The CH has no room for error

The CH has no room for error

Doug Wickenheiser in place of Denis Savard in 1980 and Jesperi Kotkaniemi instead of Brady Tkachuk in 2018: these two monumental errors still haunt the Canadian today. With the first overall pick in the upcoming draft, there’s no room for error.

I know some keep defending Kotkaniemi and keep saying how young he is and how patient you have to be.

We will have to stop. I’m sorry for those who don’t want to see it: choosing KK over Brady Tkachuk in 2018 was and will remain a monumental mistake.

I take nothing away from Nick Suzuki, who will probably be the next captain of the Canadiens. On the other hand, if the CH had made the right choice in 2018, the successor to Shea Weber would have already been appointed: it would have been Tkachuk.

Same thing in 1980. I can testify to it: I directed against Denis Savard. I thought it was obvious that he was the best hope of his vintage.

Eventually, they took on Wickenheiser and it was the Chicago Blackhawks who took advantage.

At the moment, it looks like center Shane Wright is the best available prospect in the upcoming draft. Not everyone agrees, however.


Personally, I haven’t seen Wright play, so I can’t say. There is one thing I do know, however, and that is that I really like the maturity he has shown in the various interviews he has given this week.

He spoke like a young mature and confident in his abilities. He said the real things and did not hide that he believed to be the best player in this draft.

Will it be? That’s a debate for recruiters as well as the minority of experts who follow these players year-round.

Since the lottery, it seems like everyone is an expert on Shane Wright.

I’ll say it like I mean it: I don’t want to hear the opinion of living room pundits who have only seen a few games of Shane Wright at the World Junior Championship.

Some have raised the question for a few days as to whether Wright – or Logan Cooley or Juraj Slafkovsky or whoever the CH will choose in the first row – would be able to live with the pressure from Montreal.


The pressure, an excuse

Pressure, there is none in Montreal. Those who say that have never worked in a market like New York. Here, the journalists are fine as silk and the amateurs literally forgive everything! The team finished at 32and rank in the regular season, chained bad performances and despite all that, we heard the “Go Habs Go! every time there was a game at the Bell Centre.

The pressure from Montreal is an excuse for those who have not succeeded. I would have liked to hear Guy Lafleur, two days ago, on the pressure from Montreal. If anyone has been through it, it’s him.

But you know what ? He’s been fueled by it all his career. Because that’s what the real ones do.

It is this kind of player that the Canadian must claim first overall.

And no question of being wrong this time.

— Interview by Kevin Dubé

Echoes of Bergie

Matthews deserves to win

If the Maple Leafs lose Game 7 to the Lightning tonight, no one will be able to criticize Auston Matthews. The center player has been sensational since the start of the series, and, quite honestly, I wish him the Stanley Cup. It’s a shame, but until he lifts the big trophy, he will be the prey of unwarranted criticism. I directed at the time of Marcel Dionne and Gilbert Perreault and it was the same thing. These great players never won the cup and there was always someone to remember that they hadn’t been able to lead their teams to great honours. The same could be said of Alex Ovechkin before he won in 2018. Same for Connor McDavid. They are among the greats of their time and they deserve to win.

An irony

The Canadiens fan who says he is not bored with Phillip Danault is either blind or in bad faith. The Quebecer has probably been the Kings’ best player since the start of the playoffs and he shows that in addition to being an elite player in defensive missions, he can also produce offensively. This is where we see how much he helped Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar to look good in Montreal. That said, seeing him with the Kings, who Marc Bergevin now works for, is ironic without common sense. The acquisition of Danault was Bergevin’s best move in Montreal, but also his worst since he finally let him go for nothing.

Too bad for Joel

The San Diego Gulls have decided to end their association with Joël Bouchard and his assistants Maxime Talbot and Daniel Jacob. No doubt, the three Quebecers were victims of the change of management in Anaheim. Pat Verbeek wanted to start fresh by putting his men in place, which is often done. Joel said the dismissal was done in a respectful manner. Most of the time, that’s how it goes. These are never good times to live, but it is mostly done with respect. Now I can’t wait to see where Joel will land. There will certainly be room for him elsewhere. Otherwise, a return to the media would be a logical continuation.

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