There is no denying that in order for a team to be successful throughout a season and during a playoffs’ run, it must have tons of quality depth. There is also no denying that with the CBA designed the way it is today, teams are reluctant in sending players waivers eligible to the minors in fear of losing them to other teams.
The Canadiens’ organisation doesn’t have to look long and hard to remember when François Beauchemin, called up from the AHL to fill-in for an injured Sheldon Souray, was sent back down when the veteran defenseman was healthy again, only to be claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets in September 2004… and we know the career that he’s had since.
By not wanting to risk the same with young promising prospects Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn, General Manager Marc Bergevin decided to keep eight defensemen with the big club to start the season. What is more puzzling however is the fact that it took until November 14th for Pateryn to see any game action and to December 21st for Tinordi to do the same. Pateryn has skated in 10 of the Canadiens’ 42 games so far, while Tinordi only took part in three games!
It gets more bizarre! When injuries occurred to the defensive core, Mark Barberio was called up and he has played in five consecutive games since. It looks like he will be playing a sixth game as this morning at practice, he was seen on the powerplay with Nathan Beaulieu, replacing injured Jeff Petry who is day to day with a lower body injury.
While everyone can understand not wanting to lose players to waivers, one has to wonder what not playing at all does for the development of Pateryn (25) and Tinordi (23) and really, what good it serves for all parties involved.
Yes, we keep hearing that a trade could happen but come on, it’s been 42 games, passed the halfway point of the season. Credit to both players for not pulling a Jonathan Drouin (Lightning) or Kerby Rychel (Blue Jackets) and going public with trade requests! How long before they do though, and could anyone in their right mind blame them for doing so?