Whitby - Sep. 28, 2011 - If you’re like me, you are ‘chomping at the bit’ for the Montreal Canadiens to make their final cuts to training camp, to ice an NHL-ready squad for each and every contest and for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge to start showing some urgency, drive and energy to their game. October 6th is only eight days away - I guess I can endure two more insignificant pre-season Canadiens’ exhibition games.
Habs’ Transactions Over the Past Nine Days
September 28 - Goaltender Nathan Lawson, defenseman Frederic St-Denis and Forward Brian Willsie were assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Of the 36 players left in the Habs’ camp, 11 are on the injured list.
Rookie defenseman Rafael Diaz has been skating with Jaroslav Spacek. Diaz’ consistent play in the pre-season may have helped him to move ahead of fellow defenseman Yannick Weber. Weber was used at the forward position at the Habs’ practice.
For the time being, newly signed defenseman Chris Campoli (see September 27th below) has been paired with defenseman Josh Gorges as one of the top-four defenseman for the Canadiens.
Training camp standout, rookie forward Brendan Gallagher has been rewarded for his strong play, as he will suit up for both of Montreal’s final two pre-season exhibition games.
September 27 - Defenseman Chris Campoli signs a one-year deal with the club as much uncertainty surrounds all-star defenseman Andrei Markov and his knee injury.
Forward Gabriel Dumont was assigned to Hamilton.
Goaltender Carey Price signed an Under Armour clothing deal in Quebec.
On the injury front, forward Lars Eller (shoulder) hopes to return to action for opening night on October 6th versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defenseman P.K. Subban (back) has only played one pre-season game to date.
September 26 -Forward Michael Cammalleri was awarded the Jean Beliveau Trophy for community service for the 2010-11 season for his charitable endeavors and community involvement.
Down On the Farm
Hamilton Bulldogs’ Training Camp Opens
September 27 - Bulldogs’ training camp opens at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec.
Forward Philip DeSimone and defenseman Olivier Dame-Malka both sign a one-year-two-way AHL/ECHL contract.
Bob McNamara announced as the new president for the Hamilton Bulldogs’ franchise. McNamara is a 50-year-old Toronto native who is also a former goaltender at the University of Notre Dame and most recently for the AHL Rochester Americans.
Neutral Zone Nailer
Listen to the Wheeling Nailers on 97.3 FM
September 23 - The ECHL affiliate of your Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that all 72 Nailers’ regular season games including all playoff games will be broadcast on The MIX 97.3 WKWK FM for the 2011-12 season.
Friday, October 14th (7:35 p.m.) will be the first broadcast for the 2011-12 Nailers’ season when the team faces the Greenville Road Warriors at the BiLo Center in Greenville, South Carolina.
On the Fly
Brendan Gallagher, RW, Drafted 5th Round (147th Overall) in 2010 NHL Entry Draft
So just who is this wonder kid? Brendan Gallagher is a
19-year old rookie who has been playing his heart out at
every opportunity given to him by the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff.
Listed at 5’8”, 165 lbs, Gallagher has been a leader for his
WHL Vancouver Giants team prior to this season’s training
camp for the Montreal Canadiens.
Last season in the WHL, Gallagher amassed 44 goals and 91 points in only 66 regular season games. He has always been a tremendous goal scorer, with a nose for the net. He has always shown great energy and that has been evident this pre-season with Les Habs. Gallagher has survived all of the Canadiens’ training camp cuts to this point. His inspired play has paid tremendous dividends in that coach Jacques Martin has indicated Gallagher will play the remaining two exhibition games to close out the pre-season.
At this point, if it were up to myself, I would be selfish in selecting him over other Habs-hopefuls like Aaron Palushuj or Andreas Engqvist as he is much more exciting to watch and he creates scoring chances whenever he is on the ice. However, it would be unfortunate to hurt Brendan Gallagher’s development into a successful NHL player by having him play pro too soon.
No Habs fan would want to see this fantastic prospect turn into other ‘sure bets’ like Kyle Turris or Gilbert Brule. Very few gifted athletes can make the jump from junior at a very young age right into the National Hockey League and be successful. As we have seen all too often, you rush a kid through the ranks too fast and your ‘sure thing’ soon becomes a ‘bust’.
Expect to see Gallagher play out the pre-season schedule with the Canadiens and then be returned to Vancouver to play another season in the WHL.
It’s been a busy week for yours truly with the nightly post-game updates. Feel free to drop me a line at any time, I would love to hear from you.
Check here tomorrow for my opinion piece on the Subban brothers “All in the Family”.
Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…