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Rookie dinner: veterans finally foot the bill
A week ago, the Canadiens were in Los Angeles, preparing to take on the Los Angeles Kings. That said, in the evening, the club had planned its annual Rookie Dinner, a night when the team goes out to dinner and milks the rookies on the arm.

It’s a rite of passage for youngsters in their first year in the league, really.

Last year, the club banked on five rookies (Juraj Slafkovský, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris and Johnathan Kovacevic), so each guy didn’t have to pay a fortune. This year, however, there were only two rookies: Jayden Struble and Mattias Norlinder.

And both guys had just arrived in the NHL, so they mostly had their AHL salaries in their pockets. And that’s a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of dollars they pocket on the Bettman circuit.

But the good news is that the team’s veterans didn’t hesitate to lend the kids a hand: Jayden Struble confirmed that it was the veterans who footed the bill that night.

Struble suspects that he and Norlinder will probably have to return the favor eventually, but he still enjoyed seeing his teammates act like this.

And in fact, it shows a great team spirit. The guys didn’t have to do it, but they still wanted to help out their young teammates by taking care of the bill, which, as Slaf said last year, is usually pretty expensive.

Johnathan Kovacevic, meanwhile, noted that veterans often end up helping out, but this time they’ve taken on the entire bill, as Struble seems to be saying. It’s nice to see guys helping each other out like that.

The good news for Struble, though, is that he’s playing like a guy who deserves to stay in the NHL for the next few months. If he keeps this up, and the club makes room for him despite the impending congestion, he’ll be on his NHL salary ($867,500 a year) for several weeks/months instead of his AHL salary ($70,000 a year).

In my opinion, he’ll end up returning the favor to his teammates in the months to come…

Breaking news

– Quebecer Louis Crevier recalled to the NHL in Chicago.

– The Hughes brothers are excelling this season.

– A duo of giants in Vancouver.

– Mark Pysyk joins the Flames organization.

– Today’s ballots.

– That’s a good one.

– Looking forward to following this.

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