Shooting Da Breeze – November 2020 Edition – Part 2

This is a rarity. Too much material to talk about during the off-season? I guess it’s been a while since we’ve touched on several of the topics surrounding the Montreal Canadiens. So in the second part of this edition, we will touch on topics such as Pierre-Luc Dubois’ take on Josh Anderson, what he brings to the team, particularly to Jonathan Drouin, the left wing with Tomas Tatar and Paul Byron, Marc Bergevin’s next steps, the NHL forcing teams to get a third jerseys, amongst other things. Please feel free to share and as usual, comments are always welcome.

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Since the trade, we have heard countless comments from Josh Anderson‘s former teammates and coaches about the unique style of player that he is, and the type of respected person that he is. The latest was Columbus Blue Jackets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois. He described Anderson as rare and feels like he will be loved in Montreal.

“He’s a rare player. You don’t find these guys at every street corner. I’d say that you can count players like him on one hand: big, fast, intimidating, rugged, good scorer and good forecheck. He’s a mix of everything. I know that fans in Montreal will love him. He always gives it all on the ice. As a teammate, Josh is also a good guy. He’s funny and very friendly, but he also means business.” ~ Pierre-Luc Dubois

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Fans and even media members tend to look at the offensive contribution when thinking of Anderson but a guy like that brings so much more. The effect he will have on his new line and on his team will go well beyond goals and assists. When Anderson is on the ice, opponents must keep their head up and often get rid of the puck much quicker than they normally would. The effect this guy has should be huge on a guy like Jonathan Drouin, for example. He will open up some ice for the Canadiens’ winger, he will dig the puck in the corners, he will win many one-on-one battles, ultimately allowing Drouin to be his creative self. I’m personally anticipating several Anderson goals assisted by Drouin.

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Tomas Tatar

It seems like Tomas Tatar could be the odd man out with all of the recent signings. His cap hit is at $4.8 million but Las Vegas is paying $500,000 of his salary, for a total of $5.3 million. With the season he’s had, he will be looking for a raise, likely around the $6 million mark and that would be way too rich for the Canadiens’ cap. If the Habs are in a playoffs’ spot by trade deadline, expect him to finish the season with the Habs and walk in the off season. If the Canadiens are out of a playoffs’ race, which is very unlikely, he could then be traded as a pending UFA. Either way, it seems like Tuna is on his last strides in Montreal. It’s unfortunate as he seems like a good guy and a good teammate. The business end of hockey, I guess.

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Something tells me that if Bergevin was able to trade Paul Byron and his $3.4 million cap hit, he would do it. The Canadiens are rather deep on left wing with the likes of Drouin, Tatar (for now), Lehkonen, Byron, and perhaps Poehling moving to the wing. I bet the Habs would be willing to keep some of his salary to make it happen but with the cap not going up, it’s not an easy task. Many of us think that he would be a great leader and veteran for the young Senators, as Byron is from the Ottawa region. But the Sens have a tendency to do business in a very unorthodox way, having traded away all of their veterans.

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No one knows if Bergevin is done for this off season. Many think that he is, others think that he will try to land a big ticket left winger. Others, like me, think that he might add some depth for the bottom six forwards. I personally would like to see some size and grit instead of Byron and Weal. Guys in the mold of Matt Martin, who will hit everything that moves and generate some energy on nights when the team is flat. Time will tell who’s right.

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Saku Koivu and Jesperi Kotkaniemi

During a recent interview, Director of Player Development Rob Ramage stated that the team’s second round pick in 2020, Jan Mysak, will be meeting with former Canadiens’ centre Tomas Plekanec in Czech Republic. Remember that Habs’ former captain Saku Koivu had met with young Jesperi Kotkaniemi while he was still in Finland. The Canadiens seem to be leaning more on their European Alumni to talk to their young countrymen about the life in Montreal and what it’s like to be a Montreal Canadiens. Who better than Pleky to do so, he who spent all but a few months of his career with the Habs?

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NHL forcing 3rd jersey – In an interview a few weeks back, Canadiens’ President Geoff Molson stated that the team didn’t want a third jersey. Well it seems like the NHL is forcing its teams to come up with one regardless of how the teams feel about it. In a more recent interview with TVA Sports, Molson said that they will be coming out with a third jersey this upcoming season. He stated that it won’t be permanent, further proof that he’s against the idea of the NHL forcing an original-six team to run their business the way they want to. While I know that many Habs’ fans wish the team had a third jersey, I’m with Molson on that one. There’s something to be said about tradition. I would rather them use the white vintage one, with the blue stripe down the middle. At least it’s part of the Canadiens’ history. Forcing the teams is just plain wrong, no matter how you twist it.

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In case you missed it, we published Shooting Da Breeze Part 1 yesterday. I guess there were a lot of topics to cover this time around. Hoping you enjoyed. In the meantime, go to the home page as there are a few recent articles on today’s players and players of the past. See you next time. Go Habs Go!

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