LAVAL, QC. — Congratulations to the Washington Capitals for being the 2017-18 Stanley Cup champions with an impressive five-game series win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights surprised the hockey world with an outstanding regular season and playoff run. Their fans should be proud of their team’s accomplishments. As a Cup-deprived Habs fan, I’m glad that that the first year team didn’t get to experience winning the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season. I may have been a bit jealous, draw your own conclusions.
Here are my top 5 takes of the week:
- Eller & DSP – Former Habs players Lars Eller and Devante Smith-Pelly will have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup as members of the Capitals. Both players had an extremely successful playoff run, including Eller scoring the game-winning goal in the Cup clinching game and Smith-Pelly scoring three goals in the series versus the Golden Knights. As soon as the final horn sounded at the T-Mobile Arena, Habs Twitter was full of Eller, DSP and video of a really happy female Capitals fan. There are reasons to criticize Marc Bergevin‘s work but is it really necessary to bring back moves that were made years ago? Would the Canadiens have been in better position this season with Eller and Smith-Pelly in their lineup? Do we really think that they are the solutions to the Canadiens current issues? I think that collectively as Habs fans, we need to let go of former players on the roster and stop imagining “what if” scenarios.
- Subban potentially on the move – Even though his Nashville Predators were eliminated, there was lots of P.K. Subban on our televisions last week. We saw him as a guest studio analyst on NBC during game 5, we found out that he is dating ski star Lindsey Vonn, and that he may be traded during the summer. One of the teams that may be interested in Subban is the Ottawa Senators, as they may be trying to trade Erik Karlsson. You can make an argument on who would win a one-for-one trade between those two players, but from a business perspective, there’s no doubt that the Senators would be the winners. Who better to bring fans back to the arena in Ottawa than Subban? If that would happen, I would also expect a lot of Habs fans support the Senators. How would that work? Can you be a Habs fan and support another team in the same division?
- Focus on Draft – At the NHL combine in Buffalo, Canadiens Assistant General Manager, Trevor Timmins, spoke at length with the media on site. It was refreshing to hear him speak and sound natural. I assume that his media availability prior to the draft, is part of the organization’s new communication policy, which has been a positive change so far. Timmins announced that the team will be holding it’s own combine in Stockholm in addition to the one held in Montreal. It will be the first time that Timmins and his team will travel to Europe to hold a combine. It was also the first time, that the team’s sports science department played such an important role on the evaluation of the prospects. These measures show that the management team is investing a lot to make sure they make right choices at the draft in Dallas. In a recent interview, Marc Bergevin declared that he wouldn’t trade the third pick overall unless he gets blown away by a trade offer. I expect the Canadiens not to trade away any of their picks in Dallas.
- Who’s at centre? – In that same interview, the Habs General Manager said that he hasn’t necessarily given up on Jonathan Drouin playing at centre next season. It was also reported that there’s interest from the team to sign Tomas Plekanec. As much as I appreciated everything that Plekanec has done in Montreal, I don’t think Plekanec solves any of the team’s major issues. The team absolutely can’t begin the season with Drouin, Danault, Plekanec as their top-3 centres. If they do, the Habs will have as much success as they had this season.
- Trade bait – TSN announced it’s first trade bait board of the summer and two Habs players made it on their list: Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk. I have mentioned in previous posts that I think the captain won’t start the season, so I would like to focus on Galchenuyk. Even though there seemed to be a rocky start in the relationship between him and Claude Julien, things appeared to be going better as the season progressed. I don’t expect the team to move the 24-year old before the start of the season, but I will revisit the thought at trade deadline if the team isn’t in the playoff picture as Galchenyuk becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Leave your comments below. I am looking forward to interacting with all of you.