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The Habs didn’t dine with a single hopeful at the Combine

In the corner of the NHL Combine , it’s always interesting – and sometimes revealing – to see which young prospect the Habs have been dining with.

Last year, Shane Wright had dinner with the Tricolore, but not Juraj Slafkovsky. It was then, however, that the Slovakian made it quite clear that he didn’t mind. Did that moment change the wind? Perhaps it did.

“We didn’t have supper, but in my opinion our discussion tasted better than supper.”

-Juraj Slafkovsky

We’ll also recall that in 2019, the Canadiens insisted on inviting Cole Caufield, which his agent didn’t fully understand at the time. A better example of an indicative dinner.

This year, we won’t have the pleasure of speculating on the organization’s invitations, since there wasn’t one. That’s what Arpon Basu reports in The Athletic today.

The reasons could be many, but Mishkov’s absence from the Combine absolutely must be mentioned as a possibility here: if the Habs want to select the Russian and feel he’ll be available, then dinner with another prospect may not have been on the club’s list of priorities.

What if Will Smith was the prospect? Kent Hughes already knows him very well, and probably had dinner with him when he was his head coach a few years ago.

Let’s take it a step further: if Bedard, Fantilli and Carlsson are the first three picks, then one of Michkov or Smith will be available at No. 5.

And in both cases, there’s a good excuse for the absence of a dinner invitation.

En Rafale

– This is in line with what was reported by the Ottawa Sun.

– Meanwhile, in Philly.

– Excellent piece on Jonathan Marchessault.

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