Go for Shane Wright | The Montreal Newspaper


Stop procrastinating! The Canadian cannot miss Shane Wright. The youngster will have to be the first player to get on the podium in the first round of the National League draft which will be presented tonight at the Bell Center.

There are indications that this may very well be the case. Earlier this week Vincent Lecavalier, first pick of the 1998 vintage, shared his experience in this role with Wright.

Yesterday my colleague Jonathan Bernier learned from Wright that he also received a call from Martin St-Louis.

Jonathan asked Juraj Slafkovsky and Logan Cooley if they had received a call from Vincent Lecavalier and their answer was no.

It doesn’t say everything, it’s true.

It is possible that Slafkovsky and Cooley turned their tongues.


Prepare better for the challenge

Wright is best prepared for the NHL and the Montreal market. He has lived in the spotlight since he was 15. He already knows a lot about the obligations of the profession.

It helps when you are in the organization of the Canadiens.

Wright has a reputation for being very mature for an 18 year old boy. A widespread opinion says that he displays the character of a 25-year-old boy.

Sidney Crosby fits this profile. He seemed to be talking to a middle-aged man in his early days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche was also impressive at 18.

He caused a stir when he met reporters during the 2011 Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. He spoke like a responsible veteran.

No one would go so far as to predict that he would become captain of Avalanche at the age of 20. But the leaders of the Avalanche were not mistaken.

Two good first crosses

Don’t think that Wright will be captain of the Canadiens in the next few years or even later.

This is not the question.

Give him time to develop and adapt to the NHL game.

If, as experts predict, he becomes a good second center, in a few years the Canadian will be in the car with a Suzuki-Wright duo.

And the other two?

Why not Slafvosky or Cooley? You say.

Slafkovsky is the perfect size for a wing. He is already 220 pounds on six feet four.

That’s a mirror wardrobe!

It is true that he distinguished himself at the Olympics last winter. But the National League players weren’t in Beijing.

He also did well at the World Championship in the spring, but again not all of the best players in the world are there.

His appearance reminds Jesperi Kotkaniemi in his year of eligibility for military service.

At 17, Kotkaniemi had had a good second half with Finnish championship Porin Ässät.

Help immediately

As for Cooley, he has performed well over the past two years in the US development program.

It is said to be dynamic and creative. But he has an offer on the University of Minnesota gophers table.

If he had chosen this option, it would mean that he would not feel ready for the NHL.

But can the Canadian wait one, two, three or four years?

We know the next few seasons won’t be easy, but we need to give the fans hope.

Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Alexander Romanov are with the big club. Cayden Primeau has approached Montreal. Kaiden Guhle has completed her junior internship.

Fans are willing to wait, but not indefinitely.

A good quartet

Patrice Brisebois, Guy Carbonneau, Vincent Damphousse and Chris Nilan are now ambassadors of the Canadiens. They join Yvan Cournoyer and Réjean Houle, who have not always been able to meet demand after the losses of Henri Richard and Guy Lafleur.

The assumption of these four former Habs marks a line with the great dynasties. It is no less appropriate.

Brisebois has CH tattooed on his heart. He would have torn his shirt for the Canadiens.

Player, he was always the first to raise his hand when the Canadian needed someone in charity. He made personal donations to Sainte-Justine hospital. He will also fulfill his role as ambassador.

Always on RDS

Just like him, Carbonneau and Damphousse are members of the latest edition of the Canadian champion.

The two maintain their positions as analysts at RDS, which will no doubt raise questions about their objectivity. But I don’t think it changes the way they do things. I expect them to continue their work with the same candor.

As for Nilan, we know she had a hard time in her life. He took drugs, over-prescribed painkillers, and abused alcohol.

But he rebuilt his life.

He has been sober for several years and in particular gives lectures where he warns young people against drugs and alcohol. He would be a great spokesperson for the Canadiens in this regard.

Despite his past troubles, his popularity has never wavered among aficionados.

It is good to say

Dominique Ducharme taught us a good one yesterday at his golf tournament, saying he offered his good friend Martin St-Louis an assistant position with the Canadiens last summer.

We know the rest.

I don’t know if Ducharme will have a second chance as head coach in the NHL. But he could return by resuming the path he had followed with the Habs.


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