it as an excuse to overlook his availability, though with several teams around the NHL a little thin on the back end, it’s likely he’ll also get a call before long.
Read more: Campoli Looking for Work
► Launch of New Sports Media Publisher: All Habs Hockey Magazine now has a parent with the launch of Rocket Sports Media. RSM is a new digital media company which will publish AllHabs.net and our sister site HockeyPub.com. The creation of RSM is as a result of your enthusiastic support and readership of All Habs and Hockey Pub. RSM has some exciting new initiatives in store for you as we continue to build a community of committed sports fans.
Read the press release here: Rocket Sports Media Emerges As New Digital Sports Publishing Company
► New at All Habs Hockey Magazine:
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