Of  the most mentioned candidates for the Canadiens head coaching job, the one with the fewest negatives  was Bob Hartley.  And yet, Marc Bergevin made no attempt to short circuit the Calgary Flames push to hire him.  If Hartley was the best of a bad lot and the Canadiens  figuratively turned their back on him, what does that say about the remaining names on the “short list”?  I’ve been wrong before, but I get the feeling when this process is all said and done, there’s a name that isn’t on the ‘list’ that is going to surface in the next few weeks.

Alexander Galchenyuk - Sarnia Sting

I’m not sure the Canadiens discovered anything at this week’s NHL Scouting Combine that they didn’t already know through their scouting reports.   Fans learned a few things though.  One of them is, Alexander Galchenyuk has Max Pacioretty-type  skating explosiveness.  Can a team that consistantly rates speed as the number one player attribute ignore it in the draft.  This is what the NHL published about Galchenyuk’s test results –

Anaerobic fitness, peak power output: Sarnia forward Alex Galchenyuk — who missed all but one regular-season game after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in October — showcased how well he was healed by leading this category, which measures how explosive a skater he is. His high peak output could be the difference in gaining 2-3 strides on a defenseman on a breakaway.

Despite missing the year with the ACL injury, consensus among fans seems to be, if Nail Yakupov iisn’t available at number three (and he won’t be), Galchenyuk should be the Canadiens choice.  I agree.

……There has been much discussion of the decline in  Mikhail Grigorenko’s game through the second half of the season.  Turns out he was battling mononucleosis which may explain his lack of on ice commitment.   From December to the end of the season, some rankings dropped Grigorenko from a top two draft pick to as late as seventh to tenth.

……….The Canadiens will hold their own mini combine starting Tuesday in Brossard.   Dozens of players, many of whom who were not invited to the Toronto camp will get a chance in front of Canadiens personnel.  There will be a solid representation of players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League,  most of whom are listed over 100 on the NHL Central Scouting rankings.

……..The Canadiens will draft third, thirty-third and fifty-third through the first two rounds.  It’s the first time in four years they have been able to make a second round choice and the first time since 2007 Trevor Timmins has had at least one pick in each of the first two rounds.   Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier were in the habit of trading away second round picks something that, I’m sure frustrated Timmins.

The Canadiens Web Site has video of a Trevor Timmins media scrum in Toronto last week.  He has always been an interesting guy although absolutely mute for two years by Pierre Gauthier.   You can see it here.

………For the record, here’s what happened with those missing draft picks.  At one point last year the Canadiens had two second rounders including the compensatory one for not signing David Fischer.  The compensatory draft pick went to the Islanders in the James Wisniewski deal and their regular pick to Florida for Dominic Moore.   In 2010 the Canadiens once again had, at various times, control of two second round picks.  Their own pick became part of the deal with Phoenix that allowed the Canadiens to trade up to the first round for Jarred Tinordi.  The other was acquired as part of the Mikhail Grabovski deal with Toronto that was later traded to Chicago for Robert Lang.    And in 2009 at one point the Canadiens also had control of two second round picks.  In his eagerness to acquire Alex Tanguay from Calgary Bob Gainey gave up a first (in 2008) and his second rounder.  The other pick went to Atllanta for Mathieu Schneider after they had picked it up when they traded Cristobal Huet to Washington.  In 2008, the Habs had no first round pick because of the Tanguay deal and took Danny Kristo in the second round.