Finally a good reason to believe in the future


A few days before the opening of the retreat, no one is predicting the Stanley Cup or a place in the playoffs for the Canadian. A new era is beginning for this organization with a glorious past. For the first time in its long history, the Habs are going through a real reconstruction phase.

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For a long time the term was taboo in Bell Center pharmacies. Even today Kent Hughes does not dare to utter this word.

However, the Canadian is fine and truly there. Whatever happened by force of circumstances. He was not in the cards after his surprise participation in the Stanley Cup final in 2021.

But when Carey Price and Shea Weber fell into the field of honor, paralyzed by incurable injuries, the team fell to the bottom of the precipice.


Some say it should never have happened.

Let’s face it instead.

Since his last cup win, the Habs have been a midfield formation at best.

The team has missed the playoffs 11 times in the past 27 seasons. That’s three more bans than his first 77 campaigns in the National League.

In addition to the Bruins, the other four original NHL teams, namely the Leafs, Rangers, Red Wings and Blackhawks, have had to make a major reshuffle of their roster in the present millennium.

Three-time Stanley Cup winners between 2010 and 2015, the Hawks are in a second phase of rebuilding.


Texture of penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins claim the longest active playoff series with 16.

This is a high among the major North American leagues.

Sidney Crosby, a generational player like he does nearly every 10 years, obviously has something to do with this.

The Penguins have been able to surround him well over the years. Players like Evgeny Malkin, Marc-André Fleury, Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel, just to name a few, have contributed greatly to this beautiful continuity that characterizes the organization.

But the Penguins suffered before they reached the top. This is the price to pay for any team in recovery mode.


The first pieces are here

Supporters of the Canadiens need to get used to the idea that the next few years will bring their share of hardship.

How long will it last?

The leaders of the Canadian cannot quantify this alone.

On the other hand, the next few years should bring real hope for the highest peaks, which we haven’t seen for a long time in Montreal.

Fans are already hooked by Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

Juraj Slafkovsky has a size that we have not often seen among the forwards who wore the blue, white, red jersey.

Juraj Slafkovsky

Photographic archive, Pierre-Paul Poulin

Juraj Slafkovsky

Let’s give them time to adapt to the NHL playing style and smaller tracks.

Time will tell, but I dare to believe that, unlike Alex Galchenyuk and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, it will live up to expectations.

Good coach for young people

Why should Slafkovsky be more successful than the other two?

Because Martin St-Louis has the qualities to give players confidence.

We saw it with Caufield.

St-Louis is the kind of coach that Canadians need in the current environment. He will be the first to say that he still has a lot to learn.

On the other hand, he knows how today’s players think and how things are done in the locker room. He has lived it to the full during the 17 seasons he has played in the top flight.

His new assistant Stéphane Robidas also has a good head. He should be a good teacher for young defenders like Justin Barron and Jordan Harris, whom we saw with the big club last season and who we expect to see again in training this year.

Justin Barron

Archive photo, Martin Chevalier

Justin Barron

Giordano Harris

Archive photo, Martin Chevalier

Giordano Harris

Also on the defensive stage, it will be interesting to follow the progress of Kaiden Guhle and Arber Xhekaj, who have completed their junior training, as well as that of Mattias Norlinder.

Kaiden Guhlé

Archive photo, Martin Chevalier

Kaiden Guhlé

We no longer have to live in the past. It was wonderful while it lasted.

Now we have to move on.


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