2011–12 Montreal Canadiens season
|2011–12 Montreal Canadiens|
|General Manager||Pierre Gauthier (Oct-Mar)
|Coach||Jacques Martin (Oct-Dec)
Randy Cunneyworth (Dec-Apr) (interim)
|Alternate captains||Hal Gill (Oct–Feb)
|Average attendance||21,273 (100%)
|Goals||Erik Cole (35)|
|Assists||David Desharnais (44)|
|Points||Max Pacioretty (65)|
|Penalties in minutes||P. K. Subban (119)|
|Plus/minus||Josh Gorges (+14)|
|Wins||Carey Price (26)|
The 2011–12 Montreal Canadiens season was the team's 103rd season in franchise history and their 95th season in the National Hockey League since the league was established on November 22, 1917. Finishing in last place in their respective division and conference, the Canadiens did not qualify for the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
- 1 Off-season
- 2 Season timeline
- 3 Playoffs
- 4 Standings
- 5 Schedule and results
- 6 Player statistics
- 7 Awards and records
- 8 Final roster
- 9 Transactions
- 10 Draft picks
- 11 See also
- 12 References
Heading into the off-season, Canadiens General Manager Pierre Gauthier had certain issues to address. There were several unrestricted free agents on the team that included, most notably Jeff Halpern, Roman Hamrlik, Alex Auld, Brent Sopel, Hal Gill, James Wisniewski, Mathieu Darche and Andrei Markov.
The team managed to re-sign Gill, Darche and Markov. On the other hand, no contracts were offered to Halpern, Auld and Sopel, thus allowing them to leave the team. Roman Hamrlik rejected the Canadiens's one-year offer and instead accepted a two-year contract with the Washington Capitals. James Wisniewski let it be known that he would be testing the free agent market (where a bidding war for his services would ensue). On June 29, his negotiating rights were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On the restricted free agent side, qualifying offers were made to Andrei Kostitsyn, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais, Yannick Weber, Ryan White and Josh Gorges, and all were eventually re-signed. No qualifying offers were made to forwards Dustin Boyd, Tom Pyatt, Benoit Pouliot and defenceman Alexandre Picard, thus allowing them to become unrestricted free agents.
On the first day of free agency on July 1, Pierre Gauthier addressed two needs – a big-body forward and a reliable back-up goaltender. They were successful in their first objective in the signing of forward Erik Cole from the Carolina Hurricanes to a four-year, $18 million contract. Their need for a capable back-up goaltender to periodically relieve Carey Price was also fulfilled when they signed free agent Peter Budaj from the Colorado Avalanche to a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.
Another notable transaction during the off-season was the signing of rugged Russian defenceman Alexei Emelin to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2011–12 season. Emelin, drafted by the Canadiens in the third round with the 84th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, was under the Canadiens' radar for quite some time. He finally agreed to make the jump to North America when a clause was inserted in his contract, stating that he would be able to return to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia should he be unable to make the Canadiens' NHL roster. Emelin is often compared to fellow Russian and former NHL defenceman Darius Kasparaitis, who was known for his aggressive, physical playing style.
Assistant Coach Kirk Muller, who was part of the Canadiens' coaching staff since 2006, confirmed rumours that he was actively seeking a head coaching position in the NHL and would be leaving the team. On June 27, 2011, following his inability to find a head coaching position in the NHL, the Nashville Predators announced that Muller had been hired as the head coach of their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He would later fulfill his dream when on November 28, 2011, Muller became coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, taking over for Paul Maurice.
Following Muller's departure, GM Pierre Gauthier announced the appointment of Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur as assistant coaches. Cunneyworth and Ladouceur were coach and assistant coach respectfully for the Canadiens's AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, during the previous season. The addition of Ladouceur also provides the team the first former defenceman as an assistant coach since the 2005–06 season.
The Canadiens started with the team's worst start since 1941. Prior to their first game of the season, defenceman Andrei Markov was placed on the injured reserved list. The Canadiens started the season with a 2–0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. During the game, newly acquired defenceman Chris Campoli suffered a hamstring injury and was sidelined indefinitely.
The Canadiens played their home opener on October 13 in a 4–1 loss to the Calgary Flames. This coincided with Lars Eller's first game of the season following off-season shoulder surgery. That same day, the team announced that forward Ryan White had surgery for a sports hernia and would be sidelined indefinitely.
On October 23, the team traded long-time prospect Brock Trotter and their seventh round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenceman Garrett Stafford.
The team would go on to a six-game losing streak and five-game losing streak at home until defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 5–1 on October 26, 2011, at the Bell Centre. Prior to the game, the Canadiens relieved Assistant Coach Perry Pearn of his duties, offering him another position in the organization, which he declined. Pearn was replaced behind the bench by Randy Ladouceur, who until then was situated in the press box during game time.
On November 10, the Canadiens beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3–2 in overtime to continue their winning streak in Phoenix. The Coyotes have not beaten the Canadiens at home ice since December 9, 1998, when they won 4–2.
Max Pacioretty was suspended by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for three games following a questionable hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang on November 26 at the Bell Centre. Letang suffered a broken nose but still managed to finish the game. No penalty had been called on the hit.
In an effort to bolster their power play, which was ranked 29th out of 30 teams in the league, GM Pierre Gauthier acquired defenceman Tomas Kaberle from the Carolina Hurricanes on December 9 in exchange for defenceman Jaroslav Spacek. In his first game with the Canadiens, Kaberle registered two assists, including one on the power play, in a 2–1 road win against the New Jersey Devils.
Chris Campoli returned to action on December 13 against the New York Islanders. He was sidelined with a lower body injury suffered during the team's season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs back on October 6.
Feeling that the team was under performing with its 13–12–7 losing record, Pierre Gauthier fired Head Coach Jacques Martin on December 17. Assistant Coach Randy Cunneyworth was named interim head coach. Cunneyworth became the first unilingual, English-speaking active head coach of the Canadiens since Bob Berry, who was head coach from 1981 to 1984. Assistant General Manager Larry Carriere was named assistant coach in a questionable move, as Carriere has never coached hockey at any level whatsoever. Cunneyworth's first game as the interim head coach resulted in a 5–3 loss against the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre on December 17.
Under interim coach Cunneyworth, the team embarked on a five-game losing skid until finally winning their first game under their new coach in a convincing 6–2 win against the Senators in Ottawa on December 27. Despite this win, the team dropped their next two games and closed off the month losing 7 of their last 8 games.
Lars Eller started off the new year in style on January 4 by scoring four goals (three in the third period alone) to help his team pounce the Winnipeg Jets 7–3 at the Bell Centre. Eller becomes the first Canadiens player to score four goals in one game since Jan Bulis did so against the Philadelphia Flyers back on January 26, 2006.
On January 12, goaltender Carey Price was invited to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, which was played on January 29 in Ottawa. He was accompanied by teammate Raphael Diaz, who participated in the rookie skills competition held on January 28.
One day after Michael Cammalleri made disparaging remarks about the current status of the Montreal Canadiens, the Habs decided to part ways with the veteran forward. On January 12, Cammalleri was pulled out of a game against the Boston Bruins to find out that he had been traded to the Calgary Flames, along with goaltender Karri Ramo and a fifth round pick in 2012. In exchange, Montreal received forwards Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a second-round pick in 2013. Bourque carried a salary cap hit of $3.3 million until the 2015–16 season. This is Cammalleri's second tenure with the Flames, where he scored 39 goals during the 2008–09 season.
Max Pacioretty scored the first hat-trick of his career in a 4–2 win against the New York Islanders on February 9.
After being sidelined since the beginning of the season with a sports hernia, Ryan White finally made his season debut on February 15 against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre.
With their playoff hopes dying with each passing day, Pierre Gauthier became a seller. On February 17, Montreal sent defenceman Hal Gill and a conditional 2013 fifth-round draft pick to the Nashville Predators for a 2012 second-round pick, prospect Robert Slaney and Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of former Habs great Bernard Geoffrion and great-grandson of Canadiens legend Howie Morenz.
During the trade deadline on February 27, the Canadiens reacquired their fifth-round conditional pick in the Hall Gill trade, as well as the Predators' second-round pick in 2013 for forward Andrei Kostitsyn. They also claimed via re-entry waivers enforcer Brad Staubitz from the Minnesota Wild. Despite rumors to the contrary, Travis Moen and Chris Campoli, who were set to both become unrestricted free agents at the end of season, were not moved.
The Canadiens finished the month losing seven of their last eight games, including a five-game losing streak.
March and April
Max Pacioretty became the first American-born player in Canadiens history to reach the 30 goal mark during a 5–4 victory on March 8 against the Edmonton Oilers.
March 10 saw the return of defenceman Andrei Markov to the line-up. He registered an assist in the Canadiens 4–1 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Markov, who had been sidelined with a torn ACL, played his first game since November 13, 2010, missing almost 16 months of action.
Erik Cole scored a natural hat-trick just 5:41 after the opening faceoff on March 24 when the Habs defeated the Ottawa Senators 5–1. In turn, Cole became the second American-born player in Canadiens history to reach the 30-goal plateau. His effort also set a team record for the fastest natural hat-trick to start a game by any Canadiens player. Cole finished the season with a record-high 35 goals for an American-born player.
The Canadiens were officially eliminated from playoff contention in their 76th game of the season following a 4–1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on March 24.
On March 29, team owner Geoff Molson officially relieved Pierre Gauthier of his duties as general manager. Bob Gainey was also let go of his duties as special advisor to the GM. Molson further announced that former Habs GM Serge Savard would be acting as special advisor to find the next general manager.
The Canadiens missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2007.
|1||y – Boston Bruins||82||49||29||4||40||269||202||102|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||82||35||37||10||31||231||264||80|
|1||z – New York Rangers||AT||82||51||24||7||47||226||187||109|
|2||y – Boston Bruins||NE||82||49||29||4||40||269||202||102|
|3||y – Florida Panthers||SE||82||38||26||18||32||203||227||94|
|6||New Jersey Devils||AT||82||48||28||6||36||228||209||102|
|10||Tampa Bay Lightning||SE||82||38||36||8||35||235||281||84|
|13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NE||82||35||37||10||31||231||264||80|
|14||New York Islanders||AT||82||34||37||11||27||203||255||79|
Divisions: AT – Atlantic, NE – Northeast, SE – Southeast
bold - qualified for playoffs, y – Clinched division, z – Clinched conference (and division)
Schedule and results
|2011–12 Game Log|
Legend: Win Loss Overtime/shootout loss
|Price, CareyCarey Price||65||3944||26||28||11||160||2.43||1914||.916||4||0||2||6|
|Budaj, PeterPeter Budaj||17||1037||5||7||5||44||2.55||508||.913||0||0||3||2|
†Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Canadiens. Stats reflect time with Canadiens only.
‡Traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with Canadiens only.
Awards and records
Updated April 7, 2012.
The Canadiens have been involved in the following transactions during the 2011–12 season:
|June 25, 2011||To Winnipeg Jets
3rd-round pick (#78 overall) in 2011
|To Montreal Canadiens
4th-round pick (#97 overall) in 2011
4th-round pick (#108 overall) in 2011
|June 29, 2011||To Columbus Blue Jackets
James Wisniewski (negotiating rights)
|To Montreal Canadiens
Conditional 5th-round pick in 2012
|July 7, 2011||To Columbus Blue Jackets
|To Montreal Canadiens
|July 15, 2011||To Anaheim Ducks
|To Montreal Canadiens
|October 23, 2011||To Phoenix Coyotes
7th-round pick in 2012
|To Montreal Canadiens
|December 9, 2011||To Carolina Hurricanes
|To Montreal Canadiens
|January 12, 2012||To Calgary Flames
5th-round pick in 2012
|To Montreal Canadiens
2nd-round pick in 2013
|February 17, 2012||To Nashville Predators
Conditional 5th-round pick in 2013
|To Montreal Canadiens
2nd-round pick in 2012
|February 27, 2012||To Nashville Predators
|To Montreal Canadiens
2nd-round pick in 2013
Cancellation of Conditional 5th-round pick in 2013
Claimed via waivers
+On October 9, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman allowed the Montreal Canadiens to cancel the waiver claim on Betts and return him to the Philadelphia Flyers, as he had failed a physical due to an undisclosed injury which he had prior to being claimed.
Lost via waivers
|Player||New team||Date claimed off waivers|
|Jeff Woywitka||New York Rangers||October 6, 2011|
|Alexei Emelin||May 17, 2011||1 year, $984,200 entry-level contract|
|Joonas Nattinen||May 26, 2011||3 years, $1.895 million, entry-level contract|
|Hal Gill||May 31, 2011||1 year, $2.25 million|
|Andrei Kostitsyn||June 9, 2011||1 year, $3.25 million|
|Mathieu Darche||June 10, 2011||1 year, $700,000|
|Max Pacioretty||June 20, 2011||2 years, $3.25 million|
|David Desharnais||June 20, 2011||2 years, $1.7 million|
|Andrei Markov||June 23, 2011||3 years, $17.25 million|
|Yannick Weber||June 29, 2011||2 years, $1.7 million|
|Ryan White||July 13, 2011||1 year, $625,000|
|Frederic St. Denis||July 15, 2011||1 year, $605,000|
|Josh Gorges||July 22, 2011||1 year, $2.5 million|
|Jarred Tinordi||November 2, 2011||3 years, $2.7 million entry-level contract|
|Brendan Gallagher||November 16, 2011||3 years, $2.145 million entry-level contract|
|Michael Bournival||December 21, 2011||3 years, $2.07 million entry-level contract|
|Josh Gorges||January 1, 2012||6 years, $23.4 million contract extension|
|Morgan Ellis||March 1, 2012||3 years, $1.92 million entry-level contract|
|Patrick Holland||March 7, 2012||3 years, $1.92 million entry-level contract|
|Greg Pateryn||March 28, 2012||2 years, $1.325 million entry-level contract|
|Nathan Beaulieu||March 30, 2012||3 years, $2.775 million entry-level contract|
|Round||#||Player||Position||Nationality||College/junior/club team (league)|
|1||17||Nathan Beaulieu||Defence||Canada||Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)|
|4||97 (from Winnipeg)||Josiah Didier||Defence||United States||Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)|
|4||108 (from Winnipeg)||Oliver Archambault||Left Wing||Canada||Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)|
|4||113 (from Anaheim)||Magnus Nygren||Defence||Sweden||Farjestads BK (SEL)|
|5||138||Darren Dietz||Defence||Canada||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)|
|6||168||Daniel Pribyl||Centre||Czech Republic||HC Sparta Praha Jr. (CZREP-JR.)|
|7||198||Colin Sullivan||Defence||United States||Avon Old Farms (USHS-MA)|
- TSN.ca staff (November 28, 2011). "Hurricanes replace head coach Maurice with Muller". TSN.ca. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "Canadiens fire assistant Perry Pearn". ESPN. Associated Press. October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- "Montreal Canadiens snap losing streak with rout of Philadelphia Flyers". Montreal Gazette. October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- Randy Cunneyworth named interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
- Pierre Gauthier relieved from his duties
- "2011–2012 Division Standings". National Hockey League. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "2011–2012 Standings by Conference". National Hockey League. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- "Dallas wins preseason opener 6–3 in Montreal". Montreal, QC September 20, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Sabres 3, Canadiens 1". Montreal, QC September 21, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Canadiens 4, Senators 3 SO". Ottawa, ON September 23, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Senators 3, Canadiens 2". Montreal, PQ September 24, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Bruins 7, Canadiens 3". Halifax, NS September 25, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Bruins rally in third, top Canadiens again". Montreal, PQ September 26, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Lightning 4, Canadiens 0". Montreal, PQ September 29, 2011: National Hockey League.
- "Canadiens 5, Lightning 1". Quebec, PQ October 1, 2011: National Hockey League.
- Price, Khabibulin, Jagr are NHL's Three Stars
- Habs' Price's two shutouts earn First Star honors
- "Canadiens Roster". Montreal Canadiens. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Day 2 Recap
- James Wisniewski traded to Columbus
- Habs acquire Michael Blunden from Columbus in return for Ryan Russell
- The Canadiens acquire Mark Mitera from the Ducks in exchange for Mathieu Carle
- Canadiens acquire Petteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes, in return for Brock Trotter and a 7th-round draft pick in 2012
- Canadiens acquire Tomas Kaberle from Carolina in return for Jaroslav Spacek
- Michael Cammalleri traded to Calgary
- "Hal Gill traded to Nashville". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Canadiens trade forward Andrei Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators
- Raphael Diaz signed by the Canadiens
- Two-year contract for goalie Peter Budaj
- Erik Cole signs 4 years with Montreal
- Canadiens sign Brock Trotter to a one-year contract
- Canadiens sign Peter Delmas to a 3-year contract
- Habs sign goalie Nathan Lawson to a one-year contract
- Habs sign forward Brian Willsie to a one-year contract
- Canadiens sign defenceman Jeff Woywitka to a one-year contract
- Habs sign Chris Campoli
- Canadiens sign Joe Callahan
- "Astana recruit Montreal duo" (in Swedish). hockeysverige.se. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- "Klubertanz returning to Djurgarden" (in Swedish). Djurgardens IF. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Capitals Sign Centre Jeff Halpern to One-Year Contract
- Lightning Ink Free Agent Forward J.T. Wyman
- Capitals Sign Defenceman Roman Hamrlik
- B's Sign Pouliot, Khudobin, Whitfield
- Bulletin: Senators sign goaltender Alex Auld to a one-year contract
- Penguins Sign Defenceman Alexandre Picard
- Lightning Sign Centre Tom Pyatt
- SABRES SIGN MacINTYRE, WHITMORE AND STUART
- BLUELINER SOPEL SIGNS WITH NOVOKUZNETSK OF KHL
- Habs claim Blair Betts off waivers
- Brad Staubitz claimed off waivers
- Injured Betts returned to Flyers Accessed December 30, 2011
- Rangers claim Woywitka from Habs
- Canadiens sign Emelin to a one-year contract
- Canadiens sign centreman Joonas Nattinen to a three-year contract
- Canadiens sign defenceman Hal Gill to a one-year contract
- Andrei Kostitsyn inks one-year deal
- Canadiens sign Mathieu Darche to a one-year contract
- Max Pacioretty inks two-year deal
- Canadiens sign David Desharnais to a two year deal
- Habs sign Andrei Markov to a three-year contract
- Habs ink Yannick Weber to a 2-year deal
- Ryan White inks one-year deal
- St. Denis signed to a one-year deal
- Josh Gorges inks one-year deal
- Habs sign Jarred Tinordi to a 3-year contract
- Habs ink Brendan Gallagher to a 3-year deal
- The Canadiens sign Michaël Bournival to a three-year contract
- Habs sign Josh Gorges to a 6-year extension
- Three-year contract for Morgan Ellis
- Three-year contract for Patrick Holland
- Canadiens sign Greg Pateryn
- Canadiens sign defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to a three-year contract