Montreal Canadiens: Nick Suzuki and Co can lastly proceed from JLD
In the NHL, the NBA, or even the National Association for Stock Automobile Auto Racing (aka NASCAR), even the best groups can get slowed down by external reports.
As much as a training staff want to separate their team from the outside world and keep things internally concentrated on the task at hand, there are times where that merely isn’t possible. No, whether it’s viral buzz on social media, the written word in post kind (hey), or whatever the heck Shaq was doing when told Donovan Mitchell he “doesn’t have what it takes” on TNT, it’s just natural for players to be strongly in the understand about what folks are speaking about in concerns to their team, their own future, and the futures of their teammates.
For members of the Montreal Canadiens, the specter that’s hung over the Bell Centre is none aside from Ste-Agathe-Des-Monts’ preferred son, Pierre-Luc Dubois.
After being benched in an eventual loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning for ‘performance factors,’ it seemed like just a matter of time before PLD would be putting his days with the Columbus Bue Jackets behind him to begin a new chapter in other places. Would that brand-new house be his old one in Quebec? Well, some sincerely hoped so, not the least of which was Dubois and (probably) his family.
Long considered the third-overall choice in the 2016 NHL Draft’s preferred destination, Montreal apparently did have some contacts with heaven Jackets, with Columbus commanding a plan consisting of rising center Nick Suzuki and additional properties to get a deal done.
Well, luckily for fans of the Habs, that didn’t take place. PLD is now officially a member of the Winnipeg Jets after being traded for Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic, and the Canadiens? Well, they get to continue as probably the very best young group in an extremely amusing North Division.
While the concept of the Montreal Canadiens lastly bringing Pierre-Luc Dubois house has remained a borderline fixation for a small but vocal minority of the group’s fanbase, the idea never ever truly made a lots of sense in 2020-21.
The previously mentioned Nick Suzuki has continued to advance forward as one of the more amazing young puck distributors in the NHL and has proven himself a near-indispensable player for a team who is most certainly headed to the playoffs for the second straight year under Claude Julien.
Through the Habs’ first 6 games of action, Suzuki ranks third in points and has the unusual distinction of having scored a point in every video game he’s appeared in. He’s leading the group in ATOI at 17:33, has the 3rd most assists of any player at 4, and simply appears like a more experienced, fully grown gamer than at the start of his novice season some 15 months ago.
While Suzuki may never ever have a 27 objective season like PLD during his sophomore campaign, there’s little factor to believe he can’t become a regular 50 point entertainer as quickly as next season – or whenever the league returns an 82 game format – with a couple of years of 60-plus sprayed in for great measure.
And honestly, Suzuki isn’t alone.
No, the Canadiens as a whole already appear like the juggernaut of the North, with gamers experienced and fresh-faced all performing well above expectations. Long-time Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli is off to a fantastic start in his first season with the Habs – leading the team in points thanks in no little part to a hat trick in a loss to his former team, the Vancouver Canucks – and Jeff Petry may just be the best defenseman casual NHL fans have never ever heard of.
Heck, even Jesperi Kotkaniemi, the third overall choice in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, has actually taken advances in his third expert season and looks like the sort of gamer it would be reckless to move off of at the tender age of 20.
Throw that all in a skillet with some cheese curds and a heaping assisting of brown gravy, and it’s not hard to see why Habs GM Marc Bergevin decided against blowing it all up in favor of a possibility to make millions off of red, white, and blue Dubois number 18 jerseys.
Did the Montreal Canadiens make the best move in keeping their young core undamaged? Will they regret allowing Pierre-Luc Debois to sign up with the Winnipeg Jets as they hoist a cup in the not too long run? Sure, anything is possible, however something tells me that will not hold true. No, the Montreal Canadiens are a truly, truly good group right now who will simply improve as their young core ages up. Why risk that chemistry for a short lived chance at a future that may not outmatch the present?