Hockey Blog Beat – November 9, 2011.

In today’s medley of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Could Evgeni Nabokov be an option for the Maple Leafs?…A Canucks fan waits for Shea Weber…The Canadiens are limiting their front office and coaching options…Ten NHL stars who never scored a hat trick…A Calgary Flames great is today’s “Bad Hockey Card of the Day”.

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: Speculation has NY Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov perhaps reuniting with former Sharks head coach Ron Wilson with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With James Reimer’s return still unknown, the current Leafs tandem of Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens are struggling, which is arguably the main reason for the Leafs recent losing skid. GM Brian Burke won’t panic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shopping around for options. 

What could it take for the Canucks to land Shea Weber?

CANUCKS ARMY: “angus_j” considers the possibility of the Vancouver Canucks pursuing Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber in the near future, as well as other options if that weren’t feasible.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have already invested around $35 million in the Sedin Twins, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, David Booth, Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard. Weber could receive at least $7.5 million per season next season, either from the Predators or another team. All of those salaries currently on the Canucks books are nearly impossible to move. While anything’s possible, the odds of the Canucks landing Weber are long…so long, in fact, if I were a Canucks fan, I’d consider other, more affordable options.

THE COPPER & BLUE: Derek Zona suggests the Montreal Canadiens are limiting their management and coaching options by insisting on hiring bilingual hockey people.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Bob Gainey’s hiring had as much to do with his pedigree as a GM (Cup winner with Dallas), and coaches like  Jacques Demers, Alain Vigneault and Jacques Martin (in my opinion) were good hires, I have to concede Zona’s point. What should be important for the Habs is hiring the best people for the job. Bilingualism should be a secondary consideration. And no, that’s not a bigoted thing to say. Indeed, if a francophone is the best available person for either job, he should get it, but his ability to speak French shouldn’t be the prime determining factor, or give him an edge over an otherwise better qualified candidate.

Canadiens fans want a winner, and most could care less about the ability of the coach and GM  to speak French. While a handful of ageing, cranky separatists would complain, for most Habs fans, the language of winning is what counts. Since the Habs roster is no longer predominantly francophone, it doesn’t make sense for that language requirement to continue behind the bench and in their front office.

THE BLEACHER REPORT: Sam Kelly presents “Shane Doan and the 10 best players to never score a hat trick”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m surprised Doan has never netted a hat trick. Ditto Brad Richards, who also appears on this list.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier present Lanny McDonald as his “bad hockey card of the day”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wow, all hair and mustache. You know, I think I have that hockey card somewhere…


  1. As a Leafs fan, I would be furious if they traded for Evgeni Nabokov. They can’t afford to give up a pick or prospect for a goalie who is far past his prime. Realistically the Leafs aren’t going to be a playoff team so whats wrong with tanking in order to get a lottery pick? Nail Yakupov would be an amazing addition to next years roster.

  2. Brad Richards – Not too surprising, given that he’s never netted 30 in a season and is always looking to pass.

    Sillinger scored a hat trick in 2004.

  3. While I don’t dispute that Reimer is considered a #1 goalie, concussion like symptoms vary with each individual and one only has to look at Crosby to see evidence of that. If the Leafs can get Nabokov for a “price”, why not…the current tandem of Gus and Scrivens is ill equipped to do the job in Reimer’s absence and we truly don’t know if Reimer will be fit to return in the next few weeks

  4. I understand that winning is part of the game but, if the Montreal Canadiens hire an english coach and a GM , well I won’t follow anymore that team. It’s simple as that. French is part of our culture and a lot of people don’t understand it. Bilinguism is not an option in Montreal, it’s vital to have the respect from the fans and the media.

    Quebec produce very good coaches who are both able to speak french and english and no one can deny it: Guy Boucher, Claude Julien, Alain Vigneault…and I can name a few.

    Do you think that a francophone will be hire in Columbus for example even if he’s the best candidate to coach this team! Don’t think so!

  5. Mike , your not a leaf fan . What fan wants his team to go from first place to tanking the season for prospects.You say they won’t make the playoffs, so you’ve given up on them already. Nabokov can be got for very little since he’s only making less than $600,000 per year and is unrestricted at the end of this season. Belford was old,Joseph was old in hockey years & Bower would be mad at you for calling him old
    or past his prime. Your just pulling our leg right,your a Hab fan.

  6. Jeff, what you need is a team in Quebec city that is completely francophone. Get a team like Coyatoes who might be moved in the future, then have all the players learn french,or trade them for french speaking players who are playing in the NHL.. I respect you as a francophone, but to believe in your team or be a fan should have nothing to do with language. That is something that can be learned (language).What about all these guys from Europe,they had to adjust. How many francophones are on the Montreal team right now.Montreal wants a winner my friend and so do the fans.They don’t care if he only speaks German.
    Bon Jour Jeff

  7. Montreal needs a francophone coach, not to talk to the players, but to talk to the media.

  8. @Don

    For a development of hockey perspective, a team in Quebec city will provide a lot for hockey at least to promote the sports and eventually increase the number of francophones in the NHL.

    We (the fans) never asked to have a full team with Quebecers in MTL, we just want that MTL prefer the locals when it’s the best for the team. I share with you couple of example. In 2006, MTL drafted David Fischer while Claude Giroux, a francophone was available… a big mistake as you can see .. In 2001, they drafted Duncan Milroy instead of Jason Pominville.. The list goes on and on….

    For staff, we had Bob Gainey’s who spoke french with a big accent, but at least he was speaking to the fans and media in french ansdmore often than Gauthier does. But a Brian Burke type of GM isn’t possible in Mtl. He would be crucified in the streets…

    As I said earlier, language is part of our culture yes but it’s part of success too for an organization (marketing, etc). That’s why you’ll never see MTL, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg having no Canadian on their respective teams… Well you see my point. And I’m not separatist .