Then check every Thursday to read the answers to the most popular or poignant questions about the Habs. Keep in mind that we will discuss the entire Canadiens organization so questions about prospects and roster players are equally welcome!
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- This is not for hate mail or complaints. If you have an issue with what you read on these pages, this is not the place to bring it up. The mailbag is for questions about the Montreal Canadiens organization and the NHL.
- As long-time readers of All Habs know, we do not publish rumours. Therefore I will not engage in discussion of the validity of rumours — frankly I consider them a waste of time anyway. For every rumour that was close to accurate, there have been about a thousand duds.
- Nothing of essay-length please. There will be other people who will have questions and it is a bit unfair if I have to dedicate the Mailbag to answering one very large question or someone who’s asking five questions at once.
Worried about Hudon’s injury since it is keeping him out of WJC – How serious is it?
Charles Hudon was ruled out because of a ‘stiff back’ that wasn’t ruled as serious, but back injuries can be very tricky and hopefully he is back on the ice soon. I would say the rising concern is the quantity of injuries he has suffered this season. Hudon had already suffered an ankle injury and a concussion before he was invited to the World Juniors and now finds himself down with a back problem.
While bad luck can factor into these events, one has to be concerned that he might not be sturdy enough to handle professional hockey if these injuries were to pile up before he ever even played for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Hudon could also spend the next couple years being relatively injury-free of course but three injuries in four months is a bit concerning.
Say Gomez gets bought out as soon as the new CBA is signed. Who likely gets called up? And where is Ryan White? Is he healthy?
I would put it between Louis Leblanc, Brendan Gallagher and Gabriel Dumont as the likely auditions for a forward spot. Leblanc and Gallagher offer some scoring touch, while Dumont is a more defensive-minded forward who’s having a good season with Hamilton on the scoresheet.
Last I knew of Ryan White, he was ready as anyone on the team, the only players receiving medical treatment with the Canadiens were Rene Bourque and Erik Cole to start the season, White was locked out like the rest of the team and will be ready to play if the season ever actually begins.
How long should we allow a prospect to develop in the minors before “letting him go”? Will Bergevin allow them more time?
My first consideration is always the 5-year rule. That is, you can’t truly evaluate the success of a draft and its prospects until it’s been five years since your team drafted a player and assess where they are. By around that time, teams can have a pretty good sense of that player’s upside and where they are going. Using that evaluation, teams can determine if the players have the NHL upside, or at the least, the ability to be a good AHL player and help fill out the depth of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
I can’t say Montreal has typically let go of a player that was in the minor system and than came back later to burn them. The Canadiens typically have issues when bringing the prospects up to the main club and than not understanding how to use them, which leads to them disappearing in trades for soft assets and embarrassing the team for years after the fact. I imagine Bergevin will give every prospect in the organization a good length of time to prove they’re worthy to make the team. The issue before Montreal is making sure they handle these prospects well once they’ve pulled on the CH.
What do you make of Galchenyuk in the World Juniors and his limited ice time? Under performing or not being given a chance?
I literally can not find an explanation for Galchenyuk’s ice time. While at times he hasn’t been as good as he’s been capable of, neither have multiple members of Team USA who are getting preferential ice time over him. Galchenyuk is a top-end talent, arguably the best 18-year old in the entire Canadian Hockey League but the coach doesn’t seem to be deploying him in the proper capacity for his scoring abilities. At the very least, he should be poised as a weapon on the 1st wave of the power-play to employ his talents.
There have been games where a pile of penalties collected by the United States has limited his time on ice, but averaging 12 minutes a game or less doesn’t seem to make sense, especially since he’s still managed to collect eight points over six games.
How about any thoughts on the Habs desperately shallow pool of G’s? Anyone in the system that I don’t know about?
I would say the Habs could stand to expend a 2nd-round pick in the 2013 draft on a goalie. Their farm system is about as dismal as it can possibly get for goaltending prospects, nobody above replacement-value backup in terms of potential at present unless unimaginable leaps are suddenly seen by one of Desjardins, Mayer or Delmas. While it’s easy to say “Hang drafting goalies while we have Price” one should have at least someone looking able to take over in the future, the Habs lack this at present. If Price were to be injured for a month or so in any season the team would play with their current goalie configuration, the Canadiens could probably start fixing for a Top 10 draft pick.