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The idea of sending Joel Armia to Laval next season is gaining ground

It’s often, too often, the same thing with Joel Armia.

He’ll look like Connor McDavid one game… and then be invisible for the next 20. He is, without question, the dictionary definition of “fickle”.

I think it’s a shame, because the Finn has all the necessary skills to establish himself as a good NHL player. He doesn’t have a bad skating stroke, he’s got a good shot and his hands are simply magical…

When he wants to play. That seems to be his biggest problem.

All this to say that the main man isn’t indispensable to the team’s success. And, with all the forwards Montreal has lined up for next year…

Let’s just say that Armia will have to work hard in training camp and at the start of the season to cement his place in Martin St-Louis’ line-up.

But in a world where he’s in a position to do so… The results will also have to come with it, because there will be other players who deserve their chance to shine. If Armia manages to carve out a position for himself at the start of the season and continues to play cat-and-mouse on the ice, it won’t be long before he finds himself in the stands…

And in such a scenario, Stu Cowan wonders if Armia could even take a trip to Laval next season.

Stu Cowan argues that the idea would make sense if, for example, Owen Beck were to enjoy rapid success in the American League. The same could be said for any other youngster.

That’s what bothers me about all this. Unless Beck, Sean Farrell or even Joshua Roy dominates outrageously in Laval at the start of the campaign, I don’t see why we should rush things by bringing in (another) young player with the Habs.

Yes, it’s true that NHL experience can be useful at a certain level, but the NHL isn’t a development league either.

Why not take the time with the organization’s young players to let them mature and develop as they should? This is something we’ve seen too often in Montreal…

In any case, it’s not as if anything is pressing either. The Habs won’t be in the playoffs next year unless there’s a major surprise, so we might as well focus on the development and progression of the team’s young players.

At least, that’s how I see it.

At worst… for Armia, there’s always the bleachers to look forward to. No, it’s not ideal to have a $3.4M salaryman on the catwalk every night… But it’s not like Kent Hughes can trade him either.

And that, too, is part of the problem.

In bursts

– Mitch Marner thinks he can help the Leafs convince Nylander and Matthews.

– Where are they now?

– It’s still a great story.

– Good question.

– The Preds are making changes within the organization.

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