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Rafaël Harvey-Pinard can no longer avoid the waivers
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Let’s face it: Rafaël Harvey-Pinard is not having the season of his career. The Quebecer has often been injured, and he’s never taken his wanderings in his stride.

Last year, in 34 games, the Quebec forward scored 14 goals. He played in particular with Nick Suzuki because the club’s injuries, as we’ll remember, were quite intense.

We suspected that a pace of 14 goals in 34 games would not be sustainable for him this season. But now, with just one goal in 32 games, let’s just say he’s at the other end of the spectrum in terms of his attacking performances.

The Habs continue to believe in him, and when he’s healthy, he plays. He’s had some playing time at center, he gets his chance on trios that are a little more offensive once in a while (like yesterday, for example), etc.

And obviously, the Habs think Montreal is the place to play him. But why?

Because if the club had wanted to send him to Laval, it would have done so before yesterday’s game, when it was still possible to do so without having to subject him to the waivers process.

Since he played his 70th NHL game (yesterday) and because he’s no longer on his entry-level contract, he’s no longer eligible to go to the AHL just like that: the waivers are a factor now.

If the Habs had really wanted to send him to Laval, they would have done so before the deadline, to ensure that he would be eligible for the playoffs and so that another player could be recalled before the limit of four recalls following March 8.

But you know as well as I do that this is not the plan. First of all, RHP belongs to the NHL… and I don’t know who would have taken his place, frankly. Which forward in Laval is ready for the show?

Right now, only Juraj Slafkovsky, Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle and Jayden Struble can go down without going through the waivers. The first three are not eligible for the Laval playoffs… but that doesn’t change the fact that they won’t be playing with the Rocket this year.

In the case of Struble, who is eligible for the AHL playoffs in 2024, it’s probably only a matter of time before he finishes the season with the Rocket.

Joshua Roy is also eligible to go to Laval without going through the waivers and to play in the playoffs, but he can’t be traded until he’s healthy. And since he’ll miss at least the next month of activities, he’s in Montreal (in the infirmary) to stay.

But if he’s back in shape in time, he could finish the season with the Rocket.

In bursts

– A name to remember.

– Does he still exist?

– J.T. Miller: a bargain? [98.5 FM]

– Some hopefuls to keep an eye on today.

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