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Without Sean Monahan, the Canadiens currently have only two center players
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Things are hopping in Montreal.

As you probably know, center Sean Monahan will finish the season in Winnipeg. He’ll bring the Habs a first-round pick and another conditional pick.

Not surprisingly, the Habs have thrown in the towel on the 2023-2024 season. Management’s goal? To get the best possible pick, I imagine.

And let’s just say that without Sean Monahan (and his leadership), it’ll be hard for the Habs to get good results. Why would that be? Because a center like him is worth his weight in gold.

Last year, the Habs’ season went off the rails the second he left.

But in the short term, it won’t be easy for the Habs. After all, if you look at the club’s last game, you can see that two of the four centers are gone: Lucas Condotta is in Laval and Sean Monahan is in Winnipeg.

You’ll tell me that now that Monahan (whose departure frees up one contract out of the 50 allowed per club) is gone for picks, a guy like Mitchell Stephens can be recalled and Condotta can be recalled at the end of the Habs’ bye week.

Or is it Philippe Maillet’s turn?

That said, it still shows that the Habs have given up on their season. The Tankathon race can begin again, since a center line of Suzuki, Evans and two Laval guys is… that.

(Credit: Tankathon)
Remember that the Canadiens started the year with five centers: Suzuki, Evans, Monahan, Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook. Christian Dvorak missed the start of the season, but quickly returned.

Since then? Monahan left. Dach was injured for the rest of the season. Dvorak won’t be playing again this year.

Good thing Newhook should be back in the next few weeks… and I imagine that at this point, the Habs will play him center, to get a better top-9.

Remember that the Habs have three goalies and one player suspended (Brendan Gallagher) for four more games. That’s four guys out of 23 who can’t play forward or defense, leaving 19 guys for 18 positions. That’s pretty thin.

In brief

– Kent Hughes will speak at 1pm.

– Coaching change in L.A. Jim Hiller will finish the season.

– Official.

– Mathew Barzal enjoys working with Patrick Roy.

– Good shot.

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