Category Archives: Florida Panthers

Goodbye Las Vegas, You Beautiful Bastard. (Or is it ‘Gorgeous Dame’?)

Las Vegas is my kind of town. I like the lights, the action, the cleavage all over the place. In reality I’m just a guy from a small and isolated town a million miles away. But in my heart, I’m a member of Sinatra’s Rat Pack. Although I suppose Frank and Dino and Sammy and the others were more concerned about gorgeous dames and martinis than the Montreal Canadiens.




And with the rumblings in the last year or so about a possible NHL franchise being placed in Las Vegas, I decided to think this one out.  I’m not a fan of teams being in hot, palm tree-laden places, and I wasn’t sure if Las Vegas measured up. But if the NHL decides to go into another American city, I think Vegas is a good choice indeed. Maybe the best choice in the whole U.S of A.


As long as the arena is near the strip.


The strip is always packed by people from elsewhere, including, of course, thousands of Canadians, and Americans from cold states. Hundreds of thousand of us. It’s not like Nashville or Miami or Phoenix, with people just learning what a puck is. Vegas is made up of people like you and me.


The big shows here cost anywhere from 80 to 200 bucks usually, just like a hockey ticket. And people create incredible line ups to see Barry Manilow, Donny and Marie, and all the other acts I wouldn’t pay five bucks to see.


I don’t think there’d be a problem at all selling 20,000 tickets to a hockey game here. People are just itching to spend money, and do things they can’t do in Moose Jaw and Des Moines. 


But like I say, put the arena within walking distance of the strip. I think that’s crucial. Too far away and people will go see Donny and Marie instead.


I don’t want to go home. There’s too many palm trees to admire, too many hotels to explore, too many two dollar beers at O’Shea’s and Bills to drink.


Game notes:


Habs are at 4.5 to 1 odds to win the Cup. It was 5-1 the other day.

Regardless, I’ve got my ticket.



Habs and Flyers Saturday night. Which Canadiens team will show up, beauty or the beast?



The Boss And The Schedule Maker Have Phone Sex




Office of the schedule maker. Good morning.


Hello, this is Mr. Bettman. I need to speak to the schedule maker.




Yes, schedule maker. We have a problem. I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a few good Canadian teams up there, especially the Montreal Canadiens, and I’m sure you’re aware of what that means. Can you imagine a Canadian team in the Cup finals, schedule maker? Do you understand what that would mean for American TV audiences? No one would watch. We can’t have this. It’s happened before and I’ve decided to put my foot down.


So what would you like me to do, boss?


See what you can do about giving Montreal at least a bunch of big spaces between games early in the season. Maybe it’ll affect their timing, make them rusty, maybe they’ll lose a bunch of games, fall behind in the standings and never catch up. You know, whatever you can do. It’s important.


Later on that summer…




Hello, Mr, Bettman? This is the schedule maker. How about this? I give them almost five days off in October when they’re in Florida on a Monday, and then don’t play Anaheim until the next Saturday! And then, sir, I think you’ll like this! I have them in Long Island in November on a Saturday, then don’t have them play in Columbus until the following Friday, even though the two places are only 400 kilometers apart and about an hour plane ride?


How do you like that?


Schedule maker, you’re a genius. That should take any wind out of those Montreal sails. It’s perfect, and I’ll make sure you have a job next year.


Thank you, Mr Bettman. And by the way, if you decide to move any more Canadian teams to a place like Acapulco or Rio, please think of me for a front office job? Thanks.   



This is the other little ad I have. It also came from an old 1940’s newspaper and it’s good because it gives all the different prices.


Gary Bettman Wets The Bed, And Other Hockey Thoughts

Hockey items you could discuss with your friends after five or six beer:


The Philadelphia Flyers have sent Steve Downey down to their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Players around the NHL now stand a much better chance of not having their skulls cracked. AHL players, however, are putting extra padding in their helmets and have told their wives to remarry if anything happens to them.

Steve Downey is Sean Avery on crystal meth.


Gary Bettman says everything’s rosy in the the league and so talk of a team in Canada is silly, especially the part about having two franchises in the Toronto area. Bettman may or may not have said this as he overlooked the three franchises around New York from his office window.


This is a guy who probably even makes French-Canadian oldtimers long for Clarence Campbell.

And why are teams like Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Phoenix etc. so important to the little man, and placing a team in Canada isn’t?

There has to be a reason. I just don’t know what the reason is. Is he getting fat little Christmas bonuses from people?

Was the bully who picked on Bettman in school a transplanted Canadian?


Rumours contimue about Wild star Marian Gaborik being traded to Montreal. I’m assuming Gary Bettman is against this because if it makes the Habs even stronger and even more of a Cup contender, the Stanley Cup could end up in the dreaded backwaters of Canada, one of the commissioner’s worst nightmares.


And one of my worst nightmares is a major trade involving the Canadiens which disrupts the harmony and chemistry they’ve got going now.  If they landed Gaborik for future draft picks only, then great. But they’d need to clear out some salaries to make room for him, which means moving some existing players.

Is this a good idea?


Did the Boomer-Pocket commercial make you smile?


Bobby Clarke says Sean Avery is an idiot and someone should punch him out. Of course, when Clarke played, he was an angelic, gentlemanly fellow whom the whole hockey world loved. But aside from that, I completely agree with him.


This five-game break in the schedule for the Canadiens may or may not suck. Players can nurse their wounds and certain things can be worked out in practices, but geez, they’ve been on such a roll. And don’t forget about the poor wives who have to put up with them for this long. This isn’t normal for the little ladies.

Hope all this doesn’t affect the big game against Anaheim Saturday night.


Is it possible Gary Bettman told the schedule planners to give good Canadian teams big long days off to disrupt their play?











Canadiens Take Out The Panthers. Jaroslav Halak And RDS Do The Job

Buying one of those PVR digital boxes (the thing that allows you to pause live TV, among other things) for my TV and subscribing to RDS French network for three bucks a month was one of the best things I’ve ever done.


Because now I may never miss another Habs game.


And Monday night, If I didn’t have RDS, I wouldn’t have seen:


The Canadiens notch their fifth straight win with a 3-1 squeaker over the pesky Florida Panthers.


Francis Bouillon playing in his first game after coming back from a leg injury and

scoring the winner in the third period. I would’ve missed this if I didn’t have RDS.


Other things I would’ve missed if I didn’t have RDS.


Tomas Plekanec finally getting his first goal, albeit into an empty net. Plekanec has started the season a little on the slow side, and this in turn affects linemate Alex Kovalev. Maybe this empty netter will get him going.


Montreal’s other goalie, Jaroslav Halak, stoning the Panthers for his second win in his second game of this young season. Having two excellent goalies is a real bonus, and with him in nets, Carey Price can be rested and we’ll still feel confident.

 Montreal has depth all over the place. It makes me proud. 


The RDS viewer’s poll asking the question – what do you prefer – The Canadiens red sweaters, or their white?

77% liked the red sweaters, 23% chose the white. 


I personally have a soft spot for the white sweaters because when I was a kid, it seemed like it was very difficult to find them in stores or catalogues. They were always red. I remember finally getting one, and I really loved it because it was kind of unusual at the time.


Montreal’s Les Cage aux Sports restaurants’ TV ad on RDS offering 8 free wings if the Habs score five goals or more in any game. But I already knew this because the lovely lady at who calls herself No. 31 and is a great Habs fan, told me so last week.


All this because I have RDS.




Montreal now has some well-deserved time off before Saturday when the Anaheim Ducks are in town. That should be a good test for the boys. Maybe Chris Higgins will be ready then.

And hopefully, Andrei Kostitsyn suffers no lingering effects from his concussion.


The following Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricane are in town to end the Habs five-game home stand. No 31 says Carolina should move back to Hartford and I agree.


Georges Laraque didn’t play because his groin injury was bothering him again. Hopefully his knuckles are fine.