All Habs Headlines: Subban, Pacioretty, Dietz, Kristo

(Photo: Graham Hughes , CANADIAN PRESS)

All Habs Headlines: Friday, February 1, 2013

On this day in hockey history… In 1998, the Canadiens gave up on the stalled development of a still-young Valeri Bure, shipping him to the Calgary Flames in return for Jonas Hoglund and Zarley Zalapski.  Bure would set career highs with the Flames in seasons of 26, 35, and 27 goals, while Zalapski temporarily left the NHL at season’s end, and Hoglund would struggle through one more season in Montreal before finding success as a Toronto Maple Leaf.


 Subban Joins Team for Practice: The Canadiens had only one full practice in preparation for the annual Super Bowl weekend afternoon back-to-back, meaning today was P.K. Subban‘s only real chance to prove he is ready to step into the line-up. If the lines Michel Therrien employed were any indication, we should see the dynamic blueliner re-integrated into the team’s formation for tomorrow’s game, as he was paired with Francis Bouillon both for even strength drills and as a second powerplay unit (leaving Andrei Markov with Raphael Diaz on the first unit – a logical choice given the success they’ve enjoyed together).  The forwards on that second unit were Alex GalchenyukDavid Desharnais, and Erik Cole, a look we’ve seen sparingly to date.

(Photo: Graham Hughes , CANADIAN PRESS)
(Photo: Graham Hughes , CANADIAN PRESS)

Subban’s former partner Josh Gorges remained with Diaz, and while it may be to ease Subban into the line-up at first, it also shows that he’ll have to earn his minutes back. As many had foreseen, it appears Tomas Kaberle will be scratched to make room for Subban, as he skated with Yannick Weber.

The only negative news for some fans? Therrien confirmed that he doesn’t want to see any “triple low fives” between Subban and Carey Price this season, believing that all wins should be celebrated uniquely as a team.

Read more: There will be no more triple low-five between P.K. Subban and Carey Price

Pacioretty Back on Skates: A new chapter was written in the legend of quick-healing Max “Wolverine” Pacioretty as he surprisingly joined Subban for a skate yesterday, not even a week after it was announced he had undergone an emergency appendectomy. Perhaps even more surprising, he was on the ice with the whole team today, taking part in all drills during a full-length practice. Following the skate, Pacioretty indicated he hadn’t felt any pain during drills, though sprints were a bit challenging. He was initially expected to be out three to four weeks, but says he’d like to resume playing as soon as possible and the doctors have left the decision up to him and the coaching staff.

Pacioretty wasn’t on a regular line (the forward lines were unchanged) at practices today, so don’t expect to see him this weekend, but he is good to go, he has a roster spot available, as the team sent Mike Blunden back down to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Read more: Subban back in Canadiens line-up, Pacioretty skates six days after appendectomy

 Dietz Sets Milestone and then Some: Habs’ prospect blueliner Darren Dietz is quietly having a solid season for the Saskatoon Blades. Earlier this season, he set a personal milestone by scoring the 100th point of his WHL career with a goal in a win over Moose Jaw, and then last night he added another goal and assist to his stat line as the Memorial Cup hosts downed Brandon 5-1 (a game in which Dietz was named second star after netminder Andrey Makarov). Dietz is just two goals shy of the career-high he set last year with 15 in a season, and though his -19 rating may stand out, it should be credited more to his team’s slow start to the season than his own play. He is due for a contract at year’s end and should be a no-brainer to join the Hamilton Bulldogs next Fall.

Read more: Makarov ties league-lead with his fifth shutout of the season

 Kristo Staying Hot On and Off the IceMarch 7th is a date to keep in mind for those who still believe the talented Danny Kristo has a future in the Montreal Canadiens’ organization. Kristo and frequent linemate Corban Knight have been dominant players in the WCHA this season, with the 2008 Montreal second rounder having put up an astounding 15 goals and 33 points in just 24 games. It was another eventful season off the ice for Kristo as well, as back in September, he and four teammates were stopped by police for having provided alcohol to underage teammates at a party. The team took action by suspending involved players for a game at the start of the season, but now the accused must face legal charges with a pretrial date established for March 7th. The class A misdemeanor does carry potential jail time with it, though it seems unlikely in this instance.

Read more: Five UND hockey players charged for September party

► Archambault set to return to Volts’ lineup: Tonight as the Drummondville Voltigeurs take on the Quebec Remparts, they will welcome back Canadiens’ prospect Olivier Archambault, healed of his groin injury sustained against the Sherbrooke Phoenix, at  7:00 p.m. EST. He rejoins linemates Cole Hawes and captain Jérémie Malouin on the first line, as rookie goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon gets the nod between the pipes. Drummondville will also face off against the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EST.
► Laraque stays green: Former Canadiens player Georges Laraque will not be leaving his position as deputy leader of the Green Party amid his involvement in a fraud investigation. Longueuil police made a visit to Laraque’s home on Tuesday to retrieve documents for their investigation.  Party leader Elizabeth May says she is not concerned and that his role with the Greens is largely honorary.
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