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What to do with Josh Anderson: the first question for Martin St-Louis upon his return
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Early in the evening, we learned some excellent news in Montreal: Martin St-Louis is back with the Habs. The coach, who confirmed he had left due to the health of his youngest son (who was hospitalized following complications related to an injury sustained during a hockey game), will be behind the Habs bench tomorrow night in Colorado.

The best news is that his son, Mason, is doing better. But for the Habs, having their coach back isn’t a bad thing either, we agree.

This means that, from now on, St-Louis has both hands on the handlebars again, and he’ll be managing the team on a daily basis.

And it also means he’ll be the one managing the team’s line-up for the final 12 games of the season.

Of course, there are guys who are guaranteed a spot… but there are guys who aren’t doing enough to sleep soundly either.

Of the lot, there’s Josh Anderson, who’s been a veritable black hole on the ice for months. His eight goals and 18 points in 66 games are a horrible haul for a guy who makes $5.5 million a year, but it’s even worse when you consider that he’s not really involved in the game.

He is, in every sense of the word, a “passenger”.

And in today’s episode of Exit the Zone (which was taped before the announcement of St-Louis’ return), the panelists raised the question that ‘s been kicking around for a while: has the time come to send Anderson to the press gallery?

Guillaume Lefrançois thinks it might, given his diminishing playing time, while Stéphane Waite thinks the Habs will leave him alone, so as not to destroy what little confidence he has left.

In Philadelphia, for example, seeing John Tortorella (who, ironically, managed Anderson in Columbus) leave Sean Couturier out because he wasn’t living up to expectations caused a stir.

And in the end, the Flyers picked up three points (out of a possible four) in the two games Couturier was left on the bench.

In a world where Trevor Letowski was the interim coach, we suspected this wouldn’t happen. After all, he doesn’t necessarily have the freedom to leave out a veteran who is among the team’s highest earners.

That said, with St-Louis, it’s becoming a possibility again… especially as Letowski may have already cleared the field.

Before St-Louis left, Tanner Pearson was a guy who didn’t skip a beat in the line-up. He played every game (when healthy), and as a veteran whose contract expired at the end of the season, he was allowed to fill out a jersey.

But under Letowski, Pearson found himself in the press gallery twice (in four games), in a rotation with guys like Michael Pezzetta and Jesse Ylönen. These guys had been “left-overs” since the start of the season… but suddenly, they were playing more regularly.

Letowski did the same with Jayden Struble, who is in a rotation with Johnathan Kovacevic and Jordan Harris, but Struble is a rookie player (and, remember, he was already being left out on a “regular” basis before St-Louis left). Pearson, on the other hand, is a veteran, so the message is different.

The question is whether the decision came from Letowski, Kent Hughes or even Martin St-Louis, who may have put in a good word for Letowski. We’ll never know, but it at least opened the door to seeing veterans who don’t deliver the goods left out in the cold.

Will Josh Anderson be dropped tomorrow night? Perhaps not. That said, with the return of the team’s real head coach in a situation where a precedent has been set in relation to a veteran being left out, it’s safe to assume that the door isn’t totally closed either.

Now we’ll have to see if what’s good for pitou (with a contract expiring in a few weeks) is good for minou (with a contract expiring in three years).


– Yegor Sharangovich would be my choice, I think.

– Still.

– Indeed.

– Well done.

– News from the Olympic Stadium.

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