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Alex Newhook as second center: Craig Button believes in it
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

When we talk about the Canadiens’ future, we try to figure out which players will be in the club’s top-6 for years to come.

Right now, there are four names that come up a lot: Nick Suzuki, Juraj Slafkovsky, Kirby Dach and Cole Caufield. These names are the talk of the town, let’s face it.

And that’s even if Caufield isn’t scoring as much as he should this year.

Obviously, you can put the guys in order or out of order, but one thing’s for sure: Nick Suzuki is at the center of quite a few of the lineups I see go by.

He’s having a superb season, and he’s silencing those who say he’s not a center. Right now, the captain is playing like a first center both offensively and defensively.

But who will his wingers be in the long term? Caufield? Slaf? Dach, as suggested by Maxim Lapierre? Another player?

Because yes, Dach can be seen as both a winger and a center. I still see him as a center, but if the Habs ever develop another excellent #2 center, maybe Dach could move to the wing. Who knows?

And on that subject, Craig Button has another name to remember: Alex Newhook.

As he said yesterday on Tony Marinaro’s Sick Podcast, he truly believes that Newhook, in his first year in Montreal, can become an excellent #2 center for the Habs.

We agree that if that happens, it will give the Habs options. The club could build a trio with Slaf, Suzuki and Dach, for example, leaving Newhook with Caufield.

Button also suggests that teams think about having one formation on the road and one at home. After all, Caufield and Newhook on the road in the playoffs aren’t physically imposing.

Obviously, there’s still a long way to go before we can think about the top-6 in the next few years. Maybe Joshua Roy will be there. Maybe Kent Hughes will pick up another big player. Maybe the club’s next top prospect to be drafted this summer will have that potential. Who knows?

Button also likes the culture that Kent Hughes creates with his team, in terms of the way he treats his players. In his opinion, it also helps the Canadiens develop.

In gusto

– Erik Karlsson doesn’t give a damn about rumours sending him to Ottawa.

– Pittsburgh’s on the move.

– Happy reading.

– Good question.

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