Habs Buy Out Laraque

Much to nobody’s surprise, the Montreal Canadiens and enforcer Georges Laraque have parted ways. The Habs have bought out the remaining year on Laraque’s contract, ending a relationship that has often been difficult for both the player and the hockey club.

Laraque had a year to go on his $4.5 million three-year deal. The buyout is worth $1 million and spreads out over the next two years, putting the Canadiens on the hook for a $500,000 cap hit each year.

Plans to buy out Laraque have been in the works since January of 2010. They had banished the popular enforcer from the team by then, stating that he had become something of a distraction. He was a part of the roster “officially,” but was not seen at games or practices for the rest of the season.

The plan in 2008 was for the Habs to add toughness, but when Laraque started to take away from the focus of the game through various incidents, it was clear that his impact was debatable. He rarely did the jobs assigned to him, dropping the mitts only sparingly, and became a problem to deal with for management and the coaching staff.

Many argue that the era of the enforcer is over in modern hockey and they may well have a point. The inability of Georges Laraque to become anything other than an enforcer speaks to his singular dimension as a player and the Habs, looking to add toughness in the right moments, were unable to find more use for him.

Laraque might find work on another NHL team soon enough, as some teams do still consider a role for an enforcer as an integral part of a successful franchise. But today’s enforcers need to do more besides drop the gloves, I think, and Laraque’s rare offensive success and his overall lack of speed may be more problematic than many purists would like to admit.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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3 thoughts on “Habs Buy Out Laraque

  1. true, very true
    im personally glad they took him out but then everyone would blame me of being racist. Anyways, hope they do good now!!
    i had a question,. now that they took him out, do have have extra money 2 keep halak AND price?

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  2. Well it seemed like since big George left the Oilers it has never been very easy for him.
    The Coyotes, Penguins, and now the Canadiens found him replaceable.
    He does skate with a stove on his back but is he any slower than Andrew Peters, Derek Boogard, John Scott, Eric Goddard, and well you get the point.
    slower Anyone who who just drops the gloves?
    I know Laraque has never been a favorite with those teams, I don’t know what goes on with him and management.
    But I think he seems a decent intelligent man when I hear him talk about the game.
    It is too bad to see him go like this
    I just think he has played in era where teams just don’t need his style well most teams.
    The Habs are no strangers to making stupid decisions & running people out of town. Why sign a guy for so much and then buy him out?

    There are not many of those true tough guys around anymore as it is a dying breed, The days of Donald Brashear and Tie Dummy are long gone.
    I am not sure if Laraque will get another chance, he might but most likely with the same role and less pay. He may want to retire if that is the case.
    In the new NHL, The smaller players dictate the game look at Briere, Richards, Kane, Toews all players that were in the cup. The cap makes it so teams cannot afford to pay the money for enforcers. oh yeah rule changes the games has opened up more than before.
    If you fight you need to do other things too.
    I hope Colton Orr soon wears out his welcome in Toronto,
    They ended up in 2nd last place I don’t Your tough guy thing worked Mr. Burke.
    I think if you look at the Stanley cup with the Hawks, and the Flyers
    They played hard and tough but I don’t think I saw a true enforcer
    Aaron Asham and Ben Eager will go if needed but they have other things to do
    like try to play the game first.
    Yes Lappiere was a big scrapper but he plays against the other teams best lines and of course he is a excellent penalty killer. and of course his head is a little caved in , I wonder if he will ever fight again.

    So if u are a big tough guy you need to stay healthy, play smart, have a gift to score here and there or at least defend, and be a leader. Oh yeah not be like a cancer in the dressing room. Accept you won’t play much especially in the playoffs and you will not be paid much ethier.
    Hard role to play but that will be only way the so called enforcer will be able to play in the NHL.
    So unless you are a great defence man and can skate your career may not go very far.
    As long as Hockey does not get rid of fighting it will be fine, I don’t care if Gorge Parros, or Jody schelly ar gone but I won’t watch the game if there isn’t any fighting. I would like to see the game go back to the day where the guy who had the most fights had a total of 6 or 7 a year.

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  3. Jordan Richardson June 18, 2010 — 10:35 pm

    I don’t think there’s much chance of fighting being taken out of the game. It’s too popular and the controversy it does brew up in some circles is actually beneficial for the sport because it draws attention to it. They won’t be taking it out anytime soon.

    I do think, however, that we’re seeing roles change in the game. Key players are now becoming able to take care of themselves. Hell, even Kovalchuk has dropped the mitts. I think this makes the game more exciting, as it’s boring to see the same couple of guys pair up to do the same thing. If a key player wants to drop them, let’s see it. Injuries come with the territory and fights have to be taken on smartly, but I think it could add to the game to see a few unlikely scraps here and there.

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