MONTREAL – Many Canadiens fans showed disappointment and even a little anger when the Habs confirmed at 3:00 pm Friday that it’s not worth holding their breath.
That no other transaction was expected, which was expected for a long time would fall from the sky!
The disappointment was related to the Canadiens’ desire to get rid of some expensive and underpaid veterans.
The anger was fueled by the fact that many believed the Habs would start winning instead of continuing to lose. That he would start winning now over the 21 games to be played at the end of the calendar to climb the rankings instead of slipping and thus minimize his chances of winning the lottery-repatch instead of boosting them.
It is impossible to predict the results of the last 20 meetings. But in losing 3-2, Friday, in Anaheim, against the ducks that are better placed than him in the race for Connor Bedard, the Canadian reassured his scared supporters. He offered them a sweet defeat.
If the trend continues, the Canadian will lose again Sunday, in Las Vegas, against veteran Jonathan Quick who could get his first start with the Golden Knights. If so, Quick will of course want to make a positive first impression with their new team. He will want to prove that he is still a positive goalkeeper. That he is better than his personal statistics indicate. That he will be able to contribute to the success of the knights thus prove his former chief of the kings that they were wrong when they lost faith in him.
And it will be perfect for the Habs who this morning occupy the 26th place in the overall standings. As the statistics show, it is important that the Canadian make sure that he remains among the clubs that will be drafted in the top-10 in the next repechage.
By losing as he did yesterday in Anaheim, by losing again Sunday in Vegas, the Canadian will maximize his chances of standing well with the last draftee next June in Nashville.
And yes! That’s all that matters.
Edmundson: deferred transactions
When Kent Hughes assured on Friday that the Canadian would like to conclude one or two more transactions, it is clear that he was referring to the early departures of Joel Edmundson and Sean Monahan.
Why was Edmundson still patrolling the blue line Friday night in Anaheim? Why is Monahan continuing his recovery in Montreal instead of preparing for a possible return to play with another organization?
Because of the injuries they suffered.
Because both arouse more concern than confidence that they could really help the clubs that took an interest in them, Kent Hughes had to settle for much lower compensation than those that were previously shy associated with their names. We’re talking fourth and fifth round picks here. Far, very far, from the initial goals of the Canadian staff who made Banco last year and wanted to make some positive moves this year.
Therefore, the Canadian general manager decided not to give them.
It is thus bet that Edmundson will bring him more in a year, or before if he has a positive start in the season 2023-2024 and that a formation quickly finds itself in need of an experienced defender.
Unlike David Savard, Joel Edmundson is not essential to the Canadian blue line. First, he plays on the left side where the youngsters are already jostling for a spot behind Kaiden Guhle. Second, although he is a “positive veteran” and has insisted that he wants to be an actor in the rebuilding of the Habs, Edmundson does not seem to me to be able to fill the role of godfather in the same way that David Savard has filled it since. the beginning of the season.
The big question now is whether Edmundson’s back will be able to get stronger in the offseason and the defenseman will be an asset next year instead of quickly sliding down the liability column due to back pain.
If so, Kent Hughes might be better to take what was on the table in the past days, as it might be more than he will have next year.
Only time will tell if this bet will pay off or not.
Drouin will finish the year in Montreal
Did Kent Hughes miss his shot on Friday?
When we look at what happened in the last days of transactions, no general manager panicked. No DG overpaid by telling himself that he had to move to emulate his rival clubs.
Kent Hughes had players for sale, but no one wanted to pay to buy them.
Many fans would like to see the Canadian traded and even give Drouins, Hoffmans, Armias and other players they don’t like to Montreal.
Kent Hughes was very diplomatic when talking about Jonathan Drouin’s contract, identifying his salary as a burden that prevents any transaction.
His salary doesn’t help that’s for sure. But Kent Hughes still had the possibility to make this contract less burdensome by keeping half of his salary. Like he did with Evgenii Dadonov to get Denis Gurianov from the Dallas Stars. As he did with Nick Bonino who went to Montreal to leave part of his contract there before going to Pittsburgh. An administrative wish that allowed the Canadian to get a 5th round pick and Swedish defenseman Tony Sund.
What Kent Hughes did not say, to his credit – he wants to be respected and respected as a GM as he was as an agent – is that Drouin had no interest in the NHL.
Like other players that fans wanted to throw.
Jonathan Drouin, who has played the best hockey since his return to the game and has nothing to do with the fact that he finally scored his first goal of the season on Friday night, will therefore end his season and the last year in his contract. .. in Montreal.
Will he be back with the Canadiens next year?
I highly doubt it.
He will have more luck with another rebuilding club like the Arizona Coyotes for example when he accepts a big drop in salary.
A deal for Monahan
The case of Sean Monahan is interesting. The Canadian already received a first-round pick as a gift when he agreed to take his contract that the Flames had to throw away to afford to hire Nazem Kadri.
The injuries interfered with a transaction from being completed that would have resulted in more compensation for his services.
In the final year of his contract, Monahan could leave Montreal via the free agent market on July 1.
Until then, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Kent Hughes try to keep him in Montreal by offering him a one-year contract at a more reasonable amount than the $6.375 million he currently occupies under the salary cap. .
The Canadian could convince Monahan to sign such a deal in order to use the next season as a springboard for a longer and more lucrative contract after that.
At 28, Monahan is still young. But the injuries that have plagued him for several seasons may prevent him from going to the bank on July 1.
The Canadian would offer him the opportunity to play an important role in Montreal next year to prove that he still has positive hockey to offer.
With Kirby Dach likely to back up Nick Suzuki in the center of the top two lines, and Jake Evans expected to fill the role on the fourth line, there would be congestion with Monahan and Dvorak in the center of the third line.
But once under contract, Monahan would still offer options to the Habs’ general staff. And he is the type of player who is far from hurting your organization.
Possible recall of Primeau and Richard
The Habs fired Raphaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen from their Laval school club before the 3pm kick-off on Friday.
The two attackers were immediately recalled as part of this administrative procedure that will allow the Quebecer and the Finn to give a hand to the rocket at the end of the season and possibly in the playoffs.
After the reminders of Harvey-Pinard and Ylönen, the Canadian has two more regular reminders at the end of the calendar.
One of those recalls should be used to allow Cayden Primeau to play some games with the big club at the end of the season.
The others? It could allow Anthony Richard to get a second chance with the Habs this season.
The 26-year-old Quebecer scored a goal and added an assist in seven games played between December 19 and January 7. The Habs were riding a rollercoaster at the time – one win in all of Richard’s seven games, part of a three-game hitting streak for the Habs – and the staff might be interested to see what Richard could deliver then. a. will play better than before.
But be careful! The Canadian doesn’t want to hurt his high school club’s streak and undermine its chances of reaching the playoffs and experiencing success there. Which means that a possible recall of Anthony Richard could have the effect of causing Rafaël Harvey-Pinard or Jesse Ylönen to be sent back to Laval.
To the four regular recalls – two of which have already been used – are added emergency recalls that the Canadiens, like the other 31 teams in the League, could make up for injury-related absences that would leave them below the minimum number of attackers . (12), defender (6) or goalkeeper (2).
In case of emergency, the Canadian could meet his needs by shooting in formation of the rocket. He could thus reward a player who distinguished himself this season and even give a try, while the emergency passes, the defender Frédéric Allard that Kent Hughes acquired from the Los Angeles Kings. If urgent needs were in the blue line of course.