Home Uncategorized NHL grants Canadiens mulligan

NHL grants Canadiens mulligan

by Archives March 31, 2009

In a season that saw high expectations go for naught, the National Hockey League has said that they will expunge the Montreal Canadiens 2008-09 season, from the record books. The will allow them to start fresh in October 2009, for their 100th season as a professional sports franchise.
“We have always been a league that cares about its fans,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who made the announcement at the Bell Centre with Canadiens owner George Gillett. “And the fans in Montreal deserve to celebrate properly and not worry about whether their team will miss the playoffs.”
As part of the Centennial festivities, all the statues, bricks and plaques outside the Bell Centre will be removed, and re-unveiled next year and all of the banners of retired jerseys will be taken down before the Canadiens’ game on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It’s an opportunity to make sure we can do everything right again,” said Gillett who also said he has no plans to sell the team. “We will bring home the Stanley Cup in our 100th year no matter how many tries it takes and the NHL has said that they are supportive of that.”
In addition to expunging the 2008 – 2009 season, the NHL has added the 2010 All-Star game back to the schedule and said it will take place in Montreal. The game was not to be held due to the fact that the season was to be condensed because of the NHL’s participation in the Winter Olympics in February. The NHL said they will fly players from Vancouver to Montreal for the two-day event and stop Olympic competition for those two days.
“It is a fantastic gesture that this league is doing,” said captain Saku Koivu. “I’m not worried about the travel and the two days to be spent in Montreal if I am selected for the all-star game. It will allow the fans to try and get me and [teammate Alex Tanguay] in the starting lineup after we were beat out by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.”
As far as hockey decisions go, Bob Gainey has said that all roster moves completed up to now will stand, and that he doesn’t know who will be the coach when the 2009-2010 season gets underway. All of the Canadiens’ free agents will have their contracts automatically renewed for the 2009-10 season.
“We will interview candidates for the position and we feel that a lot of people will be interested in taking the reigns for the team in this historic season,” Gainey said. He also didn’t rule out bringing back former head coach Guy Carbonneau.
“The league obviously believes in second chances, and I think that’s an option we have to look at ourselves,” he said.
There are no records of the league’s vote on this issue, but sources have told The Concordian that they believe the commissioner used his little-known and rarely-used veto power in the move.

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