He plays between 15 and 17 minutes a game for his country → https://t.co/IuH3LhXCag
– DansLesCoulisses (@DLCoulisses) May 25, 2023
Did you see the size of the Golden Knights’ 2023 defensemen? The guys were huge.
It’s no coincidence that Vegas won the Cup because defenses win championships… and in recent years, it’s been fair to say that BIG defenses win championships.
Every year, we try to figure out which model has allowed the champions to go all the way, and clearly, the Knights’ model can hardly be repeated. But even so, they’ve followed a trend: go for big defenders.
Last night, on 98.5 FM, Dany Dubé said two things that stood out for me on the subject:
- Since 2016, only three defensemen shorter than six feet have won the Stanley Cup.
- A forward shorter than 6’1, a defenseman shorter than 6’2 and a goalie shorter than 6’3 have to be very good to earn their place.
If we go back to 2021, the Canadiens made it to the finals (in part) thanks to Carey Price, Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson. They’re all coing big men of the defensive corps.
We know that the Habs want a fast, talented and imposing team. And what’s interesting, when you focus on the blue line, is that the club’s big prospects (or young players, at least) are imposing.
I’d also add a Mike Matheson, as I think he’s the veteran most likely to still be around in a few years’ time.
- Mike Matheson (left-handed): 6’2
- Kaiden Guhle (left-handed): 6’2
- Arber Xhekaj (left-handed): 6’4
- Justin Barron (right-handed) : 6’2
- Logan Mailloux (right-hander) : 6’3
- Johnathan Kovacevic (right-handed) : 6’4
I’ve listed the main prospects here, since there are others, but you’ll notice that I’ve omitted two names: Jordan Harris and Lane Hutson. These are two players who are shorter than six feet.
I’m not saying that the two will never play together. What I’m saying is that in a championship team, the chances of seeing both in the same top-6 are slim.
And if Lane Hutson develops properly, he’s not going anywhere. A club is entitled to its Cale Makar, after all.
To me, what this means is that Jordan Harris’ future is possibly elsewhere. The defenseman will continue to develop in Montreal, but if he doesn’t develop a bulletproof shot or a must-have quality, he could be the one pushed out the door.
Of course, many things can change, as the development of young players is never linear, but let’s keep in mind that he may end up being the odd man out in the end.
And Kent Hughes already made a move last year by trading Alexander Romanov, a sub-6’2 defenseman who’s a little worse with the puck than some of the others, to give himself the tools to uproot Kirby Dach from Illinois.
– Who will lead the Remparts?
TO SEE | “There are some good candidates on the table,” says @MikLalancette.
– Noovo Info (@NoovoInfo) June 16, 2023
– Sheldon Keefe is in it to stay, obviously.
Brad Treliving + Sheldon Keefe are well into interviewing candidates to replace Spencer Carbery. Treliving + Keefe spent time getting to know one another as soon as Treliving was hired as GM. No extension for Keefe yet, but those discussions are expected to happen this summer.
– Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 16, 2023
– To be continued.
This could possibly be the most lucrative deal ever for a baseball executive. https://t.co/L79G4jCYCh
– Passion MLB (@passion_mlb) June 16, 2023
– The Grand Prix is important for Montreal. [BPM Sports]
– Who will go out first?