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Logan Mailloux can officially turn the page and focus on field hockey
Yesterday, we learned that the NHL will, not surprisingly, allow Logan Mailloux to play in the NHL. After a meeting in July to see if the defenseman was on the road to redemption, Gary Bettman was obviously convinced.

This is obviously good news for the Canadiens, but it’s especially huge for the young man. But why?

Because what was said a year ago is still true: he needs to hit the ground running – as a normal prospect – in the field hockey world, something that wasn’t easily possible from 2020 to 2022.

In 2020, when the pandemic hit, he went to Europe and did what we know. He was subsequently suspended in the OHL and injured on his return to action in the spring of 2022.

So, while the good players his age had three years of major junior experience, Mailloux had 16 games under his belt. Not enough, of course.

Add to that the fact that Marc Bergevin didn’t invite him to his team’s 2021 camp to let the dust settle, and that by the 2022 camp he was recovering from shoulder surgery… and you have a perfect storm.

But right now, Mailloux is healthy, repentant and has field hockey in his body. He played 80 games in London (including playoffs) this season and has established himself as one of the OHL’s good blue-liners.

He’ll be arriving at the Canadiens’ training camp with a knife between his teeth.

Does that mean he’ll automatically break into the CH lineup at the blue line at the end of camp? I don’t think so. After all, there are a lot of candidates right now.

Here are the guys who will be fighting with Mailloux for positions. There will be others who will be surprises, but logically, it looks like this:

  • Jeff Petry
  • Mike Matheson
  • David Savard
  • Jordan Harris
  • Gustav Lindstrom
  • Justin Barron
  • Kaiden Guhle
  • Arber Xhekaj
  • Johnathan Kovacevic
  • Chris Wideman

I have a feeling that unless he has an extraordinary camp, he’ll go to Laval. From there, he’ll be able to learn everything he needs to learn about pro field hockey, both on and off the ice.

Because yes, going pro will be another step.

Playing in Laval could give him his first contact with Montreal-area fans in regular-season games, just a matter of seeing what kind of reception he gets.

This could be one of the last steps to see if he will be forgiven and accepted by the fans.

But aside from fan reaction, the story of 2020 may be becoming less and less predominant when it comes to him. I imagine that CH executives want to see how the hopeful will be received by the fans, but field hockey starts to predominate again when we talk about him.

To be continued in the coming weeks.

In gusto

– All’s well, eh?

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– Senators: little patience with the coach? [BPM Sports]

– No Patrice Bergeron to stop the Panthers captain from losing more face-offs.

– Memorable.

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