Tag: Louis Leblanc

Louis Leblanc

Au revoir: Habs deal 2009 first-rounder Leblanc to Ducks


The Montreal Canadiens have parted ways with a hometown prospect.

The Canadiens traded 2009 first-round pick Louis Leblanc to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2015 conditional fifth-round pick. Leblanc was born in nearby Point-Claire, Quebec and was given a hero’s welcome when he was taken 18th overall by the host Canadiens.

In three seasons with the Habs organization, Leblanc has struggled to punch his way through to the NHL. In his career with the Canadiens he had five goals and 10 points, all coming in the 2011-12 season.

Since that season he’s played just eight games in the NHL and put up unimpressive numbers in the AHL with Hamilton. He had a career-high 13 goals and 28 points in 70 games with the Bulldogs this season.

Now he’ll get a change of scenery, and perhaps a weight off his shoulders going to the Ducks where he won’t have the pressure of being a Montreal-area kid trying to become the Habs savior. The Ducks are buying low on a guy who had a load of potential coming out of Harvard and hoping his game can take off at a new address.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m. ET): Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports says the condition for the Habs to get that fifth-round pick is Leblanc has to play 15 games with the Ducks next season.

Montreal’s Leblanc injures ankle, out 4-6 weeks

Louis Leblanc

The Montreal Canadiens were dealt a blow when prized youngster Louis Leblanc hurt himself playing for AHL Hamilton.

This week, they learned how big a blow it was.

Leblanc will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, according to CBC. The injury stems from a second period collision Leblanc had with Toronto Marlies defenseman Jesse Blacker in Saturday’s 5-0 loss .

Taken 18th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Leblanc made his NHL debut with Montreal last season, appearing in 42 games while registering 5G-5A-10PTS.

While the performance hardly jumped off the page, Leblanc still drew a lot of attention.

He’s a Quebec native that played his junior hockey with Montreal of the QMJHL and, as Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated explains, that background comes with a large amount of pressure:

There is a disproportionate interest in Leblanc, something well beyond the natural curiosity of glimpsing any first-rounder for the first time. (Leblanc, a natural center who can play the wing, was the 18th player selected in the 2009 draft, which was held in the Canadiens’ home arena.)

He is a local, having grown up in a western suburb on the island of Montreal, 25 minutes, give or take rush-hour traffic, from the Bell Centre. He also is a francophone, which, in some small measure, shores up the identity of a franchise that has lost its accent as it has lost its way.

Leblanc has appeared in three games for Hamilton this season, scoring twice.

Are the Montreal Canadiens as bad off as they seem?

Jacques Martin

It’s no surprise that the Canadiens fired GM Pierre Gauthier. He made a number of controversial decisions and the end result was simply not satisfying. When you look at the Montreal Canadiens right now, you see a team that’s grossly overpaying several players and in the Eastern Conference basement. The next general manager will have a very difficult job because the 2012-13 squad already has over $44 million in cap space tied to 13 players and that’s not including Carey Price or PK Subban, who will both be restricted free agents this summer.

Still, as former Canadiens coach Jacques Martin recently pointed out, this team isn’t exactly devoid of talent. There’s a good young core of players that includes Subban, Price, and David Desharnais. They also have a couple of forwards whose roles could increase in the coming years, including Louis Leblanc and Lars Eller. Throw in a healthy Andrei Markov and, according to Martin, this franchise might be better off than you think.

“The team has to add pieces,” Martin said. “But the key elements are in place.”

It might be more complicated than simply adding pieces, given how bad their cap situation is. Still, it is true that the foundation for a competitive team is already there.

Martin, by the way, is interested in returning to the Canadiens as their general manager. However, it seems unlikely that Martin will go from being fired as the head coach to being selected as the same organization’s general manager in less than a year.

Poll: Leafs or Habs — which one has the brighter future?

Leafs versus Habs

The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell thinks both the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs need major makeovers to become competitive again. And while his column’s not entirely pessimistic, it does include the phrase “both teams suck wind,” so yeah.

On the Habs, Campbell writes that GM Pierre Gauthier “has made questionable decision after questionable decision,” but on the bright side, at least they’re going to get a top draft pick this summer.

On the Leafs, he writes that GM Brian Burke “has come up woefully short …in acquiring free agents” while conceding Burke “has made some very shrewd trades and done a good job restocking the Leafs farm system with decent, but not great, prospects.”

So ahead of Saturday’s game between the two struggling clubs, we thought we’d put it to a vote – which team has the brighter future?


—- Toronto is one of the youngest teams in the NHL. The organization boasts a deep pool of prospects including Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Matt Frattin, Ben Scrivens and James Reimer. Not to mention, Phil Kessel is only 24, Tyler Bozak’s 25 and Dion Phaneuf’s 26.

—- Montreal has a franchise goalie in 24-year-old Carey Price and talented young regulars like David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty, PK Subban and Lars Eller. The prospect pool isn’t ranked very highly, but it does include first-round picks Nathan Beaulieu, Louis Leblanc and Jarred Tinordi, plus junior standout Brendan Gallagher.

OK, time to vote:

Which team has the brighter future?

Opportunity booms: Habs promote Blake Geoffrion


Just about any player carries pressure with him when he puts on that beautiful Montreal Canadiens sweater. Still, it’s say to say that Blake Geoffrion will probably feel the boom of fireworks more than most when he makes his Habs debut tomorrow.

The Canadiens colors run deep for him and – let’s be honest – this an incredibly cool moment. Geoffrion is the first fourth-generation player in NHL history and a member of each generation spent at least some time for the Montreal Canadiens:

Howie Morenz (great-grandfather) – Won three Hart Trophies, died at age 34 due to complications from a broken leg suffered during his final NHL game.

Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion (grandfather) – Popularized the slap shot, won six Stanley Cups and one Hart Trophy.

Dan Geoffrion (father) – Played 32 of 111 career NHL games with Montreal.

So to review: his grandfather and great-grandfather both had their numbers retired, with Morenz’s  No. 7 being the first Habs sweater to receive that honor. (At least his dad eased the pressure a bit by not being a Hall-of-Famer, though.)

Geoffrion’s lineage makes it a truly special story, but Blake has a chance to make a mark of his own. It’s not like he’s just some guy with a famous last name, either. The Nashville Predators made him the 56th choice (second round) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft before packaging the young player in the Hal Gill deal.

It’s a great story that could get even more fascinating if he makes an impact in more direct hockey terms. At 24 years old, he still has plenty of time to do just that.

(Meanwhile, Louis Leblanc was sent down to the AHL. Judging by his last name, he probably knows his fair share of scrutiny in Montreal, too …)