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A Tropical Heat Wave

Beachpool_2 MONTREAL -- Having a good old time in balmy, tropical Quebec today, getting ready for the big beach volleyball match between the locals and the visitors from chilly South Florida.

It's currently 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big difference from the minus-12 it was when I was strolling around town last night.

Just got back from another fun adventure in the snow, and am proud to say I have yet to slip on any ice. That's coming, of course, but it hasn't happened yet. Just had a famous smoked meat sandwich at Reubens on St. Catherines Street and a nice hot chocolate courtesy of Goldie and am more ready to nap than to work.

But I'm a pro, so I trudge on. Again, for you.

Little bit of news out of practice today, so let's go:

-- David Booth skated today but was the first one off the ice and will not play tonight. The swelling on his right knee is obviously down from Saturday, but he looked slow and he says if he can't go 100 percent "I can't play my game.'' No timetable, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him Thursday against the Carolina Wolfpack.

-- JM says Cory Murphy recently went and saw a specialist and had a "bone scan" but doesn't know what the results are. I know it ain't much, but it's something new, right?

-- Rumors have it that Montreal is shopping Michael Ryder, and I would think the Panthers have an interest with Ville Peltonen out a substantial -- six/eight weeks -- bit of time with his broken foot. Ryder has scored 30 goals the past two seasons, but is struggling so much this season he's been a healthy scratch. Ryder has three goals and seven assists this season.

Montrealsnow He hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 16 at Buffalo and hasn't so much as recorded a point since getting two helpers against Boston on Nov. 17. Change of scenery -- and some sunshine -- might be what Ryder needs.

-- Carey Price starts in net for the Habs tonight even though Cristobal Huet is active and ready to play.

-- Special thanks to Mitch of FSN for grabbing a cup of coffee from Timmies when he made a run this morning. Class move by a happy Michigan guy.

-- While I am so over the white stuff (as you can see from picture above taken this afternoon), you folks in South Florida might just want to see some this Holiday season. So, the Panthers are hooking you up. Saturday, before the Leaves game, the Panthers are going to have a holiday village complete with a mountain of snow. According to the Panthers, 10 tons are going to be dumped on the walkway. Most of which, I assume, they got from here. The holiday village opens at 5.

Also, if you need tix for Saturday's game, you better get 'em quick. Panthers say only 1500 are left. A sellout is obviously expected.

But if you don't have tickets and just want to play in the snow, be my guest. Remember, parking is free...

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