General manager Kent Hughes recently said that the players of the Montreal Canadiens had gradually tried to fill the lack of leadership caused by the absence of Shea Weber and Carey Price for long periods last winter.
Posted yesterday at 10:35 a.m.
Goaltender Jake Allen admits the absence of the captain and the face of the franchise created a void in the locker room last season. But even though the Canadian officially cut ties with Weber when he signed up with the Vegas Golden Knights last week and Price’s future is uncertain, Allen isn’t worried about history repeating itself next season. Rather, he believes that everything is in place for the Habs to develop a winning culture.
“I only played one season with Shea, but you could tell immediately that he was the alpha male. He is exactly what everyone imagines: a real leader. It’s part of his nature. Everybody’s following him,” Allen told The Canadian Press earlier this week after appearing in conference play at the Memorial Cup.
“The season has been difficult in his absence. You could see that we needed his leadership at times, he added. Other players have filled the void. I was really impressed, especially by guys like Gally [Brendan Gallagher]Susie [Nick Suzuki| et [Jeff] Peter. »
Price also missed most of the campaign, only returning to action in mid-April and limiting himself to five outings. Even though he was able to spend more time in the team’s entourage during his rehabilitation, his absence from games obviously left a void.
He doesn’t have the C on his jersey, but when you think of the Montreal Canadiens, you think of Carey Price. He has that poise that you can’t teach or inculcate. He is a leader, a very good person and a very good teammate.
“Once again, it was tough without him last season. He is someone you will look to to stabilize the ship,” he added.
Hughes has said many times since he was hired that he would like to appoint a new captain before the start of the next season.
The names of Suzuki, Gallagher and Joel Edmundson are those that come up most often in discussions on the public forums.
“I think a lot of people learned from Shea. Obviously Nick is one of those people, but he’s still young and it will depend on which direction he goes. [Hughes] wants to give to the club, noted Allen. We have a lot of good leaders. Really. »
Many candidates for the position of captain
Allen pointed out that many players spoke up during the tough times last winter, so there are plenty of candidates for the role of captain.
“But I believe it will be important to have someone to steer the ship now that Shea is officially gone,” he insisted.
Allen also said the new top three in management – Hughes, vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and head coach Martin St-Louis – have brought a breath of fresh air to the organization.
Allen noted the contagious positive energy of St. Louis, and how quickly the Hall of Famer earned the trust of the players. He also talked about little things management did that were appreciated by the band.
They have made certain resources more accessible and they are open to our ideas. They are not afraid to ask us what we think, what we need, what could be done better.
Jake Allen, about the members of the management of the Canadian
“I think it’s a sign that we’re going in the right direction,” he continued.
Allen was asked to comment on comments made by Hughes on 91.9 FM on May 4. He then said, in the event that Price would not be back next season: “We have no one yet among our goalkeepers who has shown year after year that he is a number 1. ”
The 31-year-old New Brunswick goaltender hadn’t yet caught wind of the comments, but didn’t seem shaken by them.
“You know what, I don’t even put a label on goalies these days because there are so many good goalies in the league,” Allen said. In nine seasons in the league, I’ve learned that you just have to work and be ready to play. »
Allen said he wants Price back to good health and is ready to return to the auxiliary chair if asked.
“I’m really looking forward to next season because of our second half of the campaign. I think it energized everyone,” Allen said. If I have to play a lot, I will play a lot. If I have to play little, I will play little. But I think my game is on point. I’m happy with my last season, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to build on it,” he concluded.