Sports Canadiens Notebook: Shea Weber staying back home in Kelowna, B.C.
Canadiens Notebook: Rafael Harvey-Pinard impresses with his work ethic
Jean-François Houle says that as a coach you have to love Rafael Harvey-Pinard because of his work ethic. The Laval Rocket head coach, who is running the Canadiens rookie camp this week, noted that Harvey-Pinard is always the first in line to do a drill at practice and gives everything he has all the time. It’s that work ethic that led the Canadiens to select Harvey-Pinard in the seventh round (201st overall) at the 2019 NHL Draft. Harvey-Pinard The Laval Rocket head coach, who is running the Canadiens rookie camp this week, noted that Harvey-Pinard is always the first in line to do a drill at practice and gives everything he has all the time.
Canadiens captain Shea Weber is not expected to play this season and his career could be over as a result of injuries to his thumb, ankle, foot and knee.
Dominique Ducharme confirmed Thursday that no other player will wear the “C” this season and on Friday the Canadiens head coach said Weber will remain at his home in Kelowna, B.C., with his family.
“He’s going to be back home, but he’s going to be in Montreal at times,” Ducharme said. “He’s always in contact with the guys. Even summers that he was coming back playing he would keep in touch with every guy to see how summer was in training and things like that. So I see him doing that.”
Stu Cowan: Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin just wants to have fun again
Four years ago, as Jonathan Drouin prepared for his first season with the Canadiens, his agent gave him two words of advice. “Have fun,” Allan Walsh told the 22-year-old Drouin. On June 15, 2017, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin acquired Drouin from Tampa Bay, sending defenceman Mikhail Sergachev to the Lightning in exchange. Bergevin then quickly signed Drouin to a six-year, US$33-million contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5.5 million. The “Have fun,” Allan Walsh told the 22-year-old Drouin.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin signed free-agent defenceman David Savard to a four-year, US$14-million contract during the offseason as a replacement for Weber.
Savard had 1-5-6 totals in 54 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning, who acquired him before the NHL trade deadline. Savard got an up-close look at the Canadiens and their Big Four on defence last season — Weber, Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson — during the Stanley Cup final, which the Lightning won in five games.
“I think they were big bodies and they were physical and they make it tough on guys to have any space and create offence,” Savard said about the Canadiens defence. “I think that’s right into my game. That’s how I like to play, that’s how I played in Columbus and in Tampa after. I’m not going to switch. I’m just going to be myself and try to do the best I can and be physical and I think it’s going to play perfectly here in Montreal and I’m just going to fit in.”
Detroit Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi calls refusing COVID-19 vaccine 'a life choice'
Tyler Bertuzzi is the only Detroit Red Wings player to refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19. He explained his decision with the media on Thursday.His decision means he cannot play in the nine games the Detroit Red Wings are in Canada because of border restrictions, but Bertuzzi doesn’t sound like he will be inclined to change his mind.
New— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) defenceman David Savard is a big man at 6-foot-2 and 233 pounds
Savard is from Saint-Hyacinthe and as a junior played four seasons in the QMJHL with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Moncton Wildcats. The Blue Jackets selected him in the fourth round (94th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.
After playing his first 10 seasons in the NHL in the United States, the 30-year-old is thrilled to be back home in Quebec with his wife and three young children.
“It’s been great,” he said. “We love coming back to Quebec in the summertime. Since I signed here, the moment I got the offer, I kind of wanted to jump on it. I think playing for Montreal is something special. I grew up watching them and to get the chance to wear the jersey and play at the Bell Centre it’s going to be special for me and my family and I’m really excited about it.”
Canadiens Notebook: Life without Shea Weber begins at training camp
Life without Shea Weber officially started for the Canadiens Thursday when they hit the ice for the first time at training camp without their captain. Weber isn’t expected to play this season and his career could be over because of injuries to his thumb, ankle, foot and knee that he somehow managed to play through during the playoffs as the Canadiens advanced to the Stanley Cup final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. “The strength of our Weber isn’t expected to play this season and his career could be over because of injuries to his thumb, ankle, foot and knee that he somehow managed to play through during the playoffs as the Canadiens advanced to the Stanley Cup final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Savard, with his big, bushy beard, is already getting recognized around Montreal as a new member of the Canadiens.
“It happens,” he said. “Obviously, being a Montreal Canadien is going to be a little different than when I played in Columbus. We didn’t get recognized too often in Quebec. But it’s been fun so far. People are really respectful. They come see you and wish you good luck and stuff like this. So it’s been really fun and I’m looking forward to be here for the next four years and it should be a fun ride.”
Mattias Norlinder leading stretch at end of practice at— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) training camp
Guhle impresses partner
Savard has been paired on the blue line with Kaiden Guhle, the Canadiens’ first-round pick (16th overall) at the 2020 NHL Draft, to start training camp and has been impressed with the 19-year-old’s skating ability.
“The way he skates on the ice he looks calm,” Savard said about the 6-foot-3, 203-pound Guhle. “I’ve been trying to talk to him as much as possible on the ice between drills and stuff like this. He’s a calm kid and it’s fun to see that guy. I just remember my first few years how nervous you are and stuff like this. So I think that the way he looks, how calm, I think he’s going to grow fast and become a really good player.”
Potential Canadiens playmates for Suzuki, Caufield | HI/O Bonus
In this bonus episode, our panelists — Montreal Gazette columnist Stu Cowan, CBC Daybreak Montreal’s Jessica Rusnak and former Canadiens defenceman and NHL assistant coach Rick Green — along with host Julian McKenzie discuss which players might fit as linemates with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Habs fans will be expecting to see more from Suzuki and Caufield this upcoming season. Related Double trouble at Canadiens’ camp as Price and Hoffman sidelined | HI/O Show Canadiens Notebook: Life without Shea Weber begins at training camp Check us out: Facebook: www.facebook.com/hockeyinsideout Twitter: www.twitter.
New— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) assistant coach Trevor Letowski
Habs sign defenceman Niku
Bergevin added some depth to the blue line Friday when he agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with free-agent defenceman Sami Niku.
The 24-year-old has 54 games of NHL experience over four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, posting 2-8-10 totals. Last season he had no points in six games.
The Jets selected the 6-foot-1, 176-pounder in the seventh round (198th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Finnish defenceman’s new contract with the Canadiens will pay him US$750,000 in the NHL and US$425,000 in the AHL.
My condolences to— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) assistant coach Luke Richardson on the death of his father, Glen, who was a local icon in Ottawa hockey. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree :
Wideman battling for a spot
Another defenceman Bergevin added to the roster during the offseason for depth is Chris Wideman, who was signed to a one-year, US$750,000 contract as a free agent.
Last season, Wideman had 9-32-41 totals in 59 games with Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo in the KHL. In 181 career NHL games with the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers, Wideman has 16-29-45 totals. The 5-foot-10, 183-pounder hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2018-19 season.
Canadiens’ offensive arsenal primed for explosion | HI/O Bonus
In this bonus episode, our panelists — Montreal Gazette columnist Stu Cowan, CBC Daybreak Montreal’s Jessica Rusnak and former Canadiens defenceman and NHL assistant coach Rick Green — along with host Julian McKenzie talk about the Canadiens’ forwards and why the team has the potential to fill opposing nets with rubber. What kind of team will the Habs be in the 2021-22 season? Related Double trouble at Canadiens’ camp as Price and Hoffman sidelined | HI/O Show Canadiens Notebook: Life without Shea Weber begins at training camp Check us out: Facebook: www.facebook.com/hockeyinsideout Twitter: www.twitter.
“We want our defencemen to be defending,” Ducharme said when asked about Wideman. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s smart. And so the way he defends he’s got a really good stick, from what I see right now. Really good stick, he’s moving well, so he’s closing quick. So he’s going to close differently than Savard, who’s going to be pushing the guys out and separating the guys from the puck. But he’s really good with his stick doing that and taking time and space away like this. So I like that.”
— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) defenceman Joel Edmundson, who is listed as day-to-day with undisclosed injury, is on ice now in Brossard with member of training staff working on lower body
Lines & defence pairings
The Canadiens will play their first of six preseason games Saturday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs (7 p.m., SN1, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). Ducharme said his lineup will be mainly made up of players from Team White at training camp.
Here’s how the forward lines and defence pairings looked for Team White and Team Red on Friday:
Tyler Toffoli – Nick Suzuki – Cole Caufield
Artturi Lehkonen – Ryan Poehling – Laurent Dauphin
Mathieu Perreault – Cédric Paquette – Alex Belzile
Brandon Baddock – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Jesse Ylönen
Alexander Romanov – Jeff Petry
Brett Kulak – Gianni Fairbrother
Xavier Ouellet – Cody Goloubef
Louie Belpedio – Arber Xhekaj
Canadiens' offence missing in action against Leafs in 4-1 loss
The first exhibition game of the year is often a work in progress and the Canadiens’ 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs In Toronto on Saturday demonstrated there is a lot of work to be done. There are nights when goals are hard to come by, nights when teams run into a hot goaltender, but that wasn’t the case in this game and Leafs goaltender Michael Hutchinson’s biggest challenge was staying awake. Someone forget to tell the Canadiens you can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck. Mathieu Perreault had Montreal’s fifth shot on goal at 6:06 of the first period and Montreal didn’t get another shot until Brett Kulak tested Hutchinson with 1:22 remaining in the second period.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Jonathan Drouin – Christian Dvorak – Josh Anderson
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – Jake Evans – Joel Armia
Joshua Roy – Jean-Sébastien Dea – Danick Martel
Michael Pezzetta – Jan Mysak – Lukas Vejdemo
Kaiden Guhle – David Savard
Mattias Norlinder – Ben Chiarot
Corey Schueneman – Chris Wideman
Terrance Amorosa – Charles-David Beaudoin
For Canadiens fans, regular-season has already arrived .
About 45 minutes after the Canadiens finished their Red vs. White scrimmage Sunday afternoon there was a large crowd of fans waiting outside the garage at the Bell Centre hoping to get a glimpse of the players on their way out. This was after a scrimmage — not an actual game. The passion Montreal fans have for the Canadiens really is impressive. “By the time I left, there was only two left … I didn’t feel the passion,” Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said with a smile Monday morning after practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Did he sign autographs for those two fans? “They waved … I waved back,” Ducharme said with another smile.