Here are a few thoughts on different topics surrounding the Habs’ as they are preparing for what could very well be a busy off-season. Feel free to share on Social Media and post your comments as they are always welcomed.
There are no doubts that Habs’ GM Marc Bergevin is very interested in the Edmonton Oilers’ number four pick overall at this upcoming draft. They have in mind local product Pierre-Luc Dubois, a 6-foot 3-inches power-forward in the making who has climbed the NHL Draft rankings all year. Both Bergevin and Trevor Timmins were seen scouting the Screaming Eagles in the playoffs. However, the Habs are far from being the only team interested in the Oilers’ fourth pick and it will cost a lot to get it.
It seems like every time the P.K. Subban trade rumours stop, there’s someone fuelling them again. Jim Matheson, from the Edmonton Journal, was suggesting that the Oilers should trade for Subban (and the Habs’ ninth overall pick) and give up Leon Draisaitl, Jeff Klefbom and the 4th overall pick to get him. Personally, I think that you’d have to either switch Draisaitl for Taylor Hall, or Klefbom for Darnell Nurse to make this interesting enough for the Habs.
With the Canadiens having traded for Phillip Danault, Lars Eller’s future with the team is in limbo. If the Oilers were to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for help on defense, they would be left with Connor McDavid and Draisaitl as their top-2 centres. Eller would fit in nicely on Edmonton’s third line and former first overall pick Nail Yakupov would be a decent gamble for Bergevin.
Georges Laraque caused quite the reaction around the NHL, particularly in Toronto, when he stated on 91.9 Sports that Steven Stamkos will be signing with the Leafs, almost 100% done deal. Laraque later clarified his comment by stating that his was his opinion, justifying it with the fact that Toronto “won” the Auston Matthews lottery. Could you imagine if the Leafs were found guilty of tampering and lost Matthews… to the Lightning?
Speaking of Tampa Bay, they have had the easiest path to the Conference Finals, facing very little serious opposition. Standout Jonathan Drouin has been very effective and many teams, including the Lightning, must be wondering if he still wants to be traded or if he and coach Cooper can kiss and make out? One thing is for sure: his value has skyrocketed since he ended his strike and got back on the ice.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher has found work in the NHL once again, when it was announced that he will be the man in Ottawa next season. Rumour has it that Boucher was the Senators’ second choice but settled on him once Bruce Boudreau signed with the Minnesota Wild. Many Habs’ fans were upset at the news of Boucher heading to the Sens, feeling like he should have replaced scapegoat Michel Therrien. Must be because of his “proven track record” of 97-79-20 I’m guessing… or his .545 points percentage compared to Therrien’s .595 since returning to the Habs?… maybe it is the infamous 1-3-1 system?…
In a more positive news, the Canadiens have announced that they have agreed to terms with prospect Artturi Lehkonen, a 20 year old winger from Finland who played in Sweden last year. Lehkonen has shown some great things so far and fans are very excited about the prospect of seeing him crack the line-up next season. Not wanting to feel like a wet blanket but let’s moderate our expectations here, Habs’ fans. While he has great potential, it’s a huge step from the SEL to the NHL. He will need some maturing and development time, particularly on the small ice.
It has been reported that the NHL playoffs’ ratings were down 61% in Canada in the first round in comparison to last year. Of course, there were five Canadian teams in the playoffs last year and none made it to the show this season. But still, one has to wonder what it has done to the NHL, particularly to Rogers, CBC and TVA Sports, who are looking after getting advertisers to fork out major dollars in Canada. It will be interesting to see the ratings for the second round as last year, only two teams (Montreal and Calgary) made it that far. I’m expecting much of the same.
Angela Price announced the arrival of their baby girl, Liv Anniston, on May 6th. Mom and the baby are doing well and they are back at home. Congratulations to both Carey and Angela and best of luck with your little bundle of joy. I bet it won’t be too long before she gets to the Bell Centre to watch Daddy play some hockey, lucky little girl!