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Jeff Gorton: no deal imminent with the Habs
Across the NHL, thoughts are turning to the trade deadline.

Clubs have until March 8 to improve their respective rosters for the playoffs, and between now and then, rumours will be rife.

Jeff Gorton was on TSN 690’s Mitch Melnick show to discuss the latest Tricolore news. The Habs vice-president of hockey operations confided that there should be some personnel movement between now and tomorrow night’s game against the Senators (Xhekaj or Mailloux recalled?)… But he also indicated that, for the time being, there are no imminent transactions with the Habs.

In connection with his comments, Gorton mentioned Sean Monahan, a guy we expect to leave in the next few weeks. That said, there’s no concrete scenario at the moment for the veteran… But Gorton assured us that management will take the time to sit down with its veteran to establish a plan.

It’ll be one to watch, then.

(Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

What caught my attention in Jeff Gorton’s speech, aside from the trade rumors and the Sean Monahan issue?

1. It’s the talk of the town right now. The Habs are good against good teams, and they have trouble showing up against not-so-good teams.

“It’s frustrating,” says Jeff Gorton. And you can tell from his words that this is something that really needs to be corrected sooner rather than later.

2. Kirby Dach’s injury is really hurting the club this season.

Jeff Gorton confessed that sometimes he watches the games and thinks in his head that things might be different with Kirby Dach in the line-up.

However, the Habs’ VP of hockey operations assured us that he was confident the young player would be back in top form next season.

3. It’s hard to be successful in the National League when you have a fairly obvious lack of depth at center.

Jeff Gorton was quick to point this out. With Dach’s injury and Newhook’s, it really complicates things.

4. When the Canadiens play two games in two nights, the second is often mediocre. And Jeff Gorton knows this.

He didn’t use fatigue as an excuse, though. He simply said that the team has to be better.

This was the subject of a big debate on BPM Sports between Renaud Lavoie and Gilbert Delorme last week:

5. Joshua Roy impresses Montreal management.

The youngster has been doing well since his recall and has “especially been good in the last few games”, in the words of Jeff Gorton.

The Quebecer is clearly winning a lot of points within the organization.

6. At some point, we’ll have a chance to see Arber Xhekaj back in a Montreal Canadiens uniform. Will it happen soon?

We don’t know. But Gorton has assured everyone that the young defenseman isn’t in Laval to stay for the rest of his career.

7. Juraj Slafkovsky’s progress is noteworthy… And the Habs organization is pleased with the young man’s work.

Jeff Gorton is very fond of his development and was quick to praise the youngster’s confidence and his current importance in Martin St-Louis’ line-up.

That pretty much sums up Jeff Gorton’s appearance on TSN 690’s Mitch Melnick show.

I love listening to him talk, because the VP of Hockey Operations keeps things simple and speaks his mind. He’s not afraid to be frank with the fans, and that’s something I really appreciate about the Habs’ new management.

In gusto

– Of note.

– Looks like this.

– Nice.

– Make or break?

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