In this week’s edition of Montreal Canadiens news and rumors, Juraj Slafkovsky will attend the NHLPA Rookie Showcase next week, Sean Monahan visits the Bell Centre for the first time, and Jake Allen discusses the loss of Carey Price for the 2022-23 season.
Plus, Habs draft pick Brett Stapley signs a one-year contract with the Laval Rocket, and Jonathan Drouin knows he has a lot to prove this year.
Slafkovsky Among Players at Rookie Showcase
This summer’s no. 1 overall pick at the 2022 NHL Draft will participate in the festivities at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase on Tuesday, September 6 at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia.
Slafkovsky will be one of more than 30 prospects and rookies who Upper Deck will be capturing photo and video content from in their official NHL team uniforms. It will be used for upcoming Upper Deck trading cards and other promotions.
The Slovak winger, who was recently named Montreal’s top prospect by both NHL.com and The Athletic, is already in town getting ready for training camp after deciding to skip the rescheduled 2021 World Juniors earlier this month.
Monahan Checks Out His New Digs
The Canadiens’ most recent offseason acquisition visited the Bell Centre for the first time over the weekend sporting his new no. 91 jersey and was especially impressed by all the photos of Hall of Famers and iconic images hanging on the walls of the dressing room.
Monahan is fully embracing the change of scenery after spending the past nine years with the Calgary Flames before being dealt to the Habs and he’s hoping that his recovery from hip surgery will allow him to be healthy enough to play in Montreal’s home opener which happens to fall on the same day as his 28th birthday.
Adjusting to Life Without Price
The Habs’ star netminder may be back in Montreal, but everyone in the organization is preparing for a season without its franchise player.
Earlier this week, at a golf tournament benefiting the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, Allen was among those who discussed Price’s absence. The team’s new no. 1 goalie knows that he’ll never be able to replace his fallen teammate who he holds in the highest regard, but he’s anxious for the opportunity to share the net with Samuel Montembeault and believes that together, they can hold their own between the pipes.
Allen, who was in high demand on the trade market this summer, is entering the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Stapley Signs With the Rocket
On Tuesday, the Rocket announced the signing of Brett Stapley to a one-way American Hockey League (AHL) contract for the 2022-23 campaign.
The deal means that Stapley, a seventh-round draft pick by the Canadiens in 2018, will remain in the organization despite becoming a free agent a few weeks ago. It’s a chance for him to prove that he deserves an NHL entry-level contract.
Last season, the 23-year-old put up 18 goals and 43 points in 41 games with the University of Denver in the NCAA.
Drouin Wants to Be Healthy and Consistent
Speaking at his annual golf tournament this week, Drouin is well aware of the challenges that await him this season as he continues his rehab after undergoing a second wrist surgery this spring.
First and foremost, he wants to stay healthy after being sidelined for much of the last three seasons. Secondly, he wants to thrive and be a reliable points producer under new head coach Martin St. Louis who he hasn’t really had the chance to play for yet.
This is a big year for the 27-year-old forward given that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer with much to prove. He’s preparing for the possibility that this will be his last go-around with the Habs which would put an end to a somewhat tumultuous tenure in Montreal.
The Montreal Force
Montreal officially welcomed its new women’s hockey team on Tuesday. The Force becomes the seventh team in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) and the second Canadian-based franchise, joining the Toronto Six.
The players will wear maroon, white and black, and their jerseys will feature a letter F logo styled like Quebec’s fleur-de-lys. Team President Kevin Raphael said he wanted a powerful name that distinguishes them in the women’s hockey market. Mission definitely accomplished. The team will call the Verdun Auditorium home and their 2022-23 will be released in early September.
With the start of rookie camp and training camp just two weeks away and players beginning to flock back to the city, anticipation is building as the new season approaches. With two restricted free agents left to sign and potentially a defence corps to fill out, the next few days should be quite busy for general manager Kent Hughes.
Melissa has been covering the Montreal Canadiens for The Hockey Writers since March of 2020. She is also THW’s Social Media & Marketing Manager as well as co-host of Chicks & Sticks, a weekly show produced by THW. In 2006, she spearheaded the social media initiatives for Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup and was the primary person responsible for their upkeep for over 10 years. She has written articles for multiple tennis websites and interviewed the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. While her career in sports started in tennis, her first love has always been hockey. She has a journalism degree from Concordia University.