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CH: hard to see him finishing anywhere but last in the Atlantic in 2023-24

While I don’t agree with every decision that’s been made since the Hughes-Gorton era began in Montreal, I have to admit that I like the general thrust of management’s plan. The club doesn’t want to rush its rebuild by paying top dollar for established guys, and it’s making sure it fills its nursery with hopefuls.

All in good time, as the old saying goes: eventually, the CH will be ready to make Pierre-Luc Dubois-style trades.

That said, in the short term, the emphasis must remain on development rather than victories. Even if there’s some optimism about a potential playoff berth next year, I simply don’t believe it.

Because, like Marc Dumont, I can’t see the Habs finishing anywhere but last in their division in 2023-24.

Even though the CH players are all saying that they feel they can make the playoffs this year (which makes sense), and even though the progress of the youngsters and the potential of a healthier club should help, there’s a big gap between the CH and the seven other clubs in the division.

The Red Wings may be the only exception, but if they go out and get Alex DeBrincat (which has been rumoured for weeks), they’ll distance themselves even further from the CH.

I expect the Habs to be a better club in 2023-24 than they’ve been in the last two years, but in an extremely competitive Atlantic division, I don’t think they have the resources left to hope for anything other than a last-place finish.

I hope I’m wrong, and we know that things can change quickly, but right now, the CH is clearly the worst club (on paper) in the division. It has a more than promising future, but I still don’t see it in a position to win, even if the club were to be healthy all year.

Next year, I especially hope to see the team’s youngsters continue their progression. And maybe, with a little luck, the Tricolore will be in a position to scramble the cards, but in my eyes, that won’t come until 2024-25.

And that’s just fine: first things first, as I said earlier.

In bursts

– Good question.


– George Springer will become a father. My text on the subject.

– He really is in a class of his own.

– Medvedev continues his run at Wimbledon.

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