It’s been quite the wild ride for the Montreal Canadiens this week, with the reports on the injury issues of Carey Price and Shea Weber, the expansion draft, then the entry draft. This week was chock full of news – here are the highlights.
Price Has Knee Surgery
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin shocked everyone when he asked Price to waive his no-movement clause, making him available to the Seattle Kraken in order to protect backup goalie Jake Allen. Then it was reported that Price had issues with his knee and hip and would soon be visiting a doctor in New York to be evaluated. Price wasn’t selected in the expansion draft – Francis decided to be cautious of the cap space, and Price’s cap hit didn’t allow for caution.
Price had surgery in New York to repair his knee almost immediately after his consultation for hip and knee injuries, and thankfully his hip did not require surgery as well. Price will be out 10-12 weeks but is expected to return a week before the start of the season. This is great news for Canadiens fans who thought they might be without their star goaltender for the first half of the season.
Weber Out for the Season, Career Might be Over
After the Stanley Cup Final was over, it was announced that Weber was playing with injuries to his foot, ankle and knee that will keep him out for the entirety of next season. On top of that, Bergevin also mentioned that this could be the end of Weber’s career. Bergevin said in his end-of-season presser that Weber never wants to miss a game or even a practice, no matter how hurt he is, and that time is catching up to him.
Weber has been the Canadiens’ captain since October of 2018 – he is known to have one of the hardest shots in the NHL and is a warrior on the ice. Throughout the Canadiens’ deep Stanley Cup run, Weber played through pain but still was one of the team leaders in ice time and defensive play. If Weber’s career is over, the Nashville Predators may come looking to trade for him to avoid the recapture penalty.
Drouin Ready to Return Next Season
Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin says he’s ready to return next season. Bergevin stated in his end-of-season presser that Drouin is in a better place and is ready to rejoin the team for the upcoming season. Drouin was placed on long-term injury reserve (LTIR) for personal reasons near the end of the 2020-21 season and did not return for the playoffs.
Drouin has had a controversial career with the Canadiens since being traded to them by the Tampa Bay Lightning for defencemen Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev has since become a core part of Tampa’s defensive core, while Drouin has not lived up to some fans and media’s expectations. The personal reason that kept Drouin out was never revealed, but he seems good now and wants to get back on the ice and help his team.
Canadiens Draft Logan Mailloux in First Round
The Canadiens were coming off a big win at the NHL Expansion Draft when they didn’t lose players from their current roster. Rolling into the entry draft, fans were excited and happy to see what the Habs would do with their first-round pick, at 31st overall. Then, Bergevin announced that they had drafted defenceman Logan Mailloux, and all that excitement turned to shock and confusion. Three days before the entry draft, Mailloux specifically asked not to be drafted by any NHL team to “demonstrate an adequate level of maturity and character next season with the London Knights” and give NHL teams a chance to reassess his character ahead of the 2022 draft.
A player can ask not to be drafted, but nothing officially stops teams from drafting him. The Canadiens felt that he would be drafted later in the second round and picked him as their first-round choice. Mailloux was charged in Sweden for sharing a picture of a woman engaging with him in a consensual sex act to his teammates without her permission. The Canadiens stated they would guide Mailloux through the personal improvement process and work with him to become a better individual.
Canadiens Draft Nine Players at the 2021 Entry Draft
The Canadiens entered this year’s draft with 11 picks and finished the draft with nine, four of them coming from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). After the opening night’s controversial pick of Mailloux, the Canadiens got down to business and drafted four centers, four defencemen, a winger, and a goalie.
The Canadiens’ 2021 draftees:
- Logan Mailloux, D – Round 1, 31st overall
- Riley Kidney, C – Round 2, 63rd overall
- Oliver Kapanen, C – Round 2, 64th overall
- Dmitri Kostenko, D – Round 3, 87th overall
- William Trudeau, D – Round 4, 113th overall
- Danil Sobolev, D – Round 5, 142nd overall
- Joshua Roy, C – Round 5, 150th overall
- Xavier Simoneau, C – Round 6, 191st overall
- Joe Vrbetic, G – Round 7, 214th overall
The Canadiens drafted for need, it seems, with three of their four defencemen being right-handed. After all of the controversy from the first round, the Canadiens had a cloud over their team. Overall, the draft seemed good for the Habs, and hopefully, there will be a few names that surprise everyone by becoming members of the team shortly.
As we look back on a wild week for the Canadiens, let us not forget: the free-agent frenzy hasn’t even started yet.
Trege Wilson has been a freelance content writer for the past four years and with the THW for the past year. He is the co-host of the popular Montreal Canadiens podcast Habs Unfiltered on IHeartRadio.com.Trege is very passionate about all things Canadiens and loves to provide his readers with great quality news, rumours and opinions on the Montreal Canadiens. Trege has also been featured on JblamSports and JDFSports Podcasts; for interviews and guest appearances, you can contact him at any of his social media accounts listed under his photo in such articles as this one.