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“There aren’t many guys lining up to play in Montreal”.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
I know the Habs are rebuilding and have traded some veteran players. That said, the fact remains that right now, with the Habs, players who have signed as free agents in Montreal are rare.

Among the forwards, there’s no one. Among goalies, there’s no one either. Among defensemen? There are three players: Chris Wideman, Arber Xhekaj and David Savard.

Of the lot, Arber Xhekaj was signed by the Habs after being passed over in the draft, and Chris Wideman (injured) signed in town when he wasn’t the most in-demand defenseman in history. He had just returned from the KHL.

In fact, the only player who was in demand, signed with Montreal as a free agent and is still here is Quebecer David Savard. There are no others.

As I said, the rebuilding context obviously changes things, but the fact remains that, for all the reasons we know, Montreal is not currently the #1 destination for free agents.

And yet, not only did Savard choose to come here before the club rebuilt and changed its top management, but he doesn’t want anything to do with leaving. That’s a rare thing.

And in the eyes of Pierre McGuire, who broached the subject on “The Sick Podcast – The Eye Test” podcast recently, that should be an argument for keeping the veteran in town.

Savard, who acts as a captain for the Habs, is a player who agreed to come to Montreal. Pierre McGuire says that’s rare and has to be part of the equation to trade him or not.

He’s a leader, he eats up big minutes, he’s a Quebecer, people love him: all the reasons are good to keep the veteran. And until proven otherwise, that’s what the player wants… but it’s also what the club wants.

Maybe one day, the Habs won’t have a choice. That said, right now, Kent Hughes doesn’t want to trade his veteran. If a club wants him out of Montreal, they’ll have to make a big offer. And I don’t know if that’s going to happen by the deadline, let’s say.

Note that the goal of the Habs is to ensure that, one day, players will line up to play here.

In bursts

– How will the youngsters develop?

– He’s taken his health in hand.

– Patrick Roy and Anthony Duclair back together? [TSLH]

– Speaking of Patrick Roy.

– Like it or not?

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