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Mattias Norlinder will not return to Laval, says Grant McCagg

He’s a defenseman who’s been made to look good by the Habs’ marketing machine.

This quote, from a few years ago, is about Mattias Norlinder. These are the words of Simon Boisvert, also known as the Snake, who is not, as you might guess, the president of the defenseman’s fan club.

I still know it by heart all these years later because it’s funny, but mostly because it’s aged well.

Remember, before he landed in North America, the guy was seen as the eighth wonder of the world. Many people saw him as a hopeful who couldn’t miss.

In the end, those who didn’t believe in him were right.

(Credit: Hockey DB)
Why am I saying this about him right now? After all, he still has one year left on his entry-level contract with the Habs (and the Rocket, especially) for the next few months.

That’s because Grant McCagg has said he’s done.

He won’t be returning to Laval and he won’t be re-signing with the Habs.

The former scout says Norlinder played a warm-up game in Sweden recently. That’s where his assertion that he’s on his way out of the organization comes from.

He added that the Swede never adapted to the rinks here.

With all the defensemen playing with the CH and Rocket next year, Kent Hughes can simply loan him to a club in Sweden for the year and let him go after that.

No more complicated than that.

It’s true that with the youngsters ahead of him (Jordan Harris, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Justin Barron, Gustav Lindstrom, David Reinbacher, Lane Hutson, LOgan Mailloux, Jayden Struble, William Trudeau and Nicolas Beaudin… among others), it’s not always easy for him.

In the end, he’ll have played six NHL games. I don’t see him playing a seventh, but I might be surprised.

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