Montreal Canadiens NHL

Overload on the Wings

Written by Liam Holland

Looking at the season the Canadiens just had, on paper it would be fair to assume that the whole roster should be blown up. However, let’s focus on the Habs’ largest pool of assets, their wingers.

With the likes of Pacioretty, Drouin, and Gallagher to name a few, the necessity to acquire more is non-existent if you take into consideration the potential to draft an NHL ready top six winger.
Here’s a quick list of all the Habs wingers on the roster currently:

Max Pacioretty
Arturri Lehkonen
Paul Byron
Brendan Gallagher
Charles Hudon
Andrew Shaw
Logan Shaw
Daniel Carr
Kerby Rychel
Max Domi
Nikita Scherbak
Michael McCarron

Who’s on the ropes:

Daniel Carr
Logan Shaw
Michael McCarron
Kerby Rychel
Nicolas Deslauriers

Daniel Carr, who is 26 and was a FA signing a few years ago has had years to prove himself as he shows signs of being a capable speedy 4th line scorer. However, he’s become overshadowed by 23 and 22-year-old Hudon and Scherbak, as they proved over the season they can compete at the NHL level full-time.

Logan Shaw was claimed off waivers from the Ducks and as an RFA this summer I would assume he signs a 2-way deal or hits Free agency.

Michael McCarron will never be a successful NHL player. After having a solid rookie campaign in the AHL way back in the 2015-16 season he was brought up given a chance to leave a mark on the ice with his 6’6, 230-pound frame. Instead he is left in the dust night in and night out. He only earned 2 points and 37 penalty minutes in 20 games. In the last two years he’s played 49 more games in the NHL only earning another 6 points, 1 in his latest 18 games from this last season. He’s just too slow to keep up.

Personally, not having much of my own look at Rychel‘s play in the NHL or AHL, I did like his play for the Habs at the end of the season after being acquired at the trade deadline in the trade that sent Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs. To me he’d be a great player that would start the season on the NHL roster and dress if a player gets hurt or Julien wants to play more of a physical game against a certain team.

Nicolas Deslauriers, after being traded to the Montreal Canadiens at the beginning of the season, was at the time a grab to get some “character” on the team. In Deslauriers’ first game he quickly gained the fans in the Bell Centre that nights support by knocking Zac Rinaldo down to the ice in his first tilt as a Canadien. Deslauriers’s style of play as a grinder just makes you want to cheer him on as when he was a kid growing up he was a Habs fan. Moving from Buffalo to Montreal in the offseason, I’m sure any athlete given the opportunity to play for their childhood club would do whatever it takes to stay there. So, he did what any 4th line player would do, he scored 10 goals in 58 games with 10:48 minutes ATOI, earning himself a 2 year contract with the club. So due to his contributions to the team, like Rychel, I would keep him on the roster and fill in when necessary.

Now these are just my takes on the situation in Montreal. This take doesn’t include the Habs 2018 3rd overall pick this summer though where they’ll likely add to this depth with Filip Zadina. With this depth will Marc Bergevin trade for picks or move a chunk of wingers for a left handed top 4 defenseman? Only Geoff Molson will tell us July 2, 2018 saying he supports Bergevin after all the incompetent moves he makes July 1st.

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