Headlines: Bergevin, Subban, Ciampini, Begin, CBA, Dell, Awards

Ciampini's Halifax teammates include top 2013 prospects Nathan MacKinnon and Zachary Fucale (Metro Halifax)

All Habs Headlines: Wednesday August 15, 2012

On this day in hockey history… Five years ago today, legendary Canadiens General Manager Sam Pollock passed away at the age of 81.  May the man who orchestrated the drafting of Guy Lafleur rest in peace.


► Bergevin speaks: Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin held a press conference in Brossard yesterday to comment on his signing of forward Max Pacioretty to a 6-year contract extension.  Of course, once the media had him behind a microphone, questions broached a wide number of subjects.

Bergevin refused to comment publicly on the P.K. Subban situation given that negotiations are ongoing.  While he cited Pacioretty, Carey Price, and Josh Gorges as key pieces of the team’s young core, he indicated that Subban had the potential “to become one.”

There were reports earlier this week that Bergevin was active on the trade market, trying to add scoring talent to his lineup.  He denied this, indicated that his cell phone had been rather quiet for some time.  He did confirm, however, that the team had contacted Shane Doan and was interested in the unrestricted free agent, but contradicted reports of an alleged Montreal visit by the veteran, saying that, “if he was here, he didn’t tell me.”

Other tidbits included that Bergevin sees Alex Galchenyuk battling for a roster spot in training camp, but acknowledges that his making the team this year is unlikely given his missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury.  Speaking of knee injuries, Bergevin added that Andrei Markov has been training in Brossard and looks stronger than last season.

Video courtesy of HabsTV

Ciampini’s Halifax teammates include top 2013 prospects Nathan MacKinnon and Zachary Fucale (Metro Halifax)

 Habs invite Ciampini to camp:  Assuming NHL training camps do open this Fall, Halifax Mooseheads left winger Luca Ciampini has accepted an invitation to attend camp in Montreal.  The 18-year old went undrafted this past June after scoring just 11 goals and 35 points in 68 QMJHL games last season, failing to improve his points-per-game average from the year prior.  At 6’0″ and 190 lbs, he has a reasonable frame, and notably scored 7 goals in 6 games at the U17 in 2010-11.

Read more: Mooseheads’ Ciampini earns invitation to Habs’ training camp

Begin gets tryout in Calgary:  New Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is known to like having truculence on his teams, and he has given an opportunity to former Canadiens grinder Steve Begin to make an NHL return.  After spending most of 2010-11 in the American Hockey League, Begin did not play last season, undergoing hip surgery during the winter.  He received a green light for medical clearance yesterday, and will attend Calgary’s September training camp on a tryout basis.  Begin, 34, began his NHL career in Calgary, playing parts of five seasons for the Flames and notably captaining their AHL affiliate to a championship in 2000-01.  Former Hab and Flame Tom Kostopoulos remains an unrestricted free agent, so the team may be looking elsewhere for a fourth line replacement.  Good luck, Steve!

Read more: Begin to attend Flames training camp on PTO contract

Players present CBA framework: Also yesterday, the NHLPA presented its response to the CBA proposal the league had delivered some weeks ago.  Among the 20+ players attending the meeting yesterday were Montreal’s P.K. Subban and former Canadiens Mathieu DarcheChris Campoli, and Mike Cammalleri.

The proposal maintained a salary cap system, with a more complex approach to league-players revenue splitting.  While the NHLPA wouldn’t give in to the complete reversal of the 57% share players earned as the NHL had put forward, they did offer to cap their share of the revenues, thus conceding several hundreds of millions of dollars over the next three years should revenues continue to grow as they have.  The proposal has this new system lasting for three years, with some form of player option for a fourth year which could see the system changing or requiring a renegotiation.

The players’ presentation did not include any radical changes to the contract structures as presented by the league.  This means the Association isn’t considering negotiating a five year contract maximum or longer entry level deals at this time.  Gary Bettman and his side will evaluate the proposal, and the next negotiating session is scheduled for today.

Read more: Players’ union presents first proposal to league

► Dell moves on: Prospect goaltender Aaron Dell, who attended Montreal Canadiens Development Camps each of the last two summers, signed a one year deal with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL.  With Robert Mayer and Peter Delmas still under contract, and the addition of Cedric Desjardins, there was little room in the pipeline for a player like Dell at this time, even if Mayer and Delmas have questionable futures in the organization.  Though he is signed in Colorado, Dell still hopes to receive an invitation to an NHL training camp in the Fall, and by being on an ECHL deal, can sign a tryout with an AHL club at any point during the season should a team come calling.

Read more: UND goalie Dell agrees to pro contract with ECHL’s Colorado Eagles

► Awards in the mail:  The All Habs Media Awards have, with your help, become a very popular annual event.  Voting in each category was way up over last year.  If you missed the final tallies, you can find the list of nominees and the fan favourite here.

To commemorate their achievement, All Habs has shipped handsome certificates and cast medallions to the winners of each category.  Congratulations!

► Subban wants long-term deal:  Some Habs fans are getting a little anxious that their favorite defenseman doesn’t yet have a contract for the upcoming season.  As negotiations continue between his agent and Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, P.K. Subban revealed that he hopes to wear the CH for a very long time.

“There’s no question that people know that I enjoy playing (in Montreal.)  I grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan. I love playing there and I want to play there for the rest of my career.” — P.K. Subban

Concerned fans should look to the past to understand that the length of the negotiations is not unusual.  Carey Price signed his first contract beyond his entry level deal on September 2, 2010, and that contract was only for two years.

“Maybe a lot of people were expecting me to have (the contract) done by now, but I know that it’s a process.  When it’s going to happen I’m not sure. I mean, it could happen next week; it could happen a couple of weeks from now. I just hope it gets done sooner than later. That’s why I have my agent, Don Meehan. I have a lot of confidence in him. I don’t think there is any doubt in anybody’s mind that I want to be a Montreal Canadien, so hopefully it gets done soon.” — P.K. Subban

Read more: Subban optimistic he’ll have long career with Habs

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