mardi 23 juillet 2013

Habs : Northern lights



Source : canadiens.nhl.com

Francis Bouillon recently paid a visit to the Montreal Canadiens Hockey School, but it was far from his first on-ice appearance this summer.

Growing up in Quebec, Bouillon spent his share of summer days honing his skills at hockey camps. Now a 13-year NHL veteran, the 37-year-old still spends his offseasons hitting the ice at hockey schools across the province, looking to grow the game in his backyard.

“I do a lot of camps and golf tournament appearances in the summer. Any time I can help, I will,” explained Bouillon between ice sessions at the Canadiens’ hockey school. “I’ll do [Maxim] Lapierre and [Guillaume] Latendresse’s camp in August and I was just in Kuujjuaq two weeks ago.”

During his time in the remote Inuit community located roughly 1,500 km north of Montreal, Bouillon also had a chance to witness the results of a hockey development program implemented by former Canadiens forward Joe Juneau in 2007. The veteran blue-liner left impressed by the talent level being produced in a town whose population hovers around 2,375.

“There are some really great players there,” shared Bouillon. “Joe runs a program where he has training camps in the city and picks the best kids to help them move south to continue their careers and reach their potential. Hockey is huge up there.”

Following in the footsteps of David Desharnais and Louis Leblanc who previously attended the camp in 2011 and 2012, respectively, Bouillon arrived in Nunavik, ready to teach and learn.

“When the guy asked me to go there, I didn’t know much about it and I knew David had been there before so I called him,” he explained. “He told me it was a great experience and it was eye-opening to see how different it is up north. The way they live is completely different from what we’re used to here.

“It’s not just the hockey; you see the people there and the way they live and they have pretty much nothing. They have things like TV and Internet, but as far as amenities go, that’s about it,” recounted Bouillon. “There are some things you don’t even realize, like food costs a lot more up there because they have to bring it in by boat and it’s a long process. Everything is different.”

While they may pay a premium for fresh fruit and live without many of the comforts of city life, there’s at least one thing the kids in Kuujjuaq have in common with Quebecers growing up in every other community across the province.

“Those kids are really crazy about the Canadiens. That was really fun to see,” shared Bouillon, who spotted plenty of Habs T-shirts and caps during his trip. “I wanted to go there just for the experience. Getting to spend time up there and ask questions and learn about the culture was an amazing experience. It’s something I’ll never forget.

Canadiens : Subban et Price invités



Source : Rds.ca



Hockey Canada a dévoilé la liste des 47 joueurs qui ont été invités au camp d’orientation en vue de former l’équipe canadienne pour les Jeux olympiques de Sotchi.

Du côté du Canadien, Carey Price et P.K. Subban ont été choisis.
En 2010, Patrice Bergeron a été l’unique joueur à avoir représenté le Canada aux Jeux olympiques sans avoir participé à ce camp.

Outre Price, les gardiens Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo, Mike Smith et Braden Holtby seront du groupe contrairement à Martin Brodeur.

À lire également

À la défense, Subban sera notamment entouré de Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Kristopher Letang, Duncan Keith, Shea Weber et Marc-Édouard Vlasic.

« C’est surprenant, mais il s’agit du plus bel honneur que j’ai eu dans ma carrière après toutes ces années à travailler fort. Je suis comblé de pouvoir participer à ce camp avec tous ces joueurs de grande réputation pour avoir la chance de représenter le Canada », a confié Vlasic, qui pourrait convaincre les dirigeants grâce à son travail défensif, au RDS.ca.

En attaque, Sidney Crosby sera au coeur du groupe avec Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, Rick Nash, James Neal, Martin St-Louis, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews et John Tavares.

À noter que les trois frères Staal (Eric, Jordan et Marc) sont invités.

C'est donc dire que six Québécois ont obtenu ce vote confiance. Il s'agit de Bergeron, St-Louis, Luongo, Crawford, Letang et Vlasic. Boyle, Toews, Methot et Giroux s'expriment aussi en français.
Crawford et la fierté canadienne

Au total, cinq gardiens, 17 défenseurs et 25 attaquants constituent le groupe qui sera dirigé par les entraîneurs Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Lindy Ruff et Claude Julien.

Ce camp se déroulera du 25 au 28 août à Calgary et il s'agira de la première étape du processus de sélection des 23 joueurs qui porteront les couleurs du Canada lors des Jeux de Sotchi, en Russie.

Crosby et Toews figurent parmi les 15 invités qui ont aidé le Canada à décrocher l'or aux Jeux de Vancouver en 2010. Les autres sont le gardien Roberto Luongo, les défenseurs Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook et Shea Weber, ainsi que les attaquants Patrice Bergeron, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Mike Richards, Eric Staal et Joe Thornton.

En plus de Subban, Alex Pietrangelo, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, John Tavares, Claude Giroux et Brad Marchand sont invités pour une première fois. Quant à Crawford, il est l'unique joueur qui n'a jamais représenté le Canada dans une compétition internationale.

Les Blackhawks de Chicago comptent le plus de joueurs invités avec cinq, suivis des Penguins de Pittsburgh avec quatre. Les Bruins de Boston, les Kings de Los Angeles et les Capitals de Washington en ont trois chacun.

Tout comme Brodeur, le vétéran Jarome Iginla, qui a participé aux trois dernières éditions, n'est pas du lot des invités.

Le Canada amorcera le tournoi olympique contre la Norvège, le 13 février.

Gardiens

Joueur
Taille.
Poids
Date de naissance
Lieu de naissance
Équipe 2013-2014
Corey Crawford
6'2"
208
12/31/84
Montréal, Qc
Blackhawks de Chicago
Braden Holtby
6'2"
203
09/16/89
Lloydminster, Sask.
Capitals de Washington
Roberto Luongo
6'3"
217
04/04/79
Montréal, Qc
Canucks de Vancouver
Carey Price
6'3"
209
08/16/87
Anahim Lake, C.-B.
Canadiens de Montréal
Mike Smith
6'4"
215
03/22/82
Kingston, Ont.
Coyotes de Phoenix

Défense

Joueur
Taille
Poids
Date de naissance
Lieu de naissance
Équipe 2013-2014
Karl Alzner
6'3"
217
09/24/88
Burnaby, C.-B.
Capitals de Washington
Jay Bouwmeester
6'4"
212
09/27/83
Edmonton, Alta.
Blues de St Louis
Dan Boyle
5'11"
190
07/12/76
Ottawa, Ont.
Sharks de San Jose
Drew Doughty
6'1"
208
12/08/89
London, Ont.
Kings de Los Angeles
Mike Green
6'1"
207
10/12/85
Calgary, Alta.
Capitals de Washington
Dan Hamhuis
6'1"
209
12/13/82
Smithers, C.-B.
Canucks de Vancouver
Travis Hamonic
6'1"
206
08/16/90
St. Malo, Man.
Islanders de New York
Duncan Keith
6'1"
200
07/16/83
Penticton, C.-B.
Blackhawks de Chicago
Kristopher Letang
6'0"
201
04/24/87
Ste-Julie, Qc
Penguins de Pittsburgh
Marc Methot
6'3"
231
06/21/85
Ottawa, Ont.
Sénateurs d’Ottawa
Dion Phaneuf
6'3"
214
04/10/85
Edmonton, Alta.
Maple Leafs de Toronto
Alex Pietrangelo
6'3"
201
01/18/90
King City, Ont.
Blues de St Louis
Brent Seabrook
6'3"
221
04/20/85
Tsawwassen, C.-B.
Blackhawks de Chicago
Marc Staal
6'4"
207
01/13/87
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Rangers de New York
P.K. Subban
6'0"
216
05/13/89
Toronto, Ont.
Canadiens de Montréal
Marc-Édouard Vlasic
6'1"
205
03/30/87
Montréal, Qc
Sharks de San Jose
Shea Weber
6'4"
233
08/14/85
Sicamous, C.-B.
Predators de Nashville

Attaquants

Joueur
Taille
Poids
Date de naissance
Lieu de naissance
Équipe 2013-2014
Patrice Bergeron
6'2"
194
07/24/85
Sillery, Qc
Bruins de Boston
Jeff Carter
6'4"
210
01/01/85
London, Ont.
Kings de Los Angeles
Logan Couture
6'1"
200
03/28/89
London, Ont.
Sharks de San Jose
Sidney Crosby
5'11"
200
08/07/87
Cole Harbour, N.-É.
Penguins de Pittsburgh
Matt Duchene
5'11"
200
01/16/91
Haliburton, Ont.
Avalanche du Colorado
Jordan Eberle
5'10"
184
05/15/90
Regina, Sask.
Oilers d’Edmonton
Ryan Getzlaf
6'4"
221
05/10/85
Regina, Sask.
Ducks d’Anaheim
Claude Giroux
5'11"
172
01/12/88
Ottawa, Ont.
Flyers de Philadelphie
Taylor Hall
6'1"
194
11/14/91
Kingston, Ont.
Oilers d’Edmonton
Chris Kunitz
6'0"
193
09/26/79
Regina, Sask.
Penguins de Pittsburg
Andrew Ladd
6'2"
205
12/12/85
Maple Ridge, C.-B.
Jets de Winnipeg
Milan Lucic
6'4"
220
06/07/88
Vancouver, C.-B.
Bruins de Boston
Brad Marchand
5'9"
183
05/11/88
Hammonds Plains, N.-É.
Bruins de Boston
Rick Nash
6'4"
213
06/16/84
Brampton, Ont.
Rangers de New York
James Neal
6'2"
208
09/03/87
Whitby, Ont.
Penguins de Pittsburgh
Corey Perry
6'3"
210
05/16/85
Peterborough, Ont.
Ducks d’Anaheim
Michael Richards
5'11"
200
02/11/85
Kenora, Ont.
Kings de Los Angeles
Patrick Sharp
6'1"
199
12/27/81
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Blackhawks de Chicago
Eric Staal
6'4"
205
10/29/84
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Hurricanes de la Caroline
Jordan Staal
6'4"
220
09/10/88
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Hurricanes de la Caroline
Martin St-Louis
5'9"
185
06/18/75
Laval, Qc
Lightning de Tampa Bay
Steven Stamkos
6'0"
190
02/07/90
Unionville, Ont.
Lightning de Tampa Bay
John Tavares
6'0"
199
09/20/90
Oakville, Ont.
Islanders de New York
Joe Thornton
6'4"
225
07/02/79
St. Thomas, Ont.
Sharks de San Jose
Jonathan Toews
6'2"
210
04/29/88
Winnipeg, Man.
Blackhawks de Chicago

mercredi 17 juillet 2013

Habs : Canadiens appoint Stephan Lebeau assistant coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs



Source : canadiens.nhl.com

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Tuesday the appointment of Stephan Lebeau as assistant coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the American Hockey League.

“Stephan has a wealth of knowledge as a hockey coach. His experience and ability to work with young players are a tremendous asset for our organization. We are extremely pleased to have him join our coaching staff in Hamilton,” indicated Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.

In 2012-13, Stephan Lebeau completed his 5th season as head coach and hockey coordinator with the Bishop's College School in Lennoxville. Before joining the BCS Bears in 2008-09, Lebeau was the head coach of the Magog Cantonniers of the Midget AAA for two seasons (2006 to 2008) where he posted a record of 48-34-7 in 89 games. Prior to his tenure behind the Cantonniers’ bench, he served as head coach for the QMJHL Victoriaville Tigres for two seasons, from 2004 to 2006.

Stephan Lebeau enjoyed a 16-year hockey career at the professional level, including eight seasons in the NHL from 1988 to 1995, recording 277 points in 373 regular season games (118 goals, 159 assists). He played six seasons in a Montreal Canadiens jersey (1988 to 1994) amassing 243 points in 313 games (104 goals, 139 assists), and etched his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the Canadiens in 1993.

Before making the jump to the NHL with the Canadiens in 1988, Lebeau spent one season in the AHL with the Canadiens affiliate club in Sherbrooke (1988-89), where he registered a team record 134 points in 78 games (70 goals, 64 assists). In his only season in the AHL, he captured the Les Cunningham Award (MVP), the Dudley Memorial Award (Top Rookie) as well as the John B. Sollenberger Award (Top Scorer).

Lebeau had previously enjoyed a stellar junior career, from 1984 to 1988, with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, recording 580 points in a mere 270 regular season games, including 281 goals and 299 assists, making him the second all-time scorer in CHL history (behind Patrice Lefebvre).

Canadiens : De la Rose retenu en Suède



Source : Rds.ca



Le choix de deuxième tour (34e au total) du Canadien de Montréal en 2013 Jacob de la Rose va demeurer en Suède la saison prochaine plutôt que de se joindre aux Spitfires de Windsor, selon ce qu'a confirmé son agent Erik Ryman.

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L'ailier gauche de 190 livres et 6' 2" avait pourtant exprimé le désir d’intégrer l’équipe de la Ligue de l’Ontario lorsqu’il s’est présenté au camp de développement du CH au début du mois de juillet.

Sauf que la formation de la Suède en a décidé autrement en ne voulant pas le libérer de son contrat auquel il reste encore une année, ce qui ne fait visiblement pas l'affaire du directeur général des Spitfires, qui s'attendait à pouvoir compter sur la jeune recrue en vue de la prochaine campagne.

De la Rose a inscrit six buts et six mentions d'assistance avec Leksand en deuxième division suédoise la saison passée.

lundi 15 juillet 2013

Habs : Around the world



Source : canadiens.nhl.com



After spending a week running the Canadiens development camp, Martin Lapointe’s real season is about to begin.

Nearly 60 hockey prospects descended on the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard in the past week, all with the shared goal of getting themselves noticed. For some, the event marked their first real contact with the Canadiens organization, a sneak peek at their potential future stomping grounds and the staff they could one day be working with. For others, despite their young age, it was far from their first rodeo with regards to Habs development camps. Even for those who had run the gauntlet before, the latest incarnation of the camp offered some key differences in structure and organization – all designed to help give every player involved the chance to get the most out of their continued development.



“This year, our goal was to organize only one single camp. We wanted to avoid holding a first one with our prospects at the beginning of the summer and then another after the draft, as used to be the case. Marc [Bergevin] and I worked together in Chicago and we tried to base what we’re doing here on that model in certain ways,” explained Lapointe, who had been with the Blackhawks staff since 2009 before being hired by the Habs in 2011. “But the way we’re doing things now involves organizing our days a little differently. In addition to the training sessions and scrimmages, we’re giving these young guys the chance to attend seminars with sports psychologists, nutritionists and more.

“Obviously it’s a lot of information to absorb in a pretty short period of time, but it’s a process we’re trying to lead our prospects through,” continued Lapointe. “The later we get in the week, the more intense the on-ice sessions become as we try to put these players in specific game situations during practice to help us gauge how they’ll handle themselves.”

As much as they can accomplish at development camp, five days is far from sufficient when it comes to truly getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of every last one of the prospects on hand. It’s for that reason that when the camp finally draws to a close in Montreal, the Canadiens director of player development hits the road, travelling to the four corners of North America and even crossing the pond to Europe to continue learning about his charges. Getting the chance to see these young players in their own environment, suiting up as members of their actual teams, offers not only the opportunity to view them from a very different angle as players, but also to take the time to interact with them and get to know them as people.

“My job will be to go and see all the players that have been drafted by the Canadiens, whether in Junior, at the university level, or over in Europe,” said Lapointe, who will also be spending a week in Hamilton to observe the Bulldogs. “This year, I’m going to start filming them with my iPad so that directly after a game I can go speak with them and we can go over some sequences together. It’ll make life a lot easier since I won’t have to wait to get a DVD from the coaching staff.

“I’ll also be speaking with their coaches to try and learn as much as I can about the players – things like how they get along with their teammates and how they carry themselves in a team atmosphere,” he added. “It’s even more important to do that with the guys we just drafted since I don’t know them as well yet.”

All these elements help surround Canadiens prospects like never before, allowing the work of Lapointe and his team to be of huge use to the organization when the time comes to weigh in on the progress of the players. While such practices are now becoming the standard among NHL franchises in dealing with up-and-coming players, that certainly hasn’t always been the case.

Having personally already experienced the ups and downs that come for a young player with his sights set on an career at hockey’s highest level, the 39-year-old former NHL forward is quick to admit how much he would have benefited from a similar setup as a teen taking his first strides in the QMJHL.

“When I was coming up, there wasn’t anything close to this when it came to dealing with young players and prospects. On top of that, in those days, I didn’t speak English either and when I arrived in the United States I was tossed into a world where I didn’t know anyone. It was definitely tough to integrate myself into the rest of the group,” admitted Lapointe, the Detroit Red Wings’ first round selection at the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. “It’s obviously a great feeling for a young player to see that the team that drafted you is taking an active interest in you and your development. It’s important mentally because should they ever start going through any tough moments in their careers, we can at least be there to help boost their morale and give them some tips and pointers that can help them out.”



Officiellement avec le Ska



Source : Rds.ca

Le SKA de Saint-Pétersbourg, une équipe de la KHL, a annoncé avoir conclu une entente de quatre ans avec Ilya Kovalchuk.

L'attaquant russe avait renoncé à son contrat de 15 ans d'une valeur de 77 millions $ avec les Devils du New Jersey la semaine dernière.

Dans un communiqué diffusé lundi, le SKA n'a pas dévoilé les termes du contrat avec Kovalchuk, mais le président du club, Gennady Timchenko, a qualifié le hockeyeur de 30 ans de « véritable leader ».

Ilya Kovalchuk a marqué 417 buts et inscrit 399 aides au cours de ses 816 parties dans la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH).

Ses meilleures saisons remonte à 2005-2006 et 2007-2008, alors qu'il avait atteint un sommet personnel en marquant 52 buts.

Kovalchuk compte aussi trois saisons de 40 buts.

L'attaquant a représenté la Russie lors de trois Jeux olympiques d'hiver, neuf Championnats du monde, un Championnat mondial junior et à la Coupe du monde de 2004.

Il a joué avec le SKA de Saint-Pétersbourg lors du plus récent lock-out.

vendredi 12 juillet 2013

Habs : Wearing the Habs jersey was a goal for Brière



Source : Montrealgazette.com

One of the first conversations Daniel Brière might want to have with his new Canadiens teammates will be with goaltender Carey Price, a gentle apology for a villainous act Brière doesn’t even remember committing.

It was Feb. 16, 2008, and Price had just earned his first career NHL shutout, 34 stops blanking Brière’s Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 at the Bell Centre. And before a Canadien could retrieve the final-buzzer puck for Price’s trophy case, a frustrated Brière flipped it lazily over the glass and into the crowd where it would disappear forever.

“Really?” Brière said Tuesday evening from Arizona, his first of many laughs punctuating a wide-ranging talk. “I did that? I had no clue.

“I don’t remember it, but I can assure you, it was not done on purpose. I’m very respectful of things like that. Had I known it was Carey’s first shutout, I’d have been the first to send the puck down the ice to him.

“Flipping it over the glass was a total accident.”

Price, Brière should know, is not big on collecting souvenirs from his NHL shutouts, currently 22 and counting; he’s never thought a thing about Brière’s breach of etiquette. The Canadiens took another puck from the game to mount on a plaque for Price and, probably until now, the goalie has known nothing about it not being “the” game puck.

With this mea culpa out of the way, Brière could get down to the business of building relationships in the Canadiens dressing room, his home for the next two seasons following the signing last Thursday of his two-year, $8-million contract as an unrestricted free agent.

The 35-year-old Gatineau native will arrive in Montreal in a fishbowl as much as on a sheet of ice, a highly scrutinized francophone forward who is determined to prove to his team, to its often mind-bent fans and even to himself that he has not yet reached his best-before date.

His production dipped to a career low in lockout-shortened 2012-13, totalling six goals and 10 assists in 34 games; the year before shows a thin 49 points on 16 goals in 70 games.

There have been extenuating circumstances. Brière suffered concussions in both seasons and arrived with the Flyers following the lockout with a wrist mending from a fracture suffered in Germany.

You suggest to Brière that 2013-14 could be viewed as a comeback season for him and he replies: “I think that’s fair to say. I know there’s a lot left in the tank, there’s no doubt in my mind. I can’t wait to get out there and show everyone and be a part of the greatest franchise in hockey.”

With 847 NHL games to his name through 15 seasons, another 108 in nine playoff campaigns, you’d think that Brière was beyond feeling that he needed to prove anything to anyone.

“I do,” he contradicted. “Oh yeah, I do. I want to prove that last year was just a fluke, that I can still play at the same level that I did the season before in the playoffs (with eight goals and five assists in 11 postseason games).

“It was a rough season,” Brière admitted of 2012-13. “But I’ve also been someone who always bounces back from adversity and that doesn’t scare me. I use that as motivation and that’s what I’m going to do.

“One thing I know for sure is that when I have the chance to play with that Montreal jersey on my back, there’s no better motivation than to be a Canadien. That’s going to give me a shot of adrenalin every single night that I put it on.”

He will wear the No. 48 that’s been on his back since he arrived in Buffalo from Phoenix a decade ago. And he laughs when he’s told that the number in Montreal was last worn on Nov. 28, 2009 by J.T. Wyman, the most recent goal scored by a player in that jersey coming on Oct. 9, 1999, off the stick of Miroslav Guren.

“It’s got a lot of goals left in it,” Brière joked, “so that’s good.”

Of course, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder had the opportunity six years ago to play for the Canadiens, the team he worshipped as a boy. But he chose in the summer of 2007, as he left the Sabres as a UFA, to sign an eight-year, $52-million contract with the Flyers.

When Philadelphia elected last month to buy him out of the final two years of that pact, freeing him to sign anywhere, the Canadiens again came calling. And they found a different mindset in Brière than when they unsuccessfully courted him in 2007.

With more than a dozen other teams intrigued at various levels, Brière this time opted for Montreal, leaving longer terms and bigger dollars on other tables.

“We’d talked to 16 different teams and it was very flattering. But at the end of the day, it always came back to Montreal and having the chance to wear that jersey,” he said. “There was nowhere else I could get the same kind of feeling.

“I think we spoke first with the Canadiens (on July 3). I remember hanging up and thinking, ‘Wow, whoever I’m going to talk to next, it’s going to be tough to match what (GM) Marc Bergevin and (coach) Michel Therrien said.

“They did a fantastic job of explaining where they were going and what they thought of their team. I was very impressed with both of them, how they view their team and where they’re going with it. There was no turning back after that — especially starting with the fact that I wanted to be there in
the first place.”

Brière has been booed relentlessly by Canadiens fans the past half-dozen years for having previously spurned the Habs advances. And now, he says he quite frankly doesn’t know how the cheers will sound to him.

“I don’t know exactly. I’d by lying to you if I said I do,” Brière said lightly. “That’s part of the reason why I’m here — I want to see what it’s like.

“I saw (booing) as a compliment,” he added, laughing. “If they ignored me, it would mean they probably didn’t care that I was somewhere else and I’m not so sure that would be a good thing. Montreal is one of the most passionate fan (bases) in the NHL. To have the chance to play in front of them, on their side, is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Brière chuckled again at the thought of the “welcome” awaiting him as a Canadien back in heckle-happy Philadelphia.

“All I know is I was treated great the whole time I was there by both the organization and the fans,” he said. “I honestly don’t think it will be an issue.

“It’s not like I left on my own terms. The Flyers had to make a tough decision and decided to buy me out. It’s not like I asked to go somewhere else. They made a decision and I have to move on. I’m sure the fans will understand that.”
Sure they will.

The Ottawa Senators would be the “hometown” team of most kids growing up in Gatineau, north of the national capital, but they weren’t much on Brière’s radar.

“Growing up, I watched the Canadiens,” he said. “I admired all those Canadiens players. I wanted to be one of them, and now I have the chance to be.

“I also believe that I’m in a good place in my life right now where I feel that I’m more ready to attack this chapter. I’m very excited about it. I just can’t wait for camp and the season to start to take it all in.”

If the Canadiens had been a dream since his youth, then, how much of Brière’s turning his back six years ago was a matter of perhaps not being ready or willing to play in a market that can suffocate its high-profile players, especially francophones?

“I don’t know,” he replied. “It was a tough decision back then also. My heart was with the Canadiens even back then. But this time around I feel it’s good timing.

“The team is in a good position to take it to the next level. It’s a new organization starting with (owner) Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin. They’re heading in the right direction. I feel very fortunate that I have the chance to be part of their solution, as they see it.”

Brière was in Hearst, Ont., last Thursday, at Flyers teammate Claude Giroux’s charity golf tournament, when his Habs signing was announced. Telephone reception was sketchy at best. So he was connected that evening to a 20-minute media conference call on a land line in a bowling alley, falling pins echoing in the background.

“At least it wasn’t a pay phone,” he joked.

Brière’s cellphone had nearly melted, six or seven text or voice messages arriving for each to which he replied.

“For so long, so many people — friends and family — were trying to tell me to come to Montreal,” he said. “They’d do it in a nice manner, jokingly most of the time, but when they all realized it was for real. …

“I had a big grin on my face going to bed that night, thinking about all the players I used to watch growing up, thinking that now I would be one of them and that probably a lot of little kids would be going to be bed thinking about our team next year.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling. I think there’s no better place in the world, if you’re a hockey fan, than being in Montreal. Having the chance to put on that uniform is very, very special.”

If Brière has been too busy in the past week to spend time sifting through the Internet’s reaction to his signing — a great deal of it uncomplimentary, and worse — he gratefully received a handful of text message from new teammates.

“I can’t control what’s being said by fans,” he said. “They’re allowed their own opinion on it. It’s their right. It’s my job to convince the doubters that they’re wrong and to prove to everybody who’s behind me that they’re right.

“The reason I signed here is because I think it’s a good situation. I think it’s the right time and I also believe I can help this team.”

This week, Brière’s three young sons pulled on Canadiens jerseys they’ve had tucked away. Their father, who hasn’t yet worn one, smiled at the sight and photographed it for posterity.

“Seeing so many Canadiens fans with jerseys and hats coming out that night in Hearst, that was pretty cool,” he said. “But it was also a little different for me. It kind of brought me back to my younger days growing up cheering for the Canadiens. It felt like going back to my own childhood.”

Brière is back in the gym working to prepare for his return to skating early next month. He’ll soon find his way to Montreal to deal with the myriad issues of settling in a new hockey home, his fourth in the NHL.

And he will pause to recall what, until now, has been his most memorable moment in this city.

Brière knew, upon signing in Philadelphia in 2007, how difficult the fan abuse would be on his sensitive mother, Constance. So for his first two seasons as a Flyer, he found a way to have Mom in Philadelphia to help out with the boys, watching on TV while her son played at the Bell Centre.
But come his third season with the Flyers, both knew it was time.

“My mother met me at our Montreal hotel before the game (of Feb. 10, 2010),” Brière recalled, “and she said something that she’d never before said.

“She said to me, ‘Please, score a goal for me tonight, I think I’ll need it in that crowd.’ ”
Brière opened the scoring against Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak 4:37 into the first period. And then he scored again six seconds from the end of the second. And once more, this time against Carey Price, on a penalty shot midway through the third.

“I believe I gave a game puck to my mom,” Brière said.

Constance Brunet Brière passed away last summer, about 10 months before her son signed to play with the team whose pictures he harvested as a boy.

“But I know that somewhere my mom is laughing,” Brière said. “I’m sure she is very glad that I’m now a Montreal Canadien, and like me she’ll be very happy to see me put on that sweater.”

LNH : Après Rask, Bergeron



Source : Rds.ca

Patrice Bergeron a signé une prolongation de contrat de 8 ans avec les Bruins de Boston qui lui vaudra en moyenne 6,5 millions de dollars par saison.

Il lui restait encore une année à son contrat et il en coûtera 5 millions sur la masse salariale la saison prochaine.

L'attaquant québécois a été un élément important dans le succès de l'équipe cette saison et a démontré beaucoup de dévouement et de caractère pendant les séries éliminatoires puisqu'il a joué malgré un poumon perforé, une côte fracturée, une déchirure du cartilage d'une côte et une dislocation d'une épaule.

La quête des Bruins a toutefois été stoppée par les Blackhawks de Chicago en finale, ces derniers ayant remporté la coupe Stanley en six matchs.

Bergeron a inscrit 10 buts et 22 aides en 42 parties du calendrier régulier et a ajouté 15 points (9 buts, 6 passes) en 22 matchs éliminatoires en 2012-2013.

Les Bruins ont consenti un contrat de 8 ans d'une valeur de 56 millions au gardien Tuukka Rask ce mercredi 10 juillet.

jeudi 11 juillet 2013

Habs : A well-deserved honor



Source : canadiens.nhl.com



Nearly 30 years after taking his first strides with the Canadiens in the NHL, Chris Chelios is ready to take his place among the legends of hockey.

Recognized as one of hockey’s most consistent and effective defensemen at both ends of the ice for over two decades of NHL action, Chelios didn’t waste any time getting himself inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame, receiving the distinction in his first year of eligibility.

“It’s a great honor. Thank you to the committee; it’s one of the highest honors any athlete can receive. It’s thrilling and I’m really excited about this,” expressed Chelios, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, female hockey star Geraldine Heaney and former coach and general manager, Fred Shero. “Unfortunately no one was in my house when the call came. Everyone is either at a hockey camp or a lacrosse camp. I couldn’t share the news with anyone. Even though you know it’s coming, it was a big surprise when it really happened.”

Selected by the Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, at the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Chelios made his way into the league three years later for what would prove to be an exceptional professional career. While he may have only spent seven seasons as a Hab, also suiting up for the Blackhawks, Red Wings and Thrashers over the course of his time in the NHL, that didn’t stop him from making his mark on Canadiens history. Chelios still holds the team record for most points by a rookie defenseman with 64. He was also the first American-born player to ever wear the “C” for the Habs, and before P.K. Subban accomplished the feat a few weeks ago, he was the most recent Montreal player to win the Norris Trophy.

Although those achievements might date back to the 1980s, Chelios still admits today that his years with the Canadiens were among the most important of his 26 NHL campaigns – a record he shares with Gordie Howe.

“Like I’ve said numerous times, playing for Montreal was like a college experience going to Harvard. I came in and I got the chance to play with some veterans like Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey. They took me under their wings and I’ve learned from the best,” reminisced Chelios, who won the first of his three Stanley Cups with the Habs in 1985-86. “I was really fortunate. They’re really good hockey players but they’re great guys as well. To learn from the best you have to listen to them. That had a big influence on my career.”

When it’s time for him to officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony set to take place in November, Chelios will become the 55th member of the organization to receive the honor. In the wake of one of the most important distinctions of his career, the 51-year-old pointed out that the road he took wasn’t always an easy one – a fact that makes his current experience even sweeter.

“There’s probably no reason in the world that I should’ve played in the NHL because of where I grew up. Being from the restaurant business, no one was playing organized hockey in the neighborhood that I’m from,” explained Chelios, who grew up in a suburb of Chicago, IL. “I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I finally got my big break when I was 15 years old and went to play in Canada (for Moose Jaw in the SJHL). It was a crazy dream; it’s not like I was a kid growing up in a hot bed of hockey.”

And yet, he now finds himself immortalized among the best to ever play the game.

Canadiens : McCarron sous contrat avec le CH



Source : Tvasports.ca

Le Canadien de Montréal a mis sous contrat son choix de premier tour lors du dernier repêchage, l'attaquant Michael McCarron.

Le contrat est d'une durée de trois ans.

L’attaquant originaire du Michigan a participé au dernier camp de perfectionnement du Tricolore et pourrait poursuivre sa carrière dans les rangs juniors avec les Knights de London dans la Ligue de l’Ontario la saison prochaine.

Une chose est sûre, il fait officiellement une croix sur la NCAA.

La saison dernière, McCarron a inscrit 10 points, dont cinq buts, en 19 matchs avec l'équipe américaine des moins de 18 ans.

mercredi 10 juillet 2013

Habs : Bergevin minimizing risk in Brière deal



Source : Montrealgazette.com

You’ve heard of the “sign-and-trade” deal?

How about “sign-and-hope?”

That had to be what Marc Bergevin was doing when he signed Danny Brière: sign the man and hope he can still, at age 35, recover the form that made him a feared offensive force around the league.
Which doesn’t mean the Brière signing is a bad deal. The risk is minimal, the upside is significant and Bergevin didn’t give up any of his future assets to bring in a popular, French-Canadian star.

Yes, Bergevin had been pretty clear: he doesn’t believe in building through free agency and the Canadiens need to get bigger.

So it wasn’t surprising that some fans were disgusted after Bergevin signed a small free agent. But he tried to get that big, talented centreman the Canadiens have needed since forever when he went after Vincent Lecavalier — but five years for Lecavalier at this point in his career is barmy.

Why does signing Brière make sense? For openers, there’s the French factor. Say what you will, the Canadiens need francophone players in general and French-speaking stars in particular. It’s the market, it’s the tradition, it is important.

Then there’s the upside: in Brière’s case, it’s more than enough to justify the relatively minimal risk of two years at $4 million per. While it’s easy to complain about the failure to land a big forward with size and grit, when you look at the price for some of these players, it doesn’t make sense.

Bobby Ryan to the Senators? After making a complete hash of negotiations with Daniel Alfredsson, Bryan Murray landed Ryan with a good contract but at a huge price: Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first rounder in 2014. Go through the Canadiens' roster of young talent and find a similar match and you have some idea what the Habs would have had to give up.

David Clarkson? Dave Nonis reinforced the impression that he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing by letting Mikhail Grabovski get away to sign the less talented Tyler Bozak, then going far too long for Clarkson.

Bergevin, meanwhile, stuck to his guns. Even if Brière is a complete bust, Bergevin didn’t bust the bank to sign him.

Even more significant, perhaps, was the way Bergevin approached the signing of George Parros. The GM emphasized that the club did due diligence, making the effort to learn how Parros was regarded in the room before signing him — precisely what Bob Gainey failed to do before acquiring Georges
Laraque, when the most casual check with the Penguins room would have warned him away.

No, the Canadiens weren’t big winners in the free-agent frenzy. But they didn’t lose a thing. Parros fills their most urgent need, Brière might still drive opponents crazy — and they aren’t hamstrung with any five-year deals.

LNH : La cuvée 2013



Source : Rds.ca

Les anciens défenseurs Chris Chelios et Scott Niedermayer, ainsi que l'ex-attaquant Brendan Shanahan ont été élus au Temple de la renommée du hockey.

L'ancien entraîneur de la LNH Fred Shero sera également intronisé, tout comme Geraldine Heaney.
Choisis parmi les trois anciens joueurs de la LNH en vue de la cérémonie d'intronisation, Chelios et Niedermayer ont été élus à leur première année d'admissibilité.

« J'ai fait partie d'une époque et je pense que Chris a fait partie de plusieurs époques, a dit Niedermayer à la blague. La chose dont je me souviens lorsque j'affrontais Chris, c'est qu'il était un des gars les plus difficiles à affronter, même en tant que défenseur. Il me compliquait toujours la vie.

J'espère que ce ne sera pas la même chose quand nous serons à Toronto en novembre. »

Chelios sera le premier joueur depuis Patrick Roy, en 2006, à être intronisé après avoir fait ses débuts avec le Canadien de Montréal. Admis en 2011, Doug Gilmour a également porté l'uniforme tricolore.
Shero a été choisi dans la catégorie des bâtisseurs, tandis que Heaney est la troisième femme à être élue au Panthéon.

Ils seront donc encore plusieurs, cette année, à déplorer que les électeurs n'aient pas pensé au défunt Pat Burns, ancien entraîneur du Canadien, des Maple Leafs de Toronto, des Bruins de Boston et des Devils du New Jersey. Celui-ci a remporté le trophée Jack-Adams, remis à l'entraîneur de l'année, avec trois équipes différentes.

D'autres mentionneront les noms d'anciens joueurs comme Eric Lindros, Phil Housley, Jeremy Roenick et Paul Henderson en dressant la liste des absents notables.

La cérémonie d'intronisation aura lieu en novembre.

Chelios a disputé 23 saisons complètes et des parties de trois autres campagnes dans la LNH, alors qu'il a pris part à son dernier match à l'âge de 48 ans. Considéré par plusieurs comme le meilleur hockeyeur américain de l'histoire, il a remporté le trophée Norris, remis au meilleur défenseur de la LNH, à trois reprises.

Le défenseur a totalisé 185 buts et 763 aides en 1651 matchs dans la LNH avec le Canadien, les Blackhawks de Chicago, les Red Wings de Detroit et les Thrashers d'Atlanta.

« Il n'y a probablement aucune façon de comprendre comment je me suis retrouvé dans la LNH parce que j'ai grandi dans l'univers de la restauration et personne ne jouait au hockey dans mon voisinage, a raconté Chelios. J'imagine que je me suis retrouvé au bon endroit au bon moment. Ce fut toute une aventure, ça c'est certain. »

Niedermayer a remporté la coupe Stanley à quatre reprises au fil de ses 17 saisons dans la LNH, en plus de mettre la main sur le trophée Norris et le trophée Conn-Smythe, remis au joueur par excellence des séries. Il a inscrit 172 buts et 568 aides en 1263 matchs avec les Devils du New Jersey et les Ducks d'Anaheim.

 À lire également

Shanahan a totalisé 656 buts et 698 aides en 1524 rencontres avec les Devils, les Blues de St Louis, les Whalers de Hartford, les Red Wings et les Rangers de New York. Il a décroché la coupe Stanley en trois occasions, en plus d'une médaille d'or olympique. Il était considéré comme un des meilleurs attaquants de puissance de sa génération.

« Scott et Chris étaient des joueurs difficiles à affronter et c'était un plaisir quand vous pouviez enfin jouer avec eux, a mentionné Shanahan. J'ai passé plusieurs saisons à jouer en compagnie de "Cheli" et je ne pourrais pas penser à quelqu'un d'autre si on me demandait qui vous voulez avoir dans votre équipe pour vous protéger dans les situations difficiles. »

Shero a remporté la coupe Stanley deux années de suite à la barre des Flyers de Philadelphie, en 1974 et 1975. Il était considéré comme un innovateur à l'époque, en raison des systèmes de jeu et des plans de match qu'il cherchait à inculquer. Celui qui a dirigé les Rangers pendant trois saisons après ses sept campagnes derrière le banc des Flyers a été élu au Panthéon 23 ans après sa mort.

Heaney occupait le poste de défenseur au sein de l'équipe canadienne qui a remporté la médaille d'or aux Jeux olympiques de 2002. Elle est considérée comme une des meilleures hockeyeuses de l'histoire.

mardi 9 juillet 2013

Habs : Final impressions

Source : canadiens.nhl.com

Prospects and invitees closed out the Canadiens’ annual development camp on Sunday with a fast-paced scrimmage that saw Team Red register a 6-3 victory over Team White at the Bell Sports Complex.

Ben Duffy, who signed a tryout contract with the Habs in late June after leading the QMJHL in scoring during the 2012-13 season with the Prince Edward Island Rocket, scored three goals for Team Red in the win.

“It was a good team effort. Playing with [Sebastian] Collberg and [Erik] Nystrom, they made it pretty easy for me to play my game,” praised the Lower Sackville, NS native, who capped his Junior career with 39 goals and 110 points in 68 games. “I’m here to be a skill player. That’s what I do. Just being on a tryout basis, I knew I had to step up a little more and I think I’ve done that. I think I’ve stepped up offensively and showed what I can do.”

The all-time leading scorer in Rocket history, Duffy believes he made significant progress over the course of his first professional camp experience, and he was looking to close it out on a high note.

“I started off a bit slow. It was my first camp, just trying to adjust and get used to everything. As I got comfortable in my game, I started to hit my stride and I played well,” explained the 21-year-old centerman, who went undrafted and has committed to play for the University of New Brunswick come September to further his development. “I thought I might get a few opportunities [to be drafted], but I think it shows a lot about my character to kind of bounce back from stuff like that and take advantage of the opportunities that I do get.”

Like Duffy, goaltender Zachary Fucale is adamant that he leaves the Canadiens' development camp with a wealth of new information that will prove useful going forward.

“I could name a lot of things [that I’ll take way]. Just the way it works around here is a big thing. The philosophy of the Montreal Canadiens, and playing with guys who are much older, 22 and 23-year-old pro guys. So, it’s different and it’s fun. I think everyone enjoyed this whole week for sure,” mentioned the No. 36 overall selection in 2013, who turned aside 17 of the 20 shots he faced for Team Red. “We’re going to get back to fundamentals and work on little things and make sure we arrive ready in all aspects of the game for September’s [rookie] camp.”

That sentiment was echoed by Michael McCarron, the Canadiens’ first-round selection, 25th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

“It’s given me a lot of work that needs to be done to get up and play here,” admitted McCarron, who played alongside Sven Andrighetto and Jeremy Gregoire for Team White. “I had a pretty good weekend here. I just need to work on a few things, like my consistency and my quickness and I feel like I’m right there. So, just a little more work needs to be done and I feel like I’ll get here.”
Nystrom, Zach Hall and Louis Leblanc also tallied for Team Red, who outshot their opponents 38-28. Maxime Gravel, Patrick Holland and Darren Dietz scored for Team White.

Lnh : Qui recevra l'appel du Temple?



Source : Rds.ca



Le comité de sélection du Temple de la renommée du hockey se rencontre mardi afin de déterminer et d'annoncer les élus de la cuvée 2013.

Après Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Adam Oates et Mats Sundin l'an dernier, plusieurs ex-joueurs et bâtisseurs espèrent recevoir l'appel du Temple, dont Brendan Shanahan, qui a été ignoré en 2012.

À lire également

Plusieurs gros noms sont éligibles pour une première fois. Parmi eux, on retrouve les défenseurs Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer et Rob Blake. Chez les attaquants, Paul Kariya, Rod Brind’Amour, Keith Tkachuk et Markus Naslund espèrent être élus à leur première année d'éligibilité.

Outre Shanahan, les candidats qui attendent l'appel du temple depuis au moins un an sont nombreux. Parmi les plus notoires, on retrouve Dave Andreychuk, Vincent Damphousse, Phil Housley, Jeremy Roenick, Theoren Fleury, Pierre Turgeon, Eric Lindros, Guy Carbonneau et Sergei Makarov.
Chez les bâtisseurs, le nom de Pat Burns, qui a été ignoré dans le passé par le comité, refait surface, tout comme Fred Shero.

L'annonce des nouveaux élus aura lieu à 15h mardi. La cérémonie d'introduction pour les nouveaux membres se déroulera le 11 novembre prochain à Toronto.

lundi 8 juillet 2013

Plenty of solid free agents still available

Source : Nhl.com



The first day of NHL free agency saw several teams open their wallets, including huge signings of Nathan Horton (Columbus Blue Jackets) and David Clarkson (Toronto Maple Leafs).

But several key players remain on the open market and are looking for a home, either with the club they played for in 2012-13 or one that has a hole it's looking to fill.
Here's a look at 25 of the top unrestricted free agents still on the market:
FORWARDS
NAME
2012-13 TEAM
STATS
SKINNY

Jaromir Jagr
Dallas/Boston
45 GP 16-19-35
Future Hall of Famer showed he still has plenty in the tank, helping the Boston Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final after being acquired from the Dallas Stars. A tireless worker who is respected by his teammates, Jagr is a solid top-six forward who can help a team's power play. 

Alexei Ponikarovsky
Winnipeg/
New Jersey
42 GP 4-5-9
------------------------------------------
The big wing was re-acquired late in the season by the New Jersey Devils, who hoped his presence on the power play would help them qualify for the postseason. That didn't work out, but Ponikarovsky may help a club in search of a power-play specialist.

Mikhail Grabovski
Toronto
48 GP 9-7-16
 ------------------------------------------
Highly skilled offensive player didn’t see eye-to-eye with Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and was bought out with four years remaining on his five-year contract. Wherever he lands, it’s imperative Grabovski is in a top-six role, where he’d be most effective. A three-time 20-goal scorer in Toronto.

Damien Brunner
Detroit
44 GP 12-14-26
 -------------------------------------------
Has 44 games of NHL experience after signing as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings, but the 27-year-old Swiss wing is coveted by several teams and would fill a role as a top-six forward. Had nine points (five goals, four assists) in 14 playoff games, helping the Red Wings reach the second round.

Dustin Penner
Los Angeles
33 GP 2-12-14
 -----------------------------------------------
 His production has declined in recent years -- Penner had two goals in 33 games for the Los Angeles Kings in 2012-13 -- but a change of scenery might be beneficial. Big wing (6-foot-4, 242 pounds) has two Stanley Cup championships (Anaheim, Los Angeles).

Brenden Morrow
Dallas/Pittsburgh
44 GP 12-13-25
 ----------------------------------------------
The former Dallas Stars captain showed he can still produce after being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 15 regular-season games. Morrow's biggest quality is his leadership, which would be beneficial to any club.

Daniel Cleary
Detroit
48 GP 9-6-15
 --------------------------------------------
Didn't put up the offense we've seen in years past, but this 34-year-old wing is scrappy and would provide leadership. Cleary is hopeful he will re-sign with the Detroit Red Wings, but if negotiations fall apart, he would be a valuable penalty killer and leader.

Milan Hejduk
Colorado
29 GP 4-7-11
 --------------------------------------------
Hard to envision Hejduk anywhere else -- he's spent his entire NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche -- but the 37-year-old hit the open market. Hejduk has played more than 1,000 NHL games and is 25 goals shy of 400 in his career.

Peter Mueller
Florida
43 GP 8-9-17
 ---------------------------------------------
The skilled center overcame previous health issues and appeared in all but two games for the Florida Panthers in 2012-13, when he had eight goals and nine assists. Mueller, 25, can thrive in the right environment.

Brad Boyes
N.Y. Islanders
48 GP 10-25-35
 --------------------------------------------
The New York Islanders signed Boyes to a one-year deal last summer to see if he could find his offensive game, and he did alongside John Tavares. Now looking for a new home, Boyes will be searching for a team in need of a top-six forward.

Kyle Wellwood
Winnipeg
39 GP 6-9-15
 --------------------------------------------
Wellwood spent the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets and was a solid offensive player, collecting 62 points (24 goals, 38 assists) in 116 games. Much like Boyes, Wellwood needs to be in a top-six role in order to maximize production.

Scott Gomez
San Jose
39 GP 2-13-15
 ------------------------------------------
Gomez had his contract bought out by the Montreal Canadiens at the start of the 2012-13 season and quickly caught on with the San Jose Sharks, where he had 15 points in 39 games. Likely won't find a long-term deal, but could be a low-risk/high-reward signing this summer.

Nik Antropov
Winnipeg
40 GP 6-12-18
---------------------------------------------
Antropov suffered a lower-body injury late in the season, which may have been one of the reasons why the Winnipeg Jets again missed the playoffs. Antropov could be a decent third-line center, considering he had 15 goals for Winnipeg in 2011-12.

Mason Raymond
Vancouver
46 GP 10-12-22
 ----------------------------------------
Solid two-way player who probably won’t be on the market much longer. Raymond's best season with the Vancouver Canucks came in 2009-10, when he had 25 goals and 28 assists.

Simon Gagne
Los Angeles/
Philadelphia
38 GP 5-11-16
 --------------------------------------------
Gagne overcame a recent history of injury problems after being reunited with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he had 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 27 games. He may not receive anything longer than a one-year deal, but can still produce offensively.

Teemu Selanne
Anaheim
46 GP 12-12-24
 --------------------------------------------
Selanne turned 43 in early July and is comig off a season in which he started to look his age, But the Anaheim Ducks are still waiting to see if Selanne wants to return for another season. He's working out, and if he decides to play another season, Anaheim is the only place he'd go.

DEFENSEMEN
NAME
2011-12 TEAM
STATS
SKINNY

Douglas Murray
San Jose/Pittsburgh
33 GP 1-5-6
Hard-hitting veteran defenseman helped the Pittsburgh Penguins reach the Eastern Conference Final after being acquired from the San Jose Sharks. Solid in his own end and will provide a veteran presence in any team's dressing room.

Joe Corvo
Carolina
40 GP 6-11-17
 --------------------------------------------
Another veteran (he turned 36 on June 20) who can help a team in need on the power play. Corvo isn't a top-pair blueliner these days, but can provide leadership and chip in offensively.

Ryan Whitney
Edmonton
34 GP 4-9-13
 -------------------------------------------
Whitney has had a tough time since suffering an ankle injury just after Christmas in 2010, and he was either a third-pairing defenseman or a scratch often in 2012-13. There's little doubt he will aim to prove Oilers brass wrong next season with whichever club is willing to give him a chance.

Wade Redden
St. Louis/Boston
29 GP 3-4-7
 ----------------------------------------------
 After being bought out by the New York Rangers, Redden showed he's still capable of being a bottom-pair defenseman when he caught on with the St. Louis Blues before being shipped to the Boston Bruins at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Ian White
Detroit
25 GP 2-2-4
 --------------------------------------------
White didn't dress for the Detroit Red Wings during the postseason, so he's out to prove he can be a quality top-six defender in the NHL. The 29-year-old has appeared in more than 500 NHL games.


GOALIES
NAME
2011-12 TEAM
STATS
SKINNY

Tim Thomas
Boston/
N.Y. Islanders
Did Not Play
The world-class goaltender opted not to play in 2012-13 and became an unrestricted free agent once the New York Islanders decided not to toll his contract. If/when Thomas signs, he'll have to show he can step right in and be a No. 1 goalie again.

Ilya Bryzgalov
Philadelphia
19-17-3, 2.79 GAA
 ------------------------------------------
It didn't work out for the Russian netminder in the City of Brotherly Love; his nine-year, $51 million contract was bought out with seven years remaining. Perhaps a change of scenery will help Bryzgalov get back to the form we saw in Phoenix.

Jose Theodore
Florida
4-6-3, 3.29 GAA
 -------------------------------------------
Ultimately, Theodore would like to stay with the Florida Panthers, but the team has Jacob Markstrom waiting in the wings. That means Theodore has to find work elsewhere, and he may have to settle for being someone’s backup.

Johan Hedberg
New Jersey
6-10-3, 2.76 GAA
 -------------------------------------------
Hedberg found himself without a job last week after the New Jersey Devils acquired Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks. After being bought out, it's up to the 40-year-old to see if he can find work elsewhere in a backup role.