This Is a Trade? Plus…..Cole, The Coach, And Other Meanderings

Canadiens have sent Brock Trotter and a 7th round draft pick to Phoenix in exchange for forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenceman Garret Stafford.

I can hear you now whooping and hollering and planning the new parade route.

This is such an inconsequential deal and one that addresses none of the woes of team aside from the fact that we now have another defenceman, although he has a ticket to Hamilton waiting for him.

Rumours have been swirling that Pierre Gauthier is trying to shop Andrei Kostitsyn around – Habs GM On Hunt For Blue Line Help, and if Garret Stafford is the new blue line help, then I wave the white flag and start paying attention to cricket and maybe take a cooking course to stay busy.

If Gauthier wants to rid himself of Kostitsyn, fine, but Kostitsyn hasn’t been the biggest problem, not by a country mile. The biggest problem is the coach and the way he’s ruining Erik Cole, for example. Cole and his wife must hate what’s going on, as it hasn’t been a happy time so far for the new guy. One assist in seven games, and it seems he’s being handled wrong by this bench boss who handles many wrong.

He sees small minutes, has said that Martin doesn’t speak to him, is bounced around from line to line, and sits on the bench as Mathieu Darche plays the power play, as pointed out by Darth, Danno, and Number 31 in fine fashion.

In fact, I think I’ll include their comments here and now. These are smart folks.

Darth –  Cole is in JM’s doghouse now for some reason and it’s believed that it’s because Cole didn’t show up in proper game shape at the beginning of training camp. I find it very odd that a no-good putz like Gomez gets treated like a superstar no matter what shit he pulls yet Cole is the bad one.

If this is true (about Cole) I can understand being upset about him but to do this to him when Gomez is given a free-pass? What the hell is going on?

Danno – Some say Jacques Martin was condescending, disrespectful and patronizing towards Montreal TSN radio reporter Jessica Rusnak when she asked him why he played Darche instead of Cole on the power play.

Seems like a fair question given that Cole was hired to score goals and has 43 career power-play goals to Darche’s three. So why would he openly criticize the woman’s credibility as a reporter by questioning her “research”.

Number 31 – Cole actually had the inklings of his breakout game for this team and…gets benched. That’s grounds for firing the coach right there.

Actually if I remember correctly…I think it was Pierre McGuire who suggested she (Jessica Rusnak) ask that question. Too bad but I don’t think she had the stats to throw back in his face (Cole 43 pp goals, Darche 3 pp goals). Would have been great to see him work his way out of that one. And frankly referencing Carolina stats from last year is crap anyway. Eric Staal is currently the leader with the worst +/- in the League, would you cut his ice time?

Oh and Cammy’s 4 pp goals from his first season here doesn’t remove him from the powerplay does it?


MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens general manager, Pierre Gauthier, announced today the acquisition of forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenseman Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes, in return for forward Brock Trotter and a 7th-round draft pick in 2012.

Nokelainen will join the Canadiens in Montreal, while Stafford will report to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Forward Michael Blunden has been recalled from the Bulldogs, while forwards Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj have been assigned to Hamilton.

Nokelainen, 25, registered one assist in five games with the Coyotes this season. He recorded three shots on goal, five hits and one blocked shot. The 6’01’’, 202 lbs centreman averaged 10 minutes, 58 seconds of ice time per game. In 194 NHL career games, Nokelainen has tallied 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists), with the New York Islanders, the Boston Bruins, the Anaheim Ducks and the Coyotes.

A native of Imatra, Finland, Nokelainen was drafted in the first round, 16th overall by the Islanders at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

In six games this season with the AHL Portland Pirates, Stafford, 31, collected four points (1 goal, 3 assists). In seven NHL career games with the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and Coyotes, the 6’01’’, 207 lbs defenseman tallied two assists.

A native of Los Angeles, Stafford joined the Coyotes as a free agent on July 3, 2010. In 562 career games in the AHL, he has registered 317 points (83 goals, 234 assists) and served 452 penalty minutes.

Trotter played five games with the Bulldogs this season and registered seven points (2 goals, 5 assists). One of his goals was tallied on the powerplay. He served four penalty minutes and collected 10 shots on goal. Trotter played two games in his career with the Canadiens in the NHL.

In five games with the Bulldogs this season Blunden collected three assists. The 24-year old right winger maintained a +1 plus/minus differential and recorded three shots on goal. He suited up in 51 career regular season games in the NHL with Chicago and Columbus, registering four points (2-2-4). A native of Toronto, Blunden was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired from the Blue Jackets on July 7, 2011 in return for Ryan Russell.

Engqvist suited up in seven games with the Canadiens this season. The 23-year old centreman maintained a +1 plus/minus differential, recorded one shot on goal, three hits and four blocked shots, while averaging 6:55 of ice time per game. Hailing from Stockholm, Engqvist signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on July 13, 2009.

Palushaj played four games with the Canadiens this season. The 22-year old right winger recorded two shots on goal and four hits, while averaging 5:47 of ice time per game. A native of Livonia, Wisconsin, Palushaj was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in return for Matt D’Agostini.

4 thoughts on “This Is a Trade? Plus…..Cole, The Coach, And Other Meanderings”

  1. Stafford to Hamilton, basically Woywitka 2.0 because one of our D-kids got hit from behind. Trotter’s out because Louis Leblanc needs his ice time. (I’d argue so does Avtsin). Only “Nokie” comes to the Habs fourth line…

    If Kostitsyn gets traded I’m gonna scream. He’s currently on our best line and one of our leading point getters! That Moen-Eller-Kostitsyn line was our best line last season too! Suuure let’s chop off more offense. Obviously ’cause who wants to score goals in hockey?

    When I heard of a trade with the Coyotes, I was hoping it was Jacques Martin for Dave Tippett.

  2. I don’t know anymore, Dennis. As much as we blame the coach and tend to when things are bad, do we really know what goes on in that room? Is Danno there? Darth? Its all heresay and that drives me crazy.

    As for the reporter incident, I think we’re making way too much out of this. If it was Tort no one would have the balls to lynch him like they do Martin. I heard the comment by Martin; it’s not like he ripped her head off. Chill, people.

  3. Marjo, fair enough points and he didn’t rip her head off but he let her know he didn’t want Cole there, he had his chance, and she should do her homework. To me it’s not like him and shows he’s become testy from the pressure. All I know is, the team’s in 29th spot and it sucks.

  4. I wish I was in the room Marjo. I’d love to have a talk with them. Doubt they’d listen to me but I’d just love to be heard. Btw, if Martin goes (tomorrow is the do or die game for him) the replacement coach will probably be Gainey again until they hire someone full-time. This is according to various sources so I am not sure how accurate it is.

    Last year Cammy was caught on tape yelling about Martin’s system and how they were going to get killed playing that way. I heard it and if I can ever find it I’ll post it.

    As far as I know a lot of them are really fed up with this so-called system. They do want to try things but are held back and they don’t practice offence as much as they should. Martin loves 1-0 games. As long as someone scores and they keep it out of their own net he doesn’t care. So for everyone wanting to score and raise their stats…they’re shit out of luck.

    Thanks for the compliment Dennis. Least I finally have some proof that someone thinks I’m smart. 🙂

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