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Ballottage: the Canadian will once again have top priority

With the 2022-2023 season officially behind us(well done Vegas Golden Knights), it’s time for the off-season, or more commonly known as the in-between season.

At the start of the off-season, what’s most closely watched is, of course, the draft (June 28-29), as well as just after the opening of the free agent market (July 1).

Field hockey fans also keep a close eye on the various transactions taking place throughout the National Hockey League, as well as on trade rumours.

In short, there are usually plenty of things to keep an eye on as fans, even if there are no more games.

On the other hand, once the big rush is over – the one that approaches in late June/early July – it’s pretty quiet in the NHL, and the term off-season takes on its full meaning.

You have to wait several weeks before something that usually goes rightly under the radar comes into play some time before the start of the season.

I’m talking about the ballot.

The latter doesn’t get as much attention as the draft or free agents, but it’s still something to keep an eye on, especially for a team like the Montreal Canadiens.

And why is that?

Well, because, once again this year, the CH will have a high priority when it comes to balloting.

Indeed, the CH will have the chance to be one of the first teams to claim a player placed on the ballot by another team.

As most people know, the order for the ballot works according to the regular season standings, but in reverse.

So, the teams at the bottom of the standings are the first to go, and vice-versa.

The CH, having finished 28th last season, will be 5th in the running order.

It may sound trivial, but as Marc Dumont explains in one of his recent articles, this advantageous position could once again smile on the Tricolore.

But how?

Well, every year, as NHL teams complete their 23-player rosters to start the regular season, players are cut in order to be sent to the American League.

These players go through the ballot, however, and it’s here that the CH can unearth some pretty interesting players, as it has done in the past with Paul Byron and, more recently, Johnathan Kovacevic, among others.

Of course, the Tricolore wouldn’t get their hands on a star or a top-6 player via the ballot.

Unless you’re the exception of Eeli Tolvanen, who was passed over by several teams, including the CH, before landing in Seattle with the Kraken and establishing himself as one of the team’s key players.

On the other hand, the Habs could add a solid depth player capable of playing significant minutes, as Johnathan Kovacevic did last season.

So, the ballot will be one to watch this year, when the CH will have a high priority.

Who knows, maybe Kent Hughes will get his hands on one or more solid players.

In the wind

– Hershey Bears one win away from the Calder Cup.

– Happy birthday, Marty!

– CF Montreal mid-season report card.

– Bummer.

– Chapeau.

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