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Chris Wideman: not guaranteed to start training camp on time
Just yesterday, I wrote a piece about Chris Wideman. Basically, I talked about his importance off the ice, and how that might play into his decision to stay in town.

This club needs veterans.

It’s not what people want. Having said that, I explain that, given that I don’t see Kent Hughes asking him to report to the Rocket in a season that doesn’t have to end in a parade on St. Catherine’s, and that I don’t see any club acquiring him, it might be hard to get rid of him.

Seeing him block youngsters, whatever their level, is not desirable, however.

So I was talking about the possibility of an injury (whether big or… non-existent) changing things for the CH. And obviously, that’s the most likely scenario at the moment to “save” the Habs.

According to Renaud Lavoie in today’s column on BPM Sports, injuries (to his back, in his case) may prevent him from starting the season on time.

You’ll remember that last year, back pain affected him and he wasn’t able to finish the season at his full potential. He played poorly at the end of the season.

And if we’ve learned anything from Joel Edmundson, it’s that back pain doesn’t go away easily.

All of which is to say that, at the moment, it’s safe to assume that Wideman won’t be the most involved man on the ice for the Habs. His injuries and performances aren’t a perfect mix.

He must be hurting right now if Renaud Lavoie had this to say:

I wonder if he’ll be able to start training camp. – Renaud Lavoie on Chris Wideman

If Wideman can’t start the season on time and is placed on the injured list, that means eight guys (Mike Matheson, David Savard, Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj, Justin Barron, Johnathan Kovacevic and Gustav Lindstrom) will be fighting for available positions.

David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux and William Trudeau will also be in the running, but I have less faith in them for October 2023.

The Habs already have a defensive surplus and starting the season with seven defensemen (out of 23 players) is, regardless of the situation in front of the net, the most likely scenario. Having Wideman out of the way will help the CH.

We’d have to cut a guy… and note that Renaud Lavoie doesn’t rule out the possibility of Arber Xhekaj starting the season in the AHL. He’s not saying it will happen, but he’s opening the door.

We’ll see as time goes on, but field hockey is a business and you have to win. The CH will go with the club that gives it the best chance of winning games.

Christian Dvorak (knee) is not expected to start the season. If that’s the case and the CH goes with 13 forwards and two goaltenders, perhaps an eight-defender scenario could be possible… but don’t hold your breath.

In a gust

– Quite an image.

– Still.

– Fair enough: they’re teammates.

– Hard to go against Patrick Mahomes. [BPM Sports]

– A great reunion.

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