Whitby - Sep. 13, 2011 -
Training Camp Opens
Fresh off an exciting weekend spent at the GM Centre in Oshawa taking in the 2011 NHL Rookie Tournament, I now present to you tidbits of the latest happenings in the Montreal Canadiens’ organization top to bottom.
Dump and Chase
Canadiens’ Rookie Training Camp Has Opened
The Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp opened on Monday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec. Alain Berger, the former Oshawa General (OHL) that was profiled in On the Fly in my opening column back in August, scored two goals in an intra-squad scrimmage on day one. Berger’s white team scored a 3 -2 victory over the red squad.
Louis Leblanc, the 2009 1st round draft pick, also took part today but was seen wearing a non-contact jersey as he recovers from off-season shoulder surgery. It is expected that Leblanc will start the 2011-12 campaign with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The Habs hopefuls will take part in on-ice practice sessions and tests throughout the week. Off-ice conditioning sessions will be held September 12th to 15th. Two more intra-squad scrimmages will take place at 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. this Tuesday and Thursday.
There are 31 players in camp this week which runs until Thursday. The main training camp opens on Friday. For a complete Habs’ rookie training camp roster lineup, you can view the entire roster here, compliments of Canadiens.com
Annual Golf Tournament
The Children’s Foundation will be the benefactor when the Canadiens hold their annual golf tournament on September 14th at the Club de Golf Laval-sur-le-Lac.
Chris Nilan a Movie Star?
Habs former enforcer, Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan attended the Toronto International Film Festival this past week to help promote Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney’s latest film “The Last Gladiators”.
Nilan is profiled in “The Last Gladiators” and the movie examines the difficulties he had adjusting to life after hockey. The movie focuses on the toll that is taken on enforcers in the game, from a physical and emotional standpoint. Nilan once led the NHL for fighting where he racked up a total of 3,000 penalty minutes over a 13-year career.
Down On the Farm
Reserve Defenseman Fitzgerald Signs One-Way Contract
On September 9th, Montreal Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier announced that the Bulldogs signed defenseman Zack FitzGerald to a one-year, one-way contract. Fitzgerald (6’2”, 205lbs) was originally drafted in the 3rd round (88th overall) in the 2003 NHL entry draft by the St. Louis Blues. FitzGerald has played a total of 299 AHL games, has registered 42 points and has amassed 1,040 penalty minutes.
On the Fly
Andreas Engqvist, the Swedish Defensive Specialist
Born on December 23, 1987 (23 years old) in Bromma, Sweden,
Andreas Engqvist (6’04”, 199lbs) was signed by the bleu-blanc-rouge in 2009 as a free agent. Engqvist is a talented forward with very good offensive instincts.
In 2010-11, he played three games with the big club but did not register a single point. Engqvist did however tally 25 points and was a plus 8 in 71 games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. He added 9 points in 20 playoff games with the Bulldogs in 2010-11. A right-handed shooter, Engqvist was known as an excellent penalty killer and defensive forward with the Bulldogs.
Engqvist’s strength lies in his average to good foot speed and he does possess a NHL level shot. However, while he does not shy away from the physicality of the game, he also does not initiate against opposing teams. With the departure of Jeff Halpern, look for Andreas Engqvist to challenge for a fourth-line shut down centre spot with the Habs this season as there are slim pickings on right handed defensive specialist centres.
Thank you to everyone who submitted your answers to last week’s trivia question to the YouTube video I had posted. The Monologue speaker was none other than John Doman, a former Marine Corps officer and Vietnam veteran. Doman is also an American actor, best known for playing William Rawls, a Deputy Police Commissioner on the HBO series The Wire from 2002 to 2008.
The monologue was taken from a Versus commercial. Kudos goes out to Steven Ross from Montreal and Shawn Pilon from Cornwall for submitting their answers, but the entry with the correct answer was Mark Harrison from Saskatchewan, aka Habs560.
Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…