(Saint-Jean) General manager Kent Hughes recently said that the Montreal Canadiens players have gradually tried to make up for the lack of leadership caused by the absence of Shea Weber and Carey Price for long periods last winter.
Posted at 10:35
Goalkeeper Jake Allen admits that the captain’s absence and the face of the franchise created a void in the locker room last season. But even as the Canadian officially severed ties with Weber by exchanging his contract with the Vegas Golden Knights last week and Price’s future is uncertain, Allen isn’t worried that history will repeat itself next season. Rather, he believes everything is fine for the Habs to develop a winning culture.
“I only played one season with Shea, but you knew right away that he was the alpha male. He is exactly what everyone imagines: a true leader. It’s part of his nature. Everyone is following him, ”Allen told The Canadian Press earlier this week after appearing at a conference at the Memorial Cup.
“The season has been difficult in his absence. You could see that sometimes we needed his guidance, he added. Other players have filled the void. I was really impressed, especially by guys like Gally [Brendan Gallagher]Susie [Nick Suzuki| et [Jeff] Peter. ”
Price also skipped most of the campaign, only returning to action in mid-April and limiting himself to five releases. While he may have spent more time in the team’s entourage during his rehabilitation, his absence from matches obviously caused a void.
He doesn’t have a C on his shirt, but when you think of the Montreal Canadiens you think of Carey Price. She has that balance that you cannot teach or instill. She is a leader, a good person and a great teammate.
“Once again, it was tough without him last season. He is someone you will try to stabilize the ship to, “he added.
Hughes has said many times since he was hired that he would like to appoint a new captain before next season starts.
The names of Suzuki, Gallagher and Joel Edmundson are the ones that emerge most often in discussions on public forums.
“I think a lot of people have learned from Shea. Obviously Nick is one of those people, but he’s still young and it will depend on which direction he takes. [Hughes] wants to give to the club, Allen noted. We have many good leaders. Really. ”
Allen pointed out that several players have spoken during the difficult times of last winter, so there are many candidates for the captain role.
“But I think it will be important to have someone steer the ship now that Shea is officially gone,” he insisted.
Allen also said that the new top three executives – Hughes, Vice President of Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton and Manager Martin St-Louis – have brought a breath of fresh air to the organization.
Allen noted the infectious positive energy of the St. Louis and the speed with which the Hall of Famer gained the trust of the players. He also talked about little things the management did that were appreciated by the band.
“They have made some resources more accessible and are open to our ideas,” Allen said. They are not afraid to ask us what we think, what we need, what could be done better.
“I think it is a sign that we are going in the right direction,” he continued.
Allen was asked to comment on comments made by Hughes on 91.9 FM on May 4th. He then said, in case Price does not return next season: “We still don’t have anyone among our goalkeepers who has proven year after year that they are number 1.”
The 31-year-old New Brunswick goalkeeper hadn’t caught the comments yet, but he didn’t seem shaken by them.
“You know what, I don’t even put a label on goalkeepers these days because there are so many good goalkeepers in the league,” Allen said. In nine seasons in the league I have learned that you just have to work and be ready to play. ”
Allen said he wants Price to return to good health and is ready to return to the auxiliary chair if asked.
“I’m looking forward to next season due to our second half of the campaign. I think it energized everyone, “said Allen. If I have to play a lot, I will play a lot. If I have to play a little, I will play a little. But I think my game is okay. I am happy with my last season and I hope to have the ‘opportunity to continue building on it ”, he concluded.