It’s Monday that starts the phase 3 of the teams invited to participate in the knock-out tournament of the NHL. After 124 days of break, the Canadian, like the 23 other formations in the fray, performs at the opening of his training camp.
Some 33 players will therefore to Claude Julien, Monday morning, at the sports complex in Brossard.
Over the next three weeks, this is not the marathon regular season of 82 games that the Franco-Ontarian prepare his men, but to the immense challenge that awaits them in the qualification round : a series of three of five against the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose first match is scheduled on 1 August.
Julien and his flock will spend the first 13 days of this camp in Brossard before leaving, on the 26th of July, in the direction of Toronto. Arrived in the city bubble that has been assigned to the
12 training courses of the Association of the East, the Habs will use the last days to tie up the details of his preparation, playing in the way a tough game.
The time of year may be different, as is the goal, there remains that, as usual, this camp will be the site of different issues. The Newspaper identified 10 on which Julien and Marc Bergevin will have to address during the next few days.
1. Experience for Cayden Primeau ?
Each team has the right to invite an unlimited number of guards to training camp. In Canada, Carey Price, Cayen Primeau, Charlie Lindgren and Michael McNiven will stride down the ice sports complex in Brossard. The fight for the post of auxiliary to Price risk to be re-vitalized. Aged only 20 years, Primeau appears as the masked man holding the most beautiful future in the Canadian. Why not take advantage of this presence is also likely that the unexpected round of qualification to offer him this position and, thus, allow him to have the full experience ?
2. Weber, ready for big parties ?
Recently, Shea Weber has indicated that they have taken advantage of the pause caused by the pandemic in order to fully recover from the wounds that the affected. So much the better. And hope that the three weeks of this training camp will enable him, just like Jeff Petry, to find a form maximum. They may have to absorb an impressive number of minutes if Claude Julien wants to limit the time of use by Christian Folin in the face of the powerful attack of the Penguins
3. And if Juulsen was to emerge ?
It is easy to forget because he has been limited to one game with the Rocket of Laval over the last seven and a half months, but Noah Juulsen could very well move ahead of Folin as a third defender right-handed Canadian. It will be recalled that the defender 23 years old has seen very little action since November 19, 2018. That night, against the Capitals, Juulsen had received two pucks to the face. A difficult evening that had kept him away from the rink for the next 10 months due to migraines. Cale Fleury could also be an interesting candidate. He played 41 games with the Canadian before being transferred to Laval in mid-January.
4. A side scary ?
That said, it is on the left side that is the Achilles heel of the Canadian. The departure of Marco Scandella, at the trade deadline, and leaves that side very thin. After Ben Chiarot, Julien will have to fend for themselves, with Brett Kulak, Victor Mete and Xavier Ouellet (Karl Alzner said package). At least, Chiarot has been one of the great stories of the winter in the camp habs. Its 681 minutes of the game to the left of Weber have allowed the Canadian to benefit from a first duo solid. It was one of three players in the Canadian to spend on average more than 23 minutes (23 mins 08s) on ice per game (Weber and Petry are the other two).
5. An opportunity for young people ?
Moreover, having known that his team would be involved in this recovery action, Marc Bergevin would have kept exchanging Marco Scandella, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nate Thompson and Nick Cousins to the trade deadline. Their departures makes it rather precarious to the depth of the Canadian. If you had the COVID hits the Habs (three players have already been declared to be positive), its ranks are décimeraient quickly. In front of this reality, is it that Claude Julien should enjoy the three weeks of camp to prepare its young people to take on more responsibilities ? We talked about Juulsen and Fleury, earlier, in the defenders. In attack, it could be a nice springboard for Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling , and the Jake Evans. As for Nick Suzuki, he could continue the momentum of the regular season.
6. Domi put out ?
The absence of Max Domi would be a hard blow for the Canadian. Because of his type 1 diabetes, the attacker of the Canadian might be considered too much of a risk to develop severe complications to participate in a tournament playoff. On Sunday, the team announced that Marc Bergevin and Domi had agreed to investigate the situation for the next 7-10 days. In the protocol to return to play in the NHL, it is shown that the condition of the players, like Domi, should be assessed from examinations made by the physician and the specialist in infectious diseases team.
7. Back in full force for Kotkaniemi ?
Because of these departures and of the possible package, Jesperi Kotkaniemi will never have a better opportunity to move up in the hierarchy of the Canadian. Transferred to Laval in February, the Finn injured his spleen during a game with the Rocket, one week before the pandemic does not force the suspension of the activities of the NHL. Last week, during the final days of phase 2, the centre of 20-year-old had found his fellow Finnish Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia within the same unit. We could therefore see it rotate on the third trio, behind Phillip Danault and Nick Suzuki.
8. Europe, a valid option now ?
The players whose contract was set to expire June 30, and who choose not to participate in the knock-out tournament will be able to sign a contract within a circuit of seven days after the ratification of the agreement. However, it will not be possible to return to the NHL during the campaign 2020-2021. However, it will be possible for those the formation of which will be eliminated to sign a contract in another circuit without penalty to the season 2020-2021. They will be able to make them, at the earliest, two days after the elimination of their team. An option that might be interesting for Charles Hudon, Dale Weise, Christian Folin, and Xavier Ouellet, whose contract expires at the end of the knock-out tournament.
9. Has the time for negotiations ?
The players who spent the last season of their contract, 2020-2021 will have the authority to sign a contract extension three days after the ratification of the collective agreement (as of Monday). Within the montreal-based organization, they will be more in this situation. Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher, Phillip Danault, Joel Armia, Jordan Weal, Jeff Petry and Charlie Lindgren will be free like the air at the end of the campaign 2020-2021. Meanwhile, Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling and Cale Fleury are part of the group that will become free agents with restrictions. Bergevin planchera there on a few cases at the time of the opening of the window or you prefer he wait the unusual off-season that will coincide with the fall ?
10. Burn The Romanovs ?
Marc Bergevin has answered this question by inserting the name of Romanov on the list of 33 players who will participate in the camp.
Here is the list of the 33 guests:
Goalies (4): Charlie Lindgren, Michael McNiven, Carey Price, Cayden Primeau
Defenders (12): Josh Brook, Ben Chiarot, Cale Fleury, Christian Folin, Noah Juulsen, Brett Kulak, Victor Mete, Gustav Olofsson, Xavier Ouellet Jeff Petry, Alexander Romanov, Shea Weber
Forwards (17): Joel Armia, Alex Belzile, Paul Byron, Phillip Danault, Laurent Dauphin, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher, Charles Hudon, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Ryan Poehling, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise.