Rabid Habs

The Dog Days Of Summer

Ever since the Habs’ heartbreaking loss to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final, I’ve had one thing and one thing only on my mind… and I’m pretty confident in saying that all true hockey fans have probably been having the same thought… “is it October yet”?

I truly didn’t know what to expect from Marc Bergevin and company during these summer months, and I must say, he’s thrown me for a loop so far. Now, before I get to that I’ll talk a little bit about our first round selection in the draft, Nikita Scherbak.

This kid wreaks of charisma, and not to mention his hilarity and charm that could make even the sternest of people crack a smile. From his witty interview with James Duthie just a few mere moments after Trevor Timmins called his name, right up until the live Q & A he conducted on Youtube just a few days ago, it’s safe to say that this kid is going to be beloved by Habs fans in Montreal, and already is for that matter.

How a kid of his skill-set dropped right into the Canadiens’ lap is beyond me, and there’s no doubt that he could turn into a gem. But with young kids like him it’s either hit or miss. There’s no doubt his offensive awareness and skill is among the best in the 2014 draft, but with that comes a part of his game that’s uncertain. He’s been known to just float without the puck, and he isn’t very good in his own end of the rink. I might as well say it as it is, and not sugarcoat anything. If this kid can work on that aspect of his game there’s no doubt in my mind he will be a Habs for many years to come.

As for Marc Bergevin throwing me for a loop, come on, we all must admit he’s made all of our eyes widen in disbelief. I mean, the trade he pulled off with Colorado is mind boggling to say the least. Acquiring PA Parenteau and a 5th round draft pick for Danny Brière is nothing short of magical, and I’m pretty sure that even Houdini himself, if he were alive today, would applaud such wizardry.

Not to knock Brière, but it’s no secret he isn’t the player he was even 5 years ago, plus his diminutive size (there’s that word again, size) was an issue in a lineup that had too many players under 6 feet tall. Now don’t get me wrong, Danny is a clutch performer come playoff time, but it was the right move to send him packing.

PA Parenteau, in my opinion, is an upgrade over Brière. I know, I know, Parenteau isn’t the next coming of Guy Lafleur, but he is a step up from Brière. He’s 6 feet tall (hallelujah) and close to 200 lbs, a giant of a man compared to ol’ Danny boy, and even though the imprint of the dog collar he wore in Patrick Roy’s doghouse is still around his neck, I’m pretty confident he’ll step it up in Montreal. Now, it isn’t all his fault that his time in Colorado wasn’t all that great, I mean, he did have an issue with injuries while playing there. Let’s all hope he’s had his ‘injury bug shots’ from his doctor.

Ok, time to move on to another eye opener from Bergevin… the trade of Josh Gorges. I mean, who saw that coming? I certainly didn’t. Trading one of your top D men who blocks shots like a trooper and would take a bullet for his teammates might not seem like the smartest thing to do, but I have full confidence in Mr. Bergevin. Afterall, look at what he’s done for the team in 2 short years. Also I must mention, the fact that Gorges wouldn’t accept a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs shows that he bleeds bleu, blanc et rouge, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he will continue to bleed our sacred colors until the day he dies. It’s obvious to me that the trade was made for a few reasons, a salary dump, to get rid of his contract, and to open up room for newly signed Tom Gilbert, which also allows Alexei Emelin to play on his comfortable side.

Seeing that I have mentioned Gilbert, I’ll talk a little bit about him. He’s a big 6 foot 3, mobile defenseman who can make that first pass out of his zone and can play on the PP, and even though he isn’t your typical stay at home defenseman he’s still, in my opinion, an upgrade over Gorges. Plus, we have Mike “Dream” Weaver to perform our shot blocking duties.

As for Brian Gionta, our former captain, I think his leadership, along with Gorges’ leadership, will be missed in the locker room. But other than that, I haven’t got much else to say about him. Maybe that seems cruel and disrespectful to some of you, well, sorry, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it’s safe to say I wasn’t sad to see him go.

Now, finally, I’ll get to the feel good story of the summer for me, the signing of Manny Malhotra. A player who the Vancouver Canucks basically tried to force into retirement after the injury to his eye. Good for Manny to prove all the naysayers wrong with his pretty solid play in Carolina. I’ll take a 6 foot 2, 220 lbs faceoff specialist on my team any day.

With all that being said, I cant wait until October. I’d trade all these sun filled, beautiful summer days in a heartbeat if it meant the puck dropped tonight. Sure, the sun tan looks nice, but not nearly as nice as the Habs look on our TV’s. GO HABS GO!