Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Canadiens Training Camp Opens with Annual Golf Tournament
(Quotes taken from various Twitter accounts, most notably CanadiensMTL, JFChamont, renhockey, and ArponBasu)
Today marks the start of the official Montreal Canadiens 2011 Training Camp as players reported in for the annual Golf Tournament. Next step for them will be physicals on Friday. Some quotes from the guys this morning are below.
If you want to hear them speak for yourself, check out The Team 990's audio page HERE. Big thanks to them for much of the content!
Also, check some notes and audio from Hockey Inside/Out HERE. Some video clips from their site are embedded at the bottom of this post as well.
A few more quotes (mostly the same ones as below) in the Canadiens.com article HERE. But they've got a nice little photo gallery to go with it HERE. And even more photos from Cyberpresse HERE.
Erik Cole: "The media isn't as intimidating as they make it out to be. You may or may not believe this, but I was actually recognized on the street a few times in Raleigh too!"
"I've been in and out of town for the majority of the summer, and permanently moved in the middle of August, trying to get the family settled, kids back in school. We're not on the island, decided to go out in the south shore, close to the practice facility."
"Great group of guys, tremendous staff, everything. World class organization and facilities."
"It's the atmosphere, it's everything [about the Bell Centre that brings out the best in me]. It's a special place to play; it has to do with the history and the passion."
"It's important for the NHL to work together with the PA to listen to the guys who are going through the hits and symptoms. It's a combined effort, but there's more and more that can be done to protect players."
Pierre Gauthier: Confirming our fears this morning, Pierre Gauthier on Andrei Markov: "If the season started tomorrow, he would not be available to us. We hope he'll be ready for opening night against the Leafs, but no guarantees. I have guarded optimism for the team's chances this season."
"There's only 5 guys left from the team 3 years ago. Now we've identified leadership and the team is more stable."
"Everybody is doing well. Some are out of rehab, some are in it still. There are no long-term issues of any kind. Obviously when you have players who have had knee reconstruction, some adaptation will be needed even when they're playing. I don't know that either Mr. Markov or Mr. Gorges will be playing 28 minutes the first game. Their medicals are Friday, but the prognosis is good."
"In the case of Mr. Cole, we made the call at 12:01 and made sure his agent knew he was #1 on our list."
"I have good feelings about all our players right now, including Mr. Gomez, and they've all had good summers. It's obvious when you're around [the players] that there's real commitment to the team. There are few egos; they all want to win. The mood is very optimistic. They know they have a good team that had a few injuries. We've been chomping at the bit for a while here."
"I know [Andrei Kostitsyn and Jacques Martin] get along and Andrei is a very respectful person. It doesn't carry much weight; Mr. Martin and myself said this is out of character and there is nothing there."
"I know Mr. Yemelin is very excited; it's been 2 or 3 years that he has wanted to come. He's a national team level player, who will have an adaptation like any European player, but we hope he can contribute."
On the subject of Andrei Markov, by day's end, reports indicated that he had a setback during the summer due to training too hard and too quickly to get ready for the season, resulting in him having to have water drained from his knee. This is the reason his status remains uncertain, though we should get a good update on Friday as to his health.
Mike Cammalleri: [on limited offensive production in the league despite rule changes] "I think goaltending equipment is still too big. You get very few goalies that play like Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, or even Carey is a guy who plays the game more athletically."
"You just wrote down we have a minute and a half left, but I could talk about headshots for six hours. Stuff can be done to 'safe-en' our game while it remains fun and exciting."
[about Boston winning the Cup] "Did they win it? I don't even know."
Brian Gionta, who drove Cole to the golf course this morning: "Our goal entering the season is to win the Stanley Cup."
"Andrei [Kostitsyn] is a big part of this team. He brings grit and secondary scoring and he understands his role on this team."
"Nobody was happy [with Gomez] last year, himself included. He brings a dimension we need to the team and he's anxious to get going and put last year behind. He took it hard; nobody puts more pressure on themselves than he does. He's not content with just packing it in. He's going to be a huge part of this team as a top 2 center."
"Jacques Martin does not need to be your friend. He manages the players and it doesn't have to be a great relationship at all times."
Carey Price: "I don't feel pressure to repeat last season's performance. You never train thinking or expecting to have a bad season. A hockey season is a marathon, not a sprint."
"Josh Gorges will hopefully be twice as good this year [now that he has 2 knees]."
"It was fun to get a way for a little, but I was sitting at home all summer itching to get back. I missed playing hockey."
"We've gotta be looking at ourselves as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference."
"I talked to Peter; he's a really nice guy. We get along really well and have a lot of the same beliefs. Everyone you talk to around the league that's played with him will tell you what a great guy he is."
"Both Markov and Gorges are doing really well and they're really big parts of our D row. I'm very confident they'll be ready to go."
"It's always tough to watch another team win because you're jealous. But out of all the guys that could have won the cup, I think Tim [Thomas] really deserved it with the way he played all season."
Jacques Martin: "I haven't spoken to Andrei Kostitsyn, but I don't foresee any problems with communication. The recipe to get Scott Gomez going this year comes from Gomez himself."
"I am eager to watch some of the young kids like Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Michael Bounrival, and Brendan Gallagher live in preseason games." You and us both, Mr. Martin. You and us both. Which is good news cause it sounds like these guys will all see action!
Andrei Kostitsyn (whose English is quite improved): "I'm good with Jacques; I never say anything bad about him. I'm here for a good season."
"I will see Jacques tomorrow and we'll talk about what the newspaper said and we should be good for the season. Jacques is a good coach."
"I come to play hockey and think this season will be better than the last couple."
"We'll see what happens in preseason games but I think it's good help for us to have this Erik Cole to help us score more goals."
"I like everything Montreal Canadiens. [The city,] the style, and everything."
"I'm 100% ready for the start of the season."
"I'd like to stay in Montreal. I'd have liked to sign not 1 year, but more years."
"I do everything I can every game. I try to score more goals and play better than last season."
Ryan White arrived at the tournament wearing a Hamilton Bulldogs polo shirt, but was quickly given a Canadiens blue shirt to change into.
Max Pacioretty: "I'm actually excited to receive that first hit this year. Maybe a teammate can help me out! I hope to come back to play at the same level I was at, if not better."
"I put on 10 pounds this year - all muscle; my body fat went down too."
"We're that same team from last year, except now we have Gorges, Markov, Cole, and myself. We have three good lines of offense and you can mix and match line combos."
"[Gomez] and I have pretty good chemistry because he's always looking to pass and I'm always looking to shoot. With him, you know he's going to take the puck from end to end, and hopefully I can create some space for him with my body. I hope to play with [Gomez and Gionta] again to start the season."
"[25 goals and 25 assists] sound like perfect goals for me this year, and I think I can hit them."
"[I spoke to Chara] just one time, and that's all I really want to speak. It was tough enough to make that phone call. He apologized, but I want to put all of that in the past and I'm glad it's out of the way."
"I told my 'Ma the night I got injured when they told me in a hospital bed that my neck was fractured, 'That's probably it, huh? I'll never play again?' But she encouraged me the whole way, telling me that I'm a quick healer."
"I couldn't even remember my own name in the hospital, but somehow I remembered [wife Katia Afinogenova's] phone number, so I called her up and asked her to come over here, forgetting she was in Florida."
Pacioretty also announced the formation of the Max Pacioretty Foundation for research and development for brain trauma at the Montreal General Hospital, expected to launch sometime soon.
Josh Gorges: "I'm 100%. In fact, the doctors were ready to give me the green light had we advanced to the third round of the playoffs. I'll be ready to go from day 1."
P.K. Subban: "I'm only 22 years old. I still have a lot of room to improve. I'm feeling good but as a precautionary thing, because of a minor upper body thing that happened a while ago, I won't golf today, but I'll be ready for day 1 of camp."
"AC Milan sucks! I'm a fan of Manchester United."
"Off-season training for me is not a joke. That's where I get better and improve as a player. That's where I get faster and get stronger. You have to take it seriously."
"I'm at a very critical and sensitive time in my career where everything I do is magnified, so my focus has to be sharp and precise. I need to focus on the things that will make me succeed. At the end of the day, I don't think [the exchange between him and Mike Richards] it's anything personal. Not about me, or about Mike. That's just hockey. Everybody has their own way of trying to get guys off their game."
"I can't say I was upset when [Boston] won the Cup. As a player, you don't want to be envious; you have to congratulate them and give credit when they deserve it. Their leaders did a good job of keeping the team together. If I didn't like them winning the championship, I would never let them know it. On the ice, you gotta bring it."
"I don't really know what a sophomore jinx is. Any league I played in, I got better every year. It's news to me, people bringing it up to me, 'the sophomore jinx.'"
"I don't know [who I'll play with on D]. Those decisions are up to Jacques Martin. I have a job to do, Hal has a job to do, Marky has a job to do, Georgie has a job to do. It's about the team moving forward; you don't know where you're going to fit in. You have to earn your ice time and not come in expecting anything."
"Everybody's a coach. For me, I'm just playing the game the way I can do it to make the team successful. I play the game the way the game dictates me to play. You have to learn when to [jump into the rush]."
Mathieu Darche: "I've been training all-out for 8 or 9 weeks already. I feel young!"
Scott Gomez: "I'm ready to deliver."
Lars Eller: "I hope to be in the line-up on October 6th, and I'd say it's a strong possibility, but I'm still waiting for the green light from doctors to practice with contact."
The following players did not golf today: Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec by preference, while Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, and Lars Eller skipped out as they are rehabbing minor injuries.
Young potential "rookies-to-be" like Rafael Diaz, Alexei Yemelin, and Andreas Engqvist were not present at the tournament, despite also being excluded from Rookie Camp. Seems like they fall under a "misfit" category meaning we won't see them till weight-ins on Friday.
Some video courtesy of Hockey Inside/Out: