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Right-handed defenders at Laval: With Reinbacher, J-F Houle will have some choices to make
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The news came earlier this afternoon: David Reinbacher is now eligible to come to North America.

His season in Switzerland is over…

This allows him to leave the environment of EHC Kloten, where he played this season.

The defender will be joining the Rocket in the next few days, and this will give everyone a better idea of his progress.

There’s one thing to consider in all this, though: the Rocket are already counting on the services of Justin Barron and Logan Mailloux on the right (they’re both right-handed)…

And you have to wonder what Jean-François Houle’s plan is for the Austrian between now and the end of the season.

The Rocket head coach will want to see Reinbacher in action to study him… But Houle will also want to trust his best players, because the Rocket are in the thick of the AHL playoff race at the moment :

It will be impossible for Jean-François Houle to take playing time away from Logan Mailloux because the latter has been the best defenseman in the Habs’ club-school (and because he’s playing so well) since the start of the season.

That said…

Reinbacher, at 19, isn’t coming to North America to play on a third pair of defensemen in the AHL. He needs to play to get better, and he needs ice time to progress.

Does this mean we could see Justin Barron get the axe?

Logan Mailloux should have a chance to make his mark in the Habs by the end of the regular season, and it’s quite possible that Barron will too.

After all, the Habs will want to evaluate what they have on hand for next season… Which could also have an impact on Reinbacher’s use in Laval.

All this to say that, ultimately, asset management (on defense) won’t necessarily be easy for Jean-François Houle between now and the end of the campaign.

He’ll have a decision to make: either we prioritize the development of our young talent… or we focus on the success of the team looking to earn its ticket to the spring dance.

In gusto

– I love this.

– He’s capable of pulling it off.

– Something to consider.

– Congratulations!

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