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Brandon Gignac: an NHL recall would be greatly deserved

As everyone knows, the Montreal Canadiens’ training club, the Laval Rocket, is having an atrocious season in the American League.

Jean-François Houle’s team is in last place in the North Division, with a 7-12-3 record and 19 points in 24 games.

So there’s little positive to analyze this season for the Rocket, especially when the team is on a horrendous eight-game losing streak.

Fortunately, that streak came to an end last Saturday, when Laval beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-1.

And last night, the Rocket continued their (tiny) winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

It was a second straight win for the Rocket.

Even if there are far more negatives than positives this season for the Rocket, there are certain elements that must be noted as positive, and one of these is the excellent performance of Quebec forward Brandon Gignac.

Gignac, 26, has been with the Laval Rocket since the 2021-2022 season. He collects points on a fairly regular basis, but this year, Gignac seems to have reached another level.

The Quebecer has 23 points (eight goals and 15 assists) in 24 games this season, despite the team’s horrendous slump.

This puts him in first place among Rocket scorers, ahead of Joshua Roy(for whom things aren’t going so well after his incredible start to the season), who has 21.

In fact, Gignac scored his 8ᵉ goal of the season last night with a superb shorthanded play.

In short, the Rocket’s number 37 is playing some excellent hockey, especially these days, with ten points in his last nine games.

All these factors make Gignac a very strong candidate for an NHL call-up to the Montreal Canadiens.

And seriously, he really deserves a chance in the NHL, especially with all the injured players on the Habs right now.

He’s only played one NHL game in his career, and that was with the New Jersey Devils in the 2018-2019 season, so he’s never really had a chance to prove himself in the best league in the world.

His current performances could very well push the Habs to give him a chance in place of Mitchell Stephens, who has done nothing of note in six games with the Tricolore since his recall.

Sending Stephens back to the AHL in favor of Gignac would be a good idea to give the Quebecer a chance, much as was done last season with Anthony Richard.

The problem is that young Emil Heineman has just been recalled by the Habs and will probably get his chance in the line-up before Gignac is recalled.

Clearly, we’d rather see a 22-year-old get his chance than a 26-year-old AHL player.

Especially sinceHeineman could have a chance of complementing Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

In short, there are several issues to keep an eye on.

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