Priority development

Priority: development

You probably had that thought after the Canadians won against the Edmonton Oilers, actually after the impressive weekend of Martin St-Louis’ team.

“Okay, we’re moving away from Connor Bedard. »

Perhaps. On the other hand, we can only be happy about Alex Belzile’s first career goal.

We applaud the efforts of Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who, along with Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson, is urging organization decision-makers to review the list of workforce priorities.

When Martin St-Louis says:

“We have a style that we want to perfect, we have an identity that we want to improve, but we can’t do that by giving players a manual and telling them this is how we’re going to play. It takes some time to properly absorb what we want to achieve as a concept. It is necessary to be patient and above all to know that if we multiply the actions, e.g. B. by involving the defenders more in the development of our attack. »

Always more valuable

There is nothing more rewarding for a trainer when daily classes deliver weekend-like results. And the defenders, solidly supported by the two goalkeepers, were not only present on their territory, but also disrupted the opposition’s defense plan.

Correct that the Canadian moves away from Connor Bedard. We all agree.

However, can we see that this team has changed over the past few weeks. That the arrival of Pinard and Belzile gave the coaches options. And also to Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes.

In recent games, scouts from other teams have certainly increased the rating of some Canadian skaters, which can have an impact on a team fighting for playoff qualification or a team with big ambitions.

And let’s recall that last week the Rangers and Islanders caused a grueling race to find talented players or support players to bring more depth in anticipation of spring competition.


Therefore, the Canadian could have several players on the market. Josh Anderson seems like an interesting candidate. Also Christian Dvorak. No doubt David Savard will stimulate the conversations. Joel Armia has been doing well lately. Even Mike Hoffman got involved and played an important role in the team’s success on offense. For example, can Jake Allen help a team like the Vegas Golden Knights?

That leaves Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson.

In fact, the Canadian is winning on both fronts.

Certainly, Bedard is the coveted player. However, the Habs must fully advance their program based on development, identity, and culture. Hughes also has the opportunity to increase prices on some of his veterans.

This is happening now. Players want to win. They don’t care about the next draft. Above all, they think about their personal status, absolutely about the success of their team, they want to make a good impression. At the same time, everyone is following the process and if St-Louis and his group manage to meet targets in this first transition season, the Canadian will come out on top.


For example, this defense brigade, battered in December, has made tremendous strides in recent weeks. We knew the Canadian had several hopes on the blue line, the most important thing was making sure the youngsters, who were being given great responsibilities, reacted correctly.

Cole Caufield’s absence weighs heavily in attack, that’s obvious. But it is often said that other players must take on new responsibilities. Kirby Dach confirms his role at the center.

Then comes a 24-year-old skater, Harvey-Pinard, who not only produces results on offense but also emerges as one of the best skaters on defense.

The economic stimulus program is going well so far. Will we be able to take advantage of the situation to liquidate some salaries and make the requested transfers in terms of workforce?

Kent Hughes did well last February. Can he repeat?

Why the oilers?

We have to believe that Erik Karlsson is the missing piece for the Edmonton Oilers to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

First of all a good choice. Isn’t he the most prolific defender in the league? But don’t the Oilers rely on a strong team in offense? Don’t they have the strongest team outnumbered? Four of the NHL’s top 16 scorers wear team uniforms. Shouldn’t we be focusing on adding more depth to support staff? Could a defensively minded defender make a difference?

Ken Holland is a wily general manager. His record is impressive and he must have a good reason to lure Karlsson to Alberta by any means necessary. But by the way, would Karlsson agree to leave California for Edmonton? Connor McDavid needs to convince him the temperature isn’t as bad as some say…

Rangers have left a clear message to all teams in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference. That 6-2 win in Carolina last Saturday leaves no doubt as to the balance at all levels that is found within this team. Caroline, Pittsburgh, Washington, the Islanders, the Sabers, the Red Wings window shopping all the time…

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