LAVAL, QC. — The latest set of Montreal Canadiens headlines were initiated by social media. I think that’s a sign that the fan base is ready to see their favourite team hit the ice.
Here are my top 5 takes of the week:
- Charity golf – Last week, Raphael Doucet from 91.9 Sports caused quite a Twitter storm by posting that Marc Bergevin, Geoff Molson, and Claude Julien had not been invited to Max Pacioretty‘s golf tournament which is taking place on August 28th. Habs Twitter exploded with various opinions on the news. Some cheered the captain for that decision, others cheered for the management team and others thought that it made no difference if they were at the golf tournament or not. Considering that management have always been present at his golf event, the leaders of the organization not attending this year would send a strong negative message to their captain. Doucet’s tweet generated so much reaction from the fanbase that the official Montreal Canadiens Twitter account responded with an announcement that the management team would attend the golf tournament. Was it always intended that they attend or is it a reactionary move by the team to calm things down? By the way, the management team won’t have to attend if Pacioretty is traded prior to the tournament.
- Drouin at centre – Jonathan Drouin didn’t want it to become a storyline but confirmed that he will be playing centre to start the season. It’s a great move by him to voice his opinion in order to avoid a Galchenyuk-type situation. It was becoming more evident that Drouin would play down the middle as Bergevin has not added a top centre to the roster so far during the offseason. I have no issues with Drouin getting another chance at playing down the middle, but him being the team’s number one centre isn’t good news. It shows that the team is lacking in NHL-ready centres. Imagine if Drouin actually hurt his knee as it was reported recently? That would have been devastating news for the organization.
- Weber not in top 20 – The NHL Network revealed their top 20 defensemen and to the disappointment of Habs fans, Shea Weber didn’t make it on the list. How surprising is that? I got to admit that I was initially surprised, but once I took a step back, I was able to understand the reason he wasn’t in top 20. The players on their list are younger and have more hockey left to play in their career compared to Weber, who’s passed his prime and will have missed a year of hockey if he returns on the ice in December as expected. Bergevin thought that acquiring Weber was sufficient to make the Canadiens a Cup contender, but it clearly wasn’t enough. For those of you that are wondering, P.K. Subban is ranked fifth by the NHL Network.
- Bartlett in Toronto – Sportsnet announced that John Bartlett will be calling Leafs regional games this season. This means that TSN will need to replace him for the Canadiens regional games. In my view, TSN did a great job last season on their Canadiens broadcasts and I think they need to find someone from the Montreal market to take that job. I have lots of respect for Dave Poulin, Craig Button, and Mike Johnson, but it’s hard to understand the market by reading email reports from their Toronto offices. Since the TSN Canadiens broadcasts are viewable mainly by the Montreal market, they need someone who’s in the middle of it every day. The easiest decision for TSN would be to have Dan Robertson currently on TSN 690 to take over the role. Robertson would be a good choice because he has been close to the team for several years, does a good job calling games on the radio, has TV experience and lives in Montreal during the hockey season.
- Experts predictions – As the season approaches, outlets are slowly beginning to make their predictions for the upcoming season. I haven’t found anyone, including odd makers, that is predicting the Canadiens making the playoffs. NBC Sports will broadcast only one Habs game compared to the six last season. On NHL.com, Dan Rosen and E.J. Hradek were even wondering what direction that the team was going because they had no idea. To be fair, I don’t think anyone knows.
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