Rabid Habs

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Vol. 1

Habs' Jiri Sekac

Written by: Karine Hains

All through the season, I’ll be publishing a weekly column titled The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It will mostly focus on the Habs but should something unavoidable happen on the NHL scene, I’ll make sure to report on it.

As the preseason is already started, I think it’s time to warm-up with the first edition of my weekly column. Granted, not a whole lot has happened thus far so I’ll cover part of the offseason in this week’s installment.

The Good: Jiri Sekac

There’s a new number 26 in town, following Josh Gorges’ departure for Buffalo. The new Habs’ free agent signing is now donning number 26 and he has already raised a few eyebrows at the rookie training camp. Granted, Sekac is 22 and is therefore a few years older than most rookies but this is nevertheless his first NHL training camp and it’s great to see him show up in such good shape. How good you ask? Well, remember the dreaded endurance running test we all went through in school? It was called the Test Léger-Boucher but most people refer to it as the beep test. In a nutshell, you need to run a gymnasium length and if you make it in time, you run back when you hear the beep sound. As you will have guessed, as the test goes on, it becomes nearer and the signals are closer to one another meaning that you must increase your rhythm to perform well in this test. At rookie camp, Sekac made it to the 14.5 mark in the test establishing a new team record in the process. In the first red vs white simulated match, he was amongst the best players and he’s showing a lot of promises. Plenty of teams were interested in signing the free-agent from the KHL but Bergevin was able to snatch him up. So far, it looks like it was the right thing to do!

The Bad: Bouillon at training camp on a trial basis

Do not get me wrong, I admire Francis Bouillon. He plays and has always played with a lot of heart. That being said, he is not getting any younger and it showed last year towards the end of the season and the playoffs. When Bergevin traded Gorges and let Gionta go, he said it was time to bet on youth and see what our young players can do. If you follow that logic, Bouillon should also be on his way out and Beaulieu and Tinordi should be battling for a regular spot at the blue line. Markov, Subban, Emelin, Weaver and Gilbert look set to make it but it remains to be seen which of the two youngsters will be able to snatch that last spot or if Bouillon will be granted a contract and shuffle the deck a bit…

The Ugly: The way Josh Gorges was traded to Buffalo

We all heard the news that a deal was in place between the Habs and the Leafs which involved Gorges. However, he used his modified no movement clause to block the trade and in the end, as Buffalo was on the list of teams he’d agree to be traded to, that’s where the Habs’ former number 26 ended up. More than a few Habs fans were disappointed to see Gorges go but I was even more disappointed since for me, he was the likely replacement of Brian Gionta as captain of the Ste-Flanelle. Anybody who had watched 24 CH must have also thought that, Gorges was one heck of a leader and so very vocal in the locker room. A friend of mine went to an autographs signing session with Gorges in Kelowna this weekend and apparently, Gorges had been led to believe that he would be the next captain of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge. If that is indeed true, I feel that this truly is a rather ugly situation, not without reminding me of the way Mike Cammalleri was traded during a game. That being said, onwards and upwards! With Gorges gone, the youngsters should have more room and ready yourself to see what Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi can do!

That’s all for this week folks! Tomorrow, the real training camp starts and the first preseason game will be against the Bruins on September 23rd, if you’re like me, the days can’t go fast enough!

Go Habs Go!