At the Canadiens annual golf tournament Monday, general manager Marc Bergevin announced that the team would not be naming a captain for the coming season. Instead there will be four “alternates”. It is just the second time in history the Canadien will play a season without a named captain.
One of the items of business at 2014 Canadiens training camp will be the naming of a captain to succeed Brian Gionta. Among the favourites for the team honour is P.K. Subban. Like everything involving P.K., the candidacy is controversial. The naysayers question his maturity despite a summer in which he has demonstrated ability to stickhandle his way through a minefield of off-ice personal and team issues without controversy.
The announcement of Saku Koivu’s NHL retirement recalled the events that led to his hasty departure from the Canadiens after nearly ten years as the team’s captain. His departure started a string of events for which the Canadiens continue to pay.
Advanced statistics are playing an increasingly important role in the examination of hockey. Most of the new statistics flow from puck possession numbers and success in carrying the play can be translated to consistent success on the scoreboard. The Canadiens would beg to differ.
With at least four teams in salary cap difficulty there will be deals to be made as teams head into training camps on September 18th. There is an indication that Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is paying close attention to the market which is delaying any decision he might make on the future of unrestricted free agent Francis Bouillon with the team.
Canadiens training camp opens September 18th. All eyes will be on right wing Jiří Sekáč; former Hurricanes LW Drayson Bowman will get a tryout; former Habs Scott Gomez will have to tryout at New Jersey and four who played for the Canadiens last year are still looking for a home.
Former Canadiens defenseman Carol Vadnais passed away last week at the age of 68, a victim of cancer. Vadnais should have had a long career with the Canadiens but became one of four defensemen in Canadiens history he is one of four who became or is about to become a cornerstone on another franchise.
The sujet du jour is the vacant position of captain of the Canadiens. In the last few days the Gazette’s Jack Todd made an impressive case for Andrei Markov in the role. Colleague Dave Stubbs spoke with former Habs captain Yvan Cournoyer about his days as captain in the 70’s. Logic tells us that Markov
Something to consider if you’re a member of the old school and have trouble accepting the new wave – of the four teams in the Stanley Cup semi-finals this year…three finished in the top 6 in Team Corsi stats. LA and Chicago were number one and number two….the Rangers number 6. The Canadiens were the outliers at 26th. During the regular season, 11 of 14 non-playoff teams had negative Corsi ratings.
You can never win. Marc Bergevin and the Canadiens settled on what seems to be a fair market 72 million dollar 8 year contract after a tough two month negotiation. Since it was settled, Bergevin has been villified in a high percentage of so-called traditional media commentary and social media without any knowledge of the specifics of the negotiation process.