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The Loss of TSN/The Team 990

July 13, 2012, 10:34 AM ET [2136 Comments]
Habs Talk
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ON TSN 990

I was rocked by the news that they'd be shutting their doors to give way to RDS radio. As some of you may know, like many of my colleagues in our market, the Team 990/Tsn Radio played a large role in launching my career. Specifically, my time spent working with Mitch Melnick was invaluable, and it was easily the greatest learning experience I've ever had.

These people have been so dedicated to harmonizing English Montreal. They gave us a voice on one of the few threads (our sports teams) that unites us; all of us from such diverse backgrounds. These people have shown incredible loyalty to the station, dedicated themselves to quality production, and done more than what's been expected of them for less than they deserve.

It is a great shame that we're losing the one station that never lost its grasp on how unique a marketplace Montreal is. Their content was (and for the time being, continues to be) perfectly tailored to those that care passionately for all that makes this city great. Their loss shifts the focus to all the other things that have changed Montreal recently from the city we're all so proud to call home.

My drive to the office will never be the same. The humor and honesty guys like Elliott Price, Shaun Starr, Ted Bird, and Denis Cassavant have brought to our morning rituals will be sorely missed.

Tony Marinaro, who's the epitome of determined; making a name for himself through passion, hard work and sacrifice, is a reminder to all those that aspire to dream about making their way in a business that's unforgiving to those who cringe at the word "no". And Randy Tieman, who appeals so greatly to the nice guy that lives inside all of us. Their interaction will be missed.

I may have a bias, but ask the guests who appear on Mitch Melnick's show if they've done better radio with anyone else. Melnick in the Afternoon is the best radio show in Canada. Melnick's brilliant intertwining of music and theme--sport or political, is unparalleled. It's raw radio, unrehearsed and unadulterated. And to think his last show in its current format wouldn't be on a date of his choosing is an outright crime. Without Mitch, the station would've closed its doors before we even had the chance to cry over it.

But there are others. Sean Campbell, father of two very young children, who works so many hours he's redefined overtime. Marco "Polo" Campagna, who is also ever-present at the station.

Conor Mckenna, who's fought to have his voice heard; who's proven to be among the most talented of our group of young contemporaries covering the Canadiens and much more.

Mitch Gallo, who's grown so much as an on-air personality, holding his own on Melnick's show, in the unenviable task of replacing another who broke barriers in the Montreal Sports media--Andie Bennett.

Rod Francis, who became the glue that held the station together post-Picard. The balance he brought to Melnick's show while ensuring a quality production, working for someone who demands perfection; in a word, inspiring.

Late night workers who were dedicated to nothing else but bringing you quality programming. Guys who did it for the passion, and certainly not for the money. Dave Simon and Big Tuna, Moe Khan, Matthew Ross, Dave Kaufman, Sako K, and anyone else I'm failing to mention.

And the young reporters, Stein and Rusnak, who've plied their trade respectfully.

Some great part of me remains in denial that this will all come to pass. It is my most sincere hope that this great community, which holds the station so dear, will be able to influence its impending doom.


We've really hit the dog days of summer when news of Aaron Palushaj's two-way deal dominates the headlines.

In the meantime, Rick Nash awaits a trade to a team of his choice, Bobby Ryan sits in limbo, and rumors have been swirling around Patrick Kane.

Little insight on that, since the Canadiens have been linked to such rumors. By no means is P.K. Subban an available piece on the trade market. Not for Kane. Not for anyone.

In fact, on the top-six forward front, there's no real rush to address the situation. The Canadiens will certainly be eager to make a deal if the right one surfaces, but one gets the sense Marc Bergevin's alright with seeing how things will unfold in training camp before he makes a decision that will impact the roster in that capacity.

I don't believe Bergevin's done with tweaking the blue line, either. Raphael Diaz is slated for arbitration, which could have an unpredictable impact on his future should the Canadiens not settle with him beforehand. And then there's the issue of size.

Who will bully opponents away from Carey Price's net?

There's no question that Francis Bouillon will lead that charge. We all know that Josh Gorges is willing to defend his goalie as well. Alexei Emelin's a physical player, but he's not an after-the-whistle threat.

Markov? Subban? Kaberle?

Considering what Bergevin's done to address toughness in his bottom six, with the additions of Prust and Armstrong, and the extension of Blunden, and even Nokelainen-- to a degree--as depth, you know that management recognizes that the Canadiens needed to become harder to play against. But when you consider that the team just committed it's top dollars to the man in nets, they have to do more to protect him.

One would think that before Matt Carkner settled on the Island, that he was on the Habs radar. Looking at the current market, there's not much out there for the Canadiens to sink their teeth into to fill that void on the back end.

Could there be an option available through trade?
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