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Joshua Roy: the experiment would have been a flop if he had been recalled, argues Martin McGuire

Since last night, “Joshua Roy madness” has been in full swing in Montreal. The young Quebecer, one of the team’s most promising attacking prospects, will play his first game with the Habs tonight.

For those who missed it this morning, Roy trained alongside Sean Monahan and Joel Armia. Martin St-Louis confirmed that the three guys would form a trio for today’s game.

And even though Roy had an excellent first half of the season in the AHL (30 points in 34 games), the announcement of his recall yesterday still came as a surprise to many. The Habs seemed to want to be patient before bringing him to the big club, and with Emil Heineman having just been sent back to Laval, you had to wonder if it really made sense to recall another young forward.

We finally learned this morning that Josh Anderson is bothered by an injury, which opened the door to a recall. But we didn’t know that yesterday.

And neither did Roy, so when Jean-François Houle called him into his office after last night’s game, the young Quebecer wasn’t expecting to learn that he’d been recalled to the NHL. In fact, he thought… he was in for a rude awakening.

Understandably, he was quite surprised when he heard the news. This is what he revealed to the media at lunchtime.

Understandably, Roy didn’t know that it would soon be his turn to get an NHL audition. He was taken by surprise, and this suggests that the Habs hadn’t given him a precise timetable for a possible recall.

Was the decision made in the last few days or even hours? It seems possible.

And like all new players, Roy had to deal with the question of his number. Obviously, the #10 he wore in Laval is not available in Montreal (Guy Lafleur’s jersey having been retired), so he was offered the #97 he wore in junior and at training camps.

That said, he took the time to think about it, and opted for #89 instead, which he describes as a “wise decision”. He must have thought that coming into the league with Connor McDavid’s number (whom he’ll be facing tonight, by the way) was a bit intense, hehe.

Joshua Roy will play his first NHL game tonight with #89 on his back, less than 24 hours after he thought Jean-François Houle was going to chicaner him by calling him into his office.

I’m really looking forward to seeing him in action, in any case.

In bursts

– Some good, some not so good for Mike Matheson this season.

– Wow.

– Five new players elected to the All-Star Game. Seven more to be announced later today.

– A fine line-up of candidates for the All-Star Game competition.Five more players will be announced tonight.

– A name to watch. We’re talking about a 24-year-old center who’s been dominating the KHL for the past two years.

– News from the Golden Knights.

– At least the club has recovered since then.

– It’s going to be expensive. And the club (probably) isn’t done adding talent.

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