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Joel Armia with Juraj Slafkovsky and Kirby Dach next year: Mathias Brunet believes in it
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Right now, the trio of Juraj Slafkovsky, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield is working very well. The Habs currently have no reason to break it up if everyone can play.

Caufield’s health could change things, but we’ll see.

But that’s right now. Things can change quickly for the Habs, and maybe at some point, breaking up the trio will become a realistic option for the Habs.

The first moment when the trio’s composition could change is when Kirby Dach returns to the game. That will surely be at the club’s next training camp, after the 2024 off-season.

Remember that some 14 months ago, it was thought that the Dach-Suzuki-Caufield trio was not to be broken up… but yet.

So I put in a good word recently, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirby Dach and Juraj Slafkovsky, whose chemistry is undeniable, were to find themselves together again next year.

If so, it would mean that the Habs would have two excellent duos: Caufield-Suzuki and Slaf-Dach. It’s an excellent start to the top-6, but we’re still two wingers short.

Will the Habs go looking for one this off-season? Will Alex Newhook rise to the occasion to prove that, beyond any doubt, he deserves his place on the Habs’ top-6 future?

We’ll see.

If the Habs can’t find a top-6 player this summer, they’ll have to bring some of the guys currently in the organization up to the top-6.

And yesterday, on BPM Sports, Mathias Brunet declared that his feeling was that the Habs could use Newhook with Caufield and Suzuki, in addition to giving Joel Armia to Slafkovsky and Dach. You read that right.

Obviously, that would make a small trio for Suzuki’s, but Dach’s, on the other hand, would be very weighty. It would be hard to take the puck away from him, since the guys are strong in that department.

And why would the journalist, who recognizes that this is a bombshell statement, say such a thing about Armia?

[He’s] a guy who’s very much appreciated within the organization. – Mathias Brunet

Of course, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Habs sent Joel Armia to the waivers earlier this season. He was sent to Laval twice to send him a message.

But Brunet adds that the Habs are visibly pleased with the way the player, who is currently playing better hockey than in years past, has responded to being sent down.

Remember that Joel Armia earns $3.4M per season until 2025, i.e. for another year and a half. Hopefully, in the best of all possible worlds, the Habs will be able, using salary retention, to trade the forward.

If not this winter, then at least this summer, right? And above all, if he’s still around next year, the Habs have to have the assets not to place the Finn on a top-6…

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– Reminder: the Habs host the Sabres at home tonight.

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