February 8, 2011
Habs' Gill: 'You're an a**hole, P.K.'
By QMI Agency
Brash Montreal Canadiens rookie defenceman P.K. Subban, who has played all of 49 NHL games, might be rubbing his older teammates the wrong way.
Tension between Subban and veteran blueliner Hal Gill appeared to surface Tuesday after the rookie scattered his equipment around the dressing room, which gave the impression he was treating the equipment staff like servants.
Noticing what was happening, Gill picked up Subban's jersey and handed it back to him, saying, "You're an a--hole, P.K."
Seeing the surprised looks on the faces of reporters around him, Gill added, "And you can write that."
Stunned by his teammate's reaction, Subban began to apologize, though it appeared to be too little, too late for Gill.
"As my dad said, your excuses aren't going to get the lawn mowed any better," Gill shot back.
Earlier this season Subban was chided for his cocky on-ice attitude by Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards. After a November game between the two teams, Richards suggested Subban still needed to earn respect from veteran players.
Having cracked the NHL in 1997, Gill can be considered an old school-player.
He says young players early in his career knew they needed to behave.
"Nowadays, they think anything goes," he said, indicating he doesn't think Subban is an exception to the rule among the younger generation of NHLers.
Now 35, Gill recalls his debut with the Boston Bruins.
"Guys like Dave Ellett and Raymond Bourque didn't make my life easy," he said. "You knew to hold the door for them and to eat your soup after they did."
Though he may not be a veteran yet, Alexandre Picard is also surprised by the attitude of some young players in the league.
"I've seen things here that would not be accepted on three-quarters of NHL teams," the Habs defenceman said. "At least it wouldn't have happened in the Philadelphia Flyers dressing room when I started in the league."
Loaded with money, testosterone and ego, the hockey world is very much a hierarchy. It is a world of unwritten rules that dictates conduct in the dressing room, on the team plane, at the hotel and with each other.
"None of that exists anymore," said Gill, adding that that money paid to young players now breaks down the hierarchy that used to exist.
In an interview earlier this season, Habs forward Scott Gomez recalled being targeted by Claude Lemieux when he started his career in New Jersey.
Arrogance and intimidation were some of his favourite weapons.
"I acted that way with him because he was already taking up a lot of space for a rookie," said Lemieux during a recent interview.
Imagine the treatment Subban would receive if Lemieux still wore the Montreal colours.
Emery headed to AHL
The Anaheim Ducks sent goaltender Ray Emery to Syracuse of the AHL Tuesday after he cleared NHL waivers.
The 28-year-old NHL veteran signed a two-way contract with the Ducks Monday but was required to clear waivers before he could be sent to their minor-league affiliate.
Regardless of where he's playing, though, Emery sounds happy to be back in action after having serious hip surgery in April.
"I'm excited to be back playing again," Emery said on a conference call Tuesday. "I realize I had a tough operation and I have been away from the game awhile. I felt Anaheim and their organization was a good spot for me to come back. They seemed interested.
"I'm just lucky to back, be able to play some games in the American League and go from there."
In his brief tenure with the Flyers last season, Emery posted a record of 16-11-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average and three shutouts. He hasn't played since shutting out the Calgary Flames Feb. 1, 2010.
Larionov says no
Hall of Famer Igor Larionov won't be the general manager of the Russian team at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
After protracted negotiations with Russian Ice Hockey Federation head Vladislav Tretiak, Larionov turned down the job because he wouldn't have control over what players were picked for the team, according to a report in the Vancouver Province.
"Before I did the job, I wanted to make sure I had the decisions on the team and the coach but that was not going to be in my control," Larionov told the Province. "But in the end I had to say no. If you can't make the decisions, you can't do the job.
"And right now, I have no idea who will take the job."
Larionov, who still lives in Detroit, is now a certified player agent.
Waiting on Ballard
The Vancouver Canucks will find out Wednesday the severity of defenceman Keith Ballard's knee injury.
Ballard had an MRI done on the injured knee Tuesday after getting hurt when he was tripped from behind by Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek Monday in Vancouver.
In 43 games with the Canucks, Ballard has two goals and three assists.
The Canucks, already missing defencemen Alex Edler (back surgery) and Sami Salo (Achilles surgery), dodged a bullet when blueliner Andrew Alberts was hit in the throat by a puck during Tuesday's practice. Alberts, who just returned to action Monday after missing eight games with a shoulder injury, was able to skate off the ice without help.
In other Canucks news, centre Alex Bolduc was sent to Manitoba of the AHL Tuesday. He had one goal and two assists in 19 games.
Bergeron in stitches
Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins appears to have avoided serious injury after being hit in the chin with a puck during Tuesday's practice session.
The Bruins assistant captain was hit after Johnny Boychuk's shot off the glass hit a partition and nailed Bergeron in the chin. He quickly left the ice, hunched over in pain.
Bergeron was stitched up and had an x-ray for precautionary reasons but Boston coach Claude Julien expects him to play Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens.
"From what I hear right now, it's just stitches, so hopefully it's the only thing he gets," Julien said after practice.
Bergeron leads the Bruins in scoring this season. In 53 games, he has 19 goals and 25 assists.
Hiller on IR
Dealing with fatigue and light-headedness, Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was put on injured reserve Tuesday.
The move was retroactive to Feb. 3.
Hiller sat out Saturday's game against Colorado but is expected to be activated in time for the Ducks game in Calgary on Friday.
Timo Pielmeier was recalled from Syracuse of the AHL to take Hiller's spot on the roster. He has been called up twice in the last two weeks but still hasn't played a game.
Isles need help
The New York Islanders are running out of healthy goaltenders.
Little-known Mikko Koskinen got his first NHL start Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs when Kevin Poulin went down with a suspected ankle injury in warmpups.
Koskinen has a 5-15-0 record, 3.64 goals-against average and .882 save percentage with Bridgeport of the AHL. Poulin has just 10 games of NHL experience himself.
The Isles have been forced to dig deep into their minor-league system due to injuries. No. 1 goalie Rick DiPietro is out with broken bones in his face while rookie backup Nathan Lawson is day-to-day with a knee injury.
With Poulin's health up in the air, the Isles called up Joel Martin on an emergency basis Tuesday night. Martin has played most of the season with the Odessa Jackalopes of the CHL but was called up from Bridgeport.