Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Maple Leafs’

The NHL’s CBA Works Against Player Development

July 14th, 2011

The newly amended Collective Bargaining Agreement following the NHL’s 2004-2005 lockout created a number of significant changes to the NHL; some foreseeable and some not.

The biggest impact from the CBA is the hard salary cap and the significance now placed on talented prospects and rookies.

The economic reality of today’s NHL makes young and talented players (that’s the polite way of saying “cheap but effective players”) an extremely valuable commodity. Common place knowledge now, but GM’s like Jim Rutherford and Bryan Murray figured this out years ago.

While the salary cap limits the amount a team can pay players, it certainly has no bearing on the number of scouts, coaches, and development professionals an organization can employ. I’ve never understood why big market teams don’t invest more in their player personal departments and development programs (the Toronto Maple Leafs being one of the few exceptions).

If I were running a hockey team, I’d be putting my players on custom development programs with my best trainers, scouts, coaches etc… the moment after I drafted them. Seriously – right after the photo on the podium, I’d show my newly drafted prospects a treadmill backstage with their name on it. Then I’d have them board a flight to my team’s gym and practice facility for the rest of the summer.

But wait! You can’t do that.

» Read more: The NHL’s CBA Works Against Player Development

Oh, Eugene…

January 23rd, 2011

I’ve never seen or heard an owner of an NHL team talk as much about doing something as Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. And despite this, nothing ever seems to happen.

The amount of crap this guy spews out is truly amazing. I understand the differences between being a fan and an owner — even though Melnyk might not — and I understand Melnyk needs to remain positive to cool a tepid fan base. But here’s the thing: no one is holding a gun forcing Melnyk to mention the “S-word.” (the Stanley Cup).

The following is a direct quote from Melnyk in a recent interview with the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch from Sunday:

“We’re going to do what it takes to bring the Stanley Cup to Ottawa, whether it takes one, three or five years. It will happen. You have my commitment.”
- Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators owner and All-Star quote machine

I can’t even make this stuff up. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not an NHL owner. This is a fan with nice suits and good perks. I can’t think of another NHL owner who talks this much about doing something without any follow up actions. Eugene, your team is currently 27th in the league. Even the Leafs, the ‘bud’ of every draft joke, sit higher than the Senators. Now probably isn’t a good time to make Stanley Cup commitments.

Imagine next year’s 24/7 HBO special featured the Senators. The entire series could be dedicated to Melnyk’s “future plans.”

In this glorious interview, Melnyk goes on to say “At this time, it makes no sense to make managerial or coaching changes. We’ll let the season play itself out and look forward to building for the future.” Ummm… what?

I would argue this is a critical time for the Senators organization. This is the time for a the club to define what kind of rebuild they are going for – a massive one or a small one. I don’t think I’m alone when I say a massive overhaul is required. Even Melnyk should agree the issue with the Senators isn’t coaching. It’s the players. Four different coaches over the last four or five years should tell anyone that. I like what SensChirp said the other day: this is as close to tanking as a pro sports team can get.

Yes, this is a bit of a rant. I’ve never liked Melnyk’s bold statements. In fact I’m still “buckled up.” I’m all for owner’s believing in their teams, but Melnyk has clearly taken things to a new level. It’s one thing when your team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, or at least a playoff bound team. It’s quite another when you are sitting at the bottom of the league. You don’t see the Islanders or Devils talking about Lord Stanley. Melnyk needs to quit the Daniel Alfredsson School of Guarantees as quickly as possible. It’s getting embarrassing for fans.

Ahhh, it’s official. It’s rock bottom for the Senators. Maybe we all just need to chill out and grab a Huge Euge. Or maybe we, fans, need to see evidence of direction. Or both. Either way…

Stay classy, Eugene Melnyk. Less is more.

Waffle Insight: A small chat with THE Waffle dude

December 22nd, 2010

In typical Burgundy fashion, I have another weird-ass story that treads on ‘WTF territory.’ Here we go…

It’s a normal Wednesday night in Toronto which means it’s cold, I’m tired and I’ve got hockey to play.

On a night that saw my team win, take over first place in our league and me scoring a hat trick (seriously – now I can coast like Alex Kovalev for the rest of the year with no questions asked!), something cooler happened. “But how, Burgundy, how? What could possibly have topped such an epic on-ice performance??”

Kevin Burgundy and the Waffle Man (with a waffle)

The picture is real but the waffle might not be. Well, maybe.

I met Joseph Robb. No big deal.

Who? Joseph Robb. You know, the Toronto Maple Leaf fan facing charges after throwing waffles onto the ice during the Leafs loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday night. I’m not even kidding. Where did I meet him? At the local hockey rink of course. My God – Us Canadians are so cliche…

It seems MLSE hasn’t banned him from local hockey arena’s. Yet.

Some teammates and I were enjoying a post-game brewski (or five) after our big win when a few guys from another team entered the dressing room. If you aren’t familiar with unspoken beer league hockey rules, it’s customary to “kick out” the team using the dressing room before you. It’s basically one group of guys telling the other group “Alright, we’ve waited long enough. Get out so we can get dressed for our game.”

As we were leaving, Robb was the first of his team to enter the dressing room. A minute or two later, a few of his teammates jumped into the room with newspaper clippings and screenshots of TSN’s article. They explained (and proved) Robb was and is the waffle guy. Robb was celebrated in the room as though he just won the Stanley Cup. Or as if he was Brian Burke and actually fired Ron Wilson.

Everyone was dying laughing. This man was and is a king!

Robb mentioned he had to take the day off work because his phone wouldn’t stop ringing with national media outlets, radio stations and sports shows all wanting to speak with him.

So I asked him a few more questions.

The obvious one: How did you get the waffles into the building?
He explained he snuck the waffle packages into the Air Canada Center under his coat when entering the arena prior to the game starting. He indicated the waffles (of the Eggo brand) thawed pretty quickly.

Editor’s note: I’m kind of impressed he held onto the waffles for so long (He threw the waffles on the ice in the 3rd period, when the score reached 5-1 for the Thrashers).

The next obvious question: Why did you throw the waffles?
He said he wanted to make a statement. That statement – That he’s tired of the Leafs losing most of their games and playing “like shit.” He couldn’t stress enough how big a fan he is of the Leafs. He wants a better team to cheer for. Tough to blame him there.

Some other bits of info of Toronto’s newest Hero:

  • The beer Robb is holding in the picture above is from my hockey team. It was our last beer and we figured he earned it.
  • According to Robb, he “had to” take the day off work to deal with the amount of phone calls he’s received from friends, family and national news outlets. He said his parents were slammed with phone calls from reporters all day too.
  • A US-based radio station offered to fly Robb to their studio Thursday morning for an in-person interview. He declined because he had a hockey game to play on Wednesday night.Editor’s note: That’s amazing. What a true Canadian.
  • The local bar near Robb’s home apparently has a picture of him with the newspaper clipping that patron’s have cheered for and celebrated since being put up. The picture was brought to the bar by Robb’s father.
  • Robb has been contacted by several Toronto-based lawyers who’ve all offered their services for free on account of “[the pending charges are] total bullshit.” (Sorry for the language – according to Robb, it’s official lawyer-speak).
  • Robb is unsure of his next move, however, he acknowledged it would be wise to keep a low profile for the time being.

Stay classy, Joseph Robb. I hope your crown bares some waffle-like characteristics.

Epic Story: How San Jose drafted Logan Couture

December 9th, 2010

You might have recently thought “Hey, that Logan Couture guy is pretty good. The Sharks are lucky to have him.” I know I’ve thought this on many occasions over the last few weeks.

Logan Couture - San Jose Sharks

Then for some reason, you get this bizarre urge to find out Couture’s draft year. You eventually determine he was the ninth overall selection during the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus. In an effort to look smart (read: not stupid), you nod your head in approval thinking ninth overall sounds about right.

But hold on for one second!

You recall the San Jose Sharks being a very good team during the 2007 NHL season. Your brain reaches a logical conclusion that there’s no way the Sharks could have had a draft pick that high that year.

Suddenly you are very confused. A team who finished with the fifth most points in the league during the 2007 season ended up drafting a player ninth overall later that summer.

Wait. Come again. What just happened?

It all started on draft day, June 22, when the San Jose Sharks traded forward Mark Bell and goalie Vesa Toskala to the Toronto Maple Leafs (sorry for the reminder Leafs fans) in exchange for Toronto’s first and second round picks (Lars Eller, 13th overall and Aaron Palushaj, 44th overall, respectively) in the 2007 draft, and a fourth round draft pick in 2009 (Craig Smith).

Hey – Maybe this is still one of those “wait and see” kinds of trades. Nevermind. Neither player has suited up for the Leafs in some time. Maybe John Ferguson, Jr. was desperate to acquire a starting goalie to make up for trading Tuukka Rask to Boston a year earlier for Andrew Raycroft. And he was adding a power forward in Bell at the same time too. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Nevermind that too. Maybe JFJ lost faith in the draft system after taking Jiri Tlusty 13th overall in the 2006 draft when Claude Giroux ended up going 22nd overall. Anyways…

Following the deal with the Leafs, the Sharks promptly traded those first and second round picks (Eller and Palushaj) to the St. Louis Blues for their ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft. Of course, that pick ended up being Logan Couture from the Ottawa 67’s.

Ouch.

For those keeping track, the Sharks managed to rid themselves of Mark Bell and Vesa Toskala for Logan Couture, a serious 2010-2011 Calder trophy candidate, and all it cost them was a fourth round pick in the 2009 draft.

Did you hear that noise just now? I think that was the sound of several thousand Leafs fans smashing their face into their keyboards.

There are some teams that flat out rob others during draft weekends. While most of the hockey world was busy watching the Chicago Blackhawks pick Patrick Kane first overall, the Sharks quietly stole one of the best talents available in the 2007 draft for close to nothing… unless you consider Craig Smith something of a big deal.

- – -

Some interesting notes from the 2007 draft:

  • 2007 was the first time two American-born players were selected first and second overall in NHL draft history (Kane picked by Chicago and James van Riemsdyk picked by Philadelphia).
  • The Colorado Avalanche selected Kevin Shattenkirk, one of the more promising rookies this year, 14th overall.
  • Whether the accompanying pressure is fair or not, Lars Eller ended up being a key piece of the Jaroslav Halak trade to the Blues last summer.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs did not make a first or second round selection in this draft (sounds familiar… where have I heard this story before?). In fact, their first selection of that weekend came when they took Dale Mitchell 74th overall in the third round. Yeah…
  • Montreal selected P.K. Subban 43rd overall, one pick ahead of Palushaj.
  • With the 97th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers drafted a Swedish-born forward who would later become a YouTube shootout sensation and one of the top players in the American Hockey League in the 2010-2011 season. That player, Linus Omark, makes his NHL debut on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

Stay classy, Logan Couture.

The Kadri Experiment

December 6th, 2010

In Victoria, British Columbia on business. Nice city. Best part is the insane selection of local beers. I’m watching the beer menu like a dingo watches a baby.

Anyway, now that I have some time, I thought I would weigh in on the Leafs. Am I missing something, or has Burke totally lost his mind?

Nazem Kadri - Toronto Maple LeafsLet’s recap how goofy this season has already become. In October, Nazem Kadri finds himself not good enough to make the Big Show. Fast forward to November, with the Leafs in the midst of a slump only fourteen games into the new season and nursing a seven game losing streak. Burke calls Kadri up to centre the Number One line, between Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur (uh…who?).

Seriously? I this what the Leafs have come to? Has Burke finally gone off the deep end? This sounds an awful like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. By December, Kadri is demoted back to the fourth line, and Kessel is now the centre on the top line.

I’m starting to feel sorry for Kadri. First you’re not good enough. Go back to the minors and work on your development. Wait, no, come back. We really need you. You can help save the season. No pressure, but we’ll put you in as the number one centre. Just score a few goals and help us salvage our season! Remember, there is no pressure!

Hold on, actually, you’re not that good. Don’t worry, we’ll put you on…hold on…let me think about this….how about the fourth line?! Yeah, that’s the ticket! You’re important to us! Don’t let your confidence fade! You’re good! Really!!! Just not good enough! At least we didn’t send you back down…

This kid is going to need some serious therapy after this season just to regain his sanity. The Leafs have all but killed this kid’s confidence before he gets a chance to even get rolling. Say what you will about Jacques Martin keeping Jason Spezza in the minors to develop when Spezza thought he was ready to play in the NHL. Was Spezza helped or harmed by this move? A debatable point for sure, but certainly he was never put into the same predicament as Kadri. With that much pressure on a young player, Kadri was essentially set up for failure.

Stay classy, Nazem Kadri. At least try to keep your sanity….

Linkshare day (Oct 31)

October 31st, 2010

Holy crap! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Linkshare” day, but with zero NHL games today, there’s probably never been a better time for one. Here’s some great reading to tide you over until hockey action resumes tomorrow. Before getting to the great stuff, here’s some recent stuff I’ve done for The Score’s Houses of The Hockey:

Keeping Up With The Kids
I think today’s veteran players who are in their mid-to-late 20s are screwed by the new wave of young talent coming into the NHL. In two or three years, I don’t think the “older” players will be able to keep up with the kids of today/tomorrow.

A Bold Rookie of The Year Prediction
There are so many impressive rookies this NHL season, but I really believe Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes will be the Rookie of The Year. Agree?

The Start of an NHL Social Media Policy
This is actually serious. A long time friend of mine climbed the referee ladder from local minor hockey all the way to the AHL. Recently, the NHL told referee’s they’re “legally no longer allowed to use Facebook.” For the first time (and last time), I’m breaking actual news.

Moving forward, I’m going to post The Score links on Stayclassy the day they go live. This way it will be easier to follow. With that stuff (read: crap) out of the way, here’s some great articles from around the hockey blogosphere recently:

The Unstable Life of A (AHL) Player – Puck Daddy/Bourne’s Blog
Justin Bourne has quickly made his way to the top of my “must read” list. The writing is good, but it’s his insight that keeps me coming back for more. This article is a about life as a “fringe” ECHL/AHL player getting called up and sent down. It shows how life takes a backseat when being called up to play four minutes of a hockey game. Interesting stuff.

Retooling On The Fly – The Bryan Murray Era – The6thSens.com
This is a really long, but really good article about Bryan Murray’s impact with the Ottawa Senators. The article suggests the Senators are close to bottoming out and I completely agree with it. It’s a long read, but well worth it. Check it out. Also, for what it’s worth, the 6th Sens dudes are good people. Now you really have to read their post.

List of Players To Watch In The WHL – NHL.com
Neat article from NHL.com about how it’s been 15 years (almost) since the last 1st overall pick came from the WHL. The article mentions a number of high caliber WHLers who are considered high prospects. Quick check: Without looking, do you know who that last 1st overall WHLer was?

Other NHL Superstars Who Wound Up In The Doghouse – DownGoesBrown.com
Ahhh, more hilarity from DGB. The title says it all.  Check it out.

Burke Knows How to Create Headlines – TrueHockey.com
Andy Stickland is quickly becoming another favourite writer of mine. Here’s an interesting post about Brian Burke’s GM/media tactics, and why they differ in Toronto versus Anaheim.

Skinner hoping to be returned to juniors to avoid being stuck in Raleigh all year – IntentToBlow.com
Just after I prognosticate Jeff Skinner to be this year’s Rookie of The Year, IntentToBlow publish an article that suggests the very opposite. Clearly, I need to challenge them to a fight in order to properly respond to their actions.

How To Be An NHL Defenceman – BlogeSalming.com
If you don’t know, Bloge specializes in video hockey humour. In addition to this, many of his video’s include wicked raps with hockey laughs stuffed into two or three minute sequences. This video is one of his best to date.

Do me a favour, friends. Read/Watch these articles. They are well written and deserve your attention. And best of all, they weren’t written by me so you know they are good! Have a happy Halloween. I’ll be back later this week!

Stay classy, hockey fans.

How to tell if your favourite team is struggling

October 26th, 2010

So maybe your favourite hockey team is having a hard time so far this season. It’s important not to jump to conclusions or overreact too early in the young 2010-11 season. That’s why I’ve posted this article today and not last week.

But the thing is, unless you are a Senators fan, it’s not always easy to tell if your team is struggling. In fact, it is possible not to know or recognize the signs. To help confused fans, here are several ways to tell if your favourite hockey team is struggling:

  • After selling out 409 consecutive hockey games, the arena’s promotions team comes up with a 3D effect to make fans feel like players are “popping out from benches and grabbing them.”
    Note: this promotion comes with a free seat upgrade to front row too.
  • The General Manager is quoted stating the Head Coach’s job is safe, but was later heard muttering “If only I could find a way to get the Coach’s sweet corner office view.”
  • Clarke MacArthur jerseys enjoy a 200% sales spike in October, but 205% of those jerseys would later be returned in November.
  • The arena marketing department has a new intermission game called “Find an offensive play in Jacques Martin’s hockey system and win $1 Million, plus a coaching job with the Canadiens.”
  • The back-up goalie continues to struggle forcing teams like the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins to overplay number one goalies Robin Lehner and Brent Johnson, respectively.
  • Referee’s won’t call goaltender inference penalties on opposing teams because Scott Clemmensen is not an NHL goalie and therefore not eligible. (Courtesy of @warwalker on Twitter)
  • The new team motto resembles something like “The uglier twin is the captain, but the better looking one is scoring more.”
  • The General Manager was finally able to find more than 15 skaters actually willing to play for the New Jersey Devils, but the Coach still hasn’t figured out how to convince the team’s best player to dress every night.
  • The General Manager claims he’s recently received two solid trade offers, despite only having five more wins than he had in June – a time when he couldn’t give away his top player.
  • Ticket sales continue to drop despite filming live Grey’s Anatomy scenes on the ice with paramedics and fainting goalie plot lines.

Stay classy, struggling NHL teams.

Weekend drinking pointers + links

October 11th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadian readers this weekend!

Mike Ribeiro: Classy weekend drinker.

Speaking of thanks, thank God hockey is back! It was great to see hockey on TV on Saturday night… unless you are a Senators fan. In which case, the weekend probably required copious amounts of alcohol after watching two bad losses (Yeah, I’m grouping Friday and Saturday together).

Oh, and speaking of copious amounts of alcohol, Mike Ribeiro got very loaded Saturday night… which forced me to write the Dallas Stars forward this gem of a toast called “Weekend drinking pointers.” By gem I mean “crap.”

In other hockey news, here’s some hockey articles I wanted to share with y’all. Yes, I just said y’all. Deal with it.

Self promotion first: A fun piece titled “Hockey is back, finally” written by yours truly to celebrate hockey’s return. Also, here’s my take on how to improve Kraft Hockeyville (sorry, this link is a few weeks late now).

The cap-strapped New Jersey Devils dressed nine forwards earlier this afternoon for their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils continue to show why they are a first class organization.

Chris Botta, a terrific Islanders writer, explains why John Tavares’ “mild” injury (read: concussion) needs to be treated far more seriously. A great read and sound logic.

Thankfully, Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec is OK following a Friday night mid-game collapse. According to NHL.com, Pavelec fainted and suffered a concussion after hitting his head on the fall. Crazy.

The Toronto Star reports Tomas Kaberle actually wants to stay and resign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then again, this is the same fine organization that employs Damian Cox, so…. it could be one of those “HockeyBuzz” kind of stories.

If you haven’t seen TSN’s “Who Does Jordan Eberle Think He Is,” you need to now. Click here to laugh!

Stay classy, Thanksgiving.

Stuff I noticed on day one of the 2010-2011 NHL season

October 8th, 2010

The 2010-2011 NHL season has officially begun! No more waiting, prediction shows or team preview blogs (yeah yeah, I know I’m guilty of writing a few, but whatever). Just hockey. As someone who relies on new hockey stories to write new material, the NHL season couldn’t have started soon enough. Seriously, I’ve been running on vapor since… uhh… April. Basically the day after the Stanley Cup Finals ended.

But that’s all behind us now. To kick off the new season, here’s some (random) things I noticed on day one of the new season:

- This was mentioned by several people on Twitter throughout the day and I agree: Are Minnesota and Carolina the best teams to showcase the NHL in Europe? While on the subject of Europe; Why did the arena shine spotlights on goalies and players for saves? Several times I thought I missed a goal because of those ill-timed, misused spotlights.

- The Toronto Maple Leafs really went all out last night in their pre-game ceremony. Including former Leaf greats was a nice touch. And though the ceremony was way too long, my favourite part was when Air Canada Center announcer Andy Frost spoke this line “The 2010 Toronto Maple Leafs ice is made of water from Lake Erie, Lake Superior and Nazem Kadri’s tears.”

- Throughout the Canadiens/Leaf game, it seemed like Mikhail Grabovski shot the puck over the net a dozen times. Too bad he doesn’t shoot as well as he bar-fights…

- While listening to the Leafs post-game radio show on am-640, fans were excited, but cautious. A number of callers didn’t want to get ahead of themselves with just one win. I really appreciated hearing things like “we’ll only put down a small deposit for some of the parade costs tomorrow.”

- Nothing says “let’s get the hockey season underway” like a nice, soft, ballad titled “I’m not perfect.” I’m just saying…

- Luke Schenn was totally booed by the crowd at the ACC during the team introductions. From what I could hear, he was pretty much the only Leaf booed. What was up with that?

- Around half-way through the first period of the Flyers/Penguins game, I saw “respected analysts” tweeting that rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky “could be the goaltending answer for the Flyers.” It’s one game, folks. When did the Flyers media turn into the Leafs media anyways? While on the subject of the hot Flyers goalie, you should know Puck Daddy is leading a movement to rename him “Sideshow Bobrovsky.” I support this initiative. (Sorry, no direct link – it came from a PD live chat).

- Jordan Eberle’s highlight reel goal was truly spectacular. Man, the Edmonton Oilers are going to be a ton of fun to watch this season. The only bad thing about that Eberle goal will be hearing Pierre McGuire talk about it for the next half century. Although I could do without hearing Gord Miller mention how many more minutes Tyler Myers played than any other rookie last season (yes, that’s a recycled joke from my article on The Score yesterday, sue me).

It’s fantastic that hockey is back! Should be a great weekend too. Happy Thanksgiving to Canadian readers.

Stay classy, 2010-2011 NHL season.

Things to consider when picking a new team captain

September 29th, 2010

On Wednesday morning, the Montreal Canadiens officially announced Brian Gionta as their new team captain. It’s a great selection too, even though it took the Canadiens way too long to figure it out and announce it. I think the long awaited announcement took longer than most of their Centennial pre-game ceremonies last year… ouch.

Brian Gionta - Montreal Canadiens newest captain

Is it Captain... or "Chaptain?"

Anyways, choosing a team captain for a storied franchise can’t be easy. There’s literally hundreds of thoughts and factors that go into such an important decision. A good friend of mine, who is very connected with the Canadiens, recently sent me some interesting criteria the Habs had for picking their new captain. With today’s news, I figured many fans would be interested to see how Gionta ended up with the “C.”

Consider: Is the player American?
Reason: The last Habs captain who was American played in the NHL until he was 100.

Consider: Is the player 25 or younger?
Reason: Historically, the last two Stanley Cup winning teams have had very young captains.

Consider: Is the player a goalie?
Reason: Fans will forever wonder if the “C” on the face mask stands for “Canadiens” or “Captain.”

Consider: Can the player fight?
Reason: It’s important that the captain be able to occasionally defend teammates on the ice or in dark alleyways.

Consider: Does the player have a strong sense of humour?
Reason: He’ll need to know when and when not to laugh during Carey Price interviews.

Consider: Does this player have any Stanley Cup experience?
Reason: We’re not picking captains for the Toronto Maple Leafs…

Consider: Is this player’s name easy to spell?
Reason: Spelling C-A-M-A-L-L-E-R-I or P-L-E-K-A-N-I-C-H-X is a pain in the ass.

Consider: Is this player photogenic?
Reason: Former Canadiens captain, Saku Koivu, didn’t always have his eyes open in some pictures.

Consider: Can this player speak French?
Reason: He needs to be able to hold conversations with media and fans like “Je suis d’accord, nous aurions dû garder Halak.”
(Translation: “I agree, we should have kept Halak.”)

There you have it! That’s how Brian Gionta ended up as the Montreal Canadiens captain. Please don’t hate me, Habs fans.

Stay classy, NHL team captains.