Authors Posts by Kosta Papoulias

Kosta Papoulias

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Coach K is the producer of the Montreal Hockey Talk pre and post game shows, to which he is a regular contributor. His 15 years of coaching experience, along with his passion for the game, give him a unique perspective. You can follow Coach on Twitter @CoachRules

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3Zone

 

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they welcome Francois Landreville into The 3 Zones to discuss off-ice training and power skating techniques. Our  panel also take a look into women’s hockey and the challenges in growing their game.

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In what can be constituted as the first bold move by Canadiens GM Marc Bergavin, Scott Gomez has been told by the organization to pack his bags and stay home.

In a press conference at the Canadiens practice facility this morning, Bergavin explained that the organization can ill afford an injury to the much maligned center. An injury would eliminated the Canadiens’ ability to buyout Gomez at season’s end, a situation they can ill afford with the salary cap dropping to $64.3 Million next season.

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3Zone

 

WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they discuss what NHL coaches will be face with in preparation for a shortened training camp and condensed season. They also touched on politics in minor hockey, and its effects on player development and scouting.

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The 2012-2013 off-season has been seen by many as the most important in the history of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.  The Habs were the worst team in the Eastern Conference last season, unacceptable result for the NHL’s most storied franchise.

Pierre Gauthier was fired as General Manager on March 29th. Much of the blame for the failures of 2011-12 were placed solely on his shoulders. For that matter, many of the questionable trades made by his predecessor Bob Gainey were blamed on Gauthier’s inability to identify team needs froma professional scouting perspective.

Even the way he handled Michael Cammalleri, who was quoted as saying, “I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder we lose.” was seen by most as a knee-jerk reaction. Cammalleri was promptly traded in the middle of a game versus the Boston Bruins two days after those comments, to the Calgary Flames.

Marc Bergevin was hired as Gauthier’s replacement on May 2, 2012. After about of month of speculation, he hired Michel Therrien as the new head coach, replacing the much maligned Randy Cunneyworth. Cunneyworth worked in the most uncomfortable circumstances, but eventually was let go, along with his assistant Randy Ladouceur. Therrien filled those vacancies with Clement Jodoin, Gerard Gallant and JJ. Daigneualt. Larry Carriere returned to the front office, after his brief stint behind the bench, to resume his roles as an assistant GM and GM of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Bergavin then chose to hire Scott Mellanby, Patrice Brisebois, Martin Lapointe in the front office, along with Rick Didley, to act as Bergavin’s right hand man.

Bergevin began making on ice changes at the 2012 NHL Draft. As a result of their awful 2011-12 season, the Canadiens had the third overall pick. Bergevin and his staff used that pick to draft American/Russian center Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk, is both a talented and big  center, a definite need from an organization perspective. Galchenyuk has played this season with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, and leads the team in scoring. He was also part of Team USA, in their conquest of this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship. Along with Galchenyuk, the Canadiens drafted RW Sebastien Collberg and D Dalton Thrower in the second round, LW Tim Bozon in the third, C Brady Vail in the fourth and LW Charles Hudon in the fifth. Their sixth round and final pick was LW Erik Nystrom.

Bergevin further put his stamp on the club through free agency, by acquiring wingers Colby Armstrong, and Brandon Prust, as well as goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, and bringng back defenceman  Francis Bouillon.

Bergevin must now address what to do with high priced, and failing veterans, Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle. The two amnesty buy-outs proposed in the new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement should see the departure of both of them.

There is defintely more work to be done. There is still the P.K. Subban contract that needs to be addressed, but overall, the Habs line up is tougher and have a ton more character than they did just a season ago. Along with his players acquisitions, Marc Bergavin has restructured the entire organization, giving it a totally new identity.

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The following blog was submitted by Gerry Goto, one of Montreal Hockey Talk’s most loyal listeners. You can follow Gerry on Twitter @Cain93.

Shortly after the cataclysmic events of the 2012-2013 NHL lockout, Scott Gomez, panic stricken and paralysed by even the most modest of on-ice expectations, chose to sign with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL rather than
loiter around at home like he did for most of his last season with the Montreal Canadiens. Last year was a real low point in the career of the enigmatic forward, nearly being outscored by anyone on the team in possession of a
hockey stick despite earning a team high 7.3 million dollars. At one point during the season a dishevelled looking Gomez reminisced about times past when he was able to consistently put up more points than Peter Budaj in any given season.

Recently, the Alaska Aces forward jumped at the opportunity to field questions in the highest profile interview the vertically challenged star has been able to land in years. What follows is an exclusive Q&A excerpt from the
Hillside Elementary School Gazette out of Anchorage Alaska.

HESG: “Last season was a really bad year for you, I mean, you did pretty much nothing at all last season, what was your motivation in signing with the (Alaska) Aces and taking away a roster spot from someone who is just trying to feed their family?”

Gomez: “That’s an excellent question. I mean, at first I thought of simply donating some of the millions I clearly don’t earn to local development leagues but it just made more sense to hang onto my money, especially when I
could sign another contract on top of the one I already had and bring in an extra 400 bucks a week of beer money, and besides, whoever got bumped from the roster wasn’t going to make it anywhere anyway.”

HESG: “After you signed the contract with the Aces. Mike Danton, a hockey player convicted of conspiracy to commit murder called you a loser. How did that make you feel?”

Gomez: “You know, it really hurt for a little while. But in my time with the Montreal Canadiens, Pierre Gauthier would call me into his office, and let’s just say…there are worse things in this life than being called a loser.” [Interviewer pauses while Gomez tears up.]

HESG: “I apologize. I know that last question was very difficult for you.”

Gomez: “The hardest part was always the taunts afterwards in the locker room, the players were always so cruel. One in particular would shout “sanduskied” whenever I walked in the room after a meeting. It was horrible.”

HESG: “Onto the lockout, in the latest CBA negotiations there are discussions about each club being entitled to one “Compliance Buy-Out”, what are your thoughts about that?”

Gomez: “If that happens to be included in the next CBA, then I know I’m gone. With the season I had I totally expect it and understand. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to generate any interest with other clubs but I remain optimistic and my agent has assured  me that he can find me other work if this whole hockey thing doesn’t work out. Nothing is written in stone  yet, but my agent has informed me that he is deep into negotiations to secure guest appearances on Arctic Air and Honey Boo Boo.”

After 10 games Scott Gomez currently sits 12th in scoring on the Alaska Aces with 5 goals, 7 assists, and 12 points, that’s 9 more points than Peter Budaj had all of last season.

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The following thoughts are those of Habs’ fan extraordinaire Patrick Scebba, who wanted to get a few thoughts about the NHL lockout off his chest:

Fans all over the world are slowly starting to turn on the NHL. With the NHL being locked out for 95 days already, most people are starting to lose hope of a 2012-2013 season.

The NHL and NHLPA have talked many times and can’t seem to get anything done. As a dedicated hockey fan, I find this ridiculous. I am only 18 years old, and the NHL has been locked out 3 times since I was born. No other league has lost as many games as the NHL has.

Everyone seems to blame one man, Mr. Gary Bettman. I feel that at this point, it is both the NHL and NHLPA’s fault. These negotiations are becoming a cat and mouse game. They just can’t seem to agree on a deal.

There is one thing that everyone is forgetting… the fans. The only reason that the NHL is alive today is because the millions of hockey fans worldwide. With out any fans, the NHL would not be the billion-dollar corporation it is. There would be no 20,000 seat arenas, no ticket sales, no apparel sales. Basically, it would be a glorified beer league.

The fans are what make the NHL a viable sports league that we all love. This lockout is killing the game slowly, but surely. What ever happened to “playing for the love of the game?” wasn’t that the reason the players began to play hockey in the first place?

I understand that the love for the game doesn’t pay the bills, but for the amount of money both the players and owners make, there’s more than enough to go around for everyone. The people that are losing out the most because of the lockout are the staff members at NHL arenas, and the businesses that depend on hockey to sustain themselves.

Also, the fans are losing the camaraderie the game they affords them. I sit here on a lonely weeknight scrolling through my twitter feed, and missing the game more than ever. I can’t stand not watching hockey because it has become a part of my everyday life.

On Montreal Canadiens’ game days, I would sit in front of the TV with my dad and we would watch our mutually favourite team together. All the while, I would connect with thousands of other Habs’ fans through Twitter, which was the ultimate. Every time the Habs would score, I see hundreds of people I follow tweet “GOAAAL” or tweet the name of the player who scored. This brought a huge smile to my face, and that is what I miss the most.

As one sad NHL fan, all I can do is hope and prey for the NHL to return, but by the looks of it, my prayers won’t be answered. I just hope they can solve this lockout and agree to something before the NHL is ruined completely.

Let me know your thoughts on the Lockout and what you’re doing to help you get through this tough time, on twitter @MTLDriveFor25

 

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