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Reading between the lines: the Canadian hesitated between Matvei Michkov and David Reinbacher

The Canadiens’ selection of David Reinbacher fifth overall at the last draft caused quite a stir. Reinbacher isn’t a bad prospect, far from it, but the fact that Matvei Michkov was still available to a team looking for offensive punch meant that some fans took the selection of a defenseman the wrong way.

Michkov was certainly dangerous, but his offensive talent is undeniable.

Obviously, it was a big risk on the part of the organization, but what we sense is that the decision wasn’t necessarily an easy one. At least, that’s what we seem to understand from the behind-the-scenes video of the draft released by the Habs this evening, as clues suggest that the club really hesitated between Reinbacher and Michkov.

At one point, Jeff Gorton(no fan of the free-agent market) talks to his scouts and explains that big-name players are a rare commodity in the NHL and that sometimes you have to take a chance to acquire them, but he comes to the conclusion that his group isn’t ready to take that chance.

And clearly, you can guess that he was talking about Mishkov (the player’s name is redacted because he belongs to another team, but the context suggests that it’s Mishkov).

I don’t know about you, but I listen to Gorton speak in this video and I can’t help but wonder if he wanted the club’s choice to be Michkov. We know it was Reinbacher in the end, but he seems to want to push for a big talented player.

At least, if that’s the case, maybe the few people who still think Jeff Gorton makes all the decisions in Montreal will change their minds.

Obviously, the club really likes what they’ve drafted in Reinbacher (they see him as a future top-tier all-around defenseman with interesting offensive potential), but you really get the sense that the latter wasn’t necessarily the first option considered, since at one point Gorton seems to assert that Reinbacher is “now ahead” of another player (again, name redacted).

And if we put things back into context, we can still come to the assumption that it’s Michkov.

I think it may have been closer than we thought in the race for the fifth pick. The videos really cast doubt on whether Michkov was a serious option, and it’s safe to say that Reinbacher wasn’t always the first option the club considered.

Because Gorton tells it like it is. We can’t confirm that he wanted to take Michkov, but we do know that Reinbacher passed “someone” in the initial order.

We’ll probably never know with complete certainty whether the CH ever intended to take Michkov, but I really get the impression that there’s at least one person in Jeff Gorton who wouldn’t have been against the idea.

We’ll see if the future proves the club right for listening to its scouts, who really pushed for Reinbacher.

In bursts

– Good news.

– Yes, he is.

– To be continued.

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