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Alexis Lafrenière’s late blooming: the Rangers owner’s fault, says Renaud Lavoie
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Alexis Lafrenière is having a great season with the New York Rangers. He has 54 points, including 26 goals, in 76 games, but it goes beyond that. He’s finally showing that he can be a good player in the NHL.

It took almost four years to get there, but the important thing is that he’s there.

According to Renaud Lavoie, Rangers owner James Dolan is to blame for his late blossoming.

During JiC’s “La mise en échec” segment, the journalist revisited Lafrenière’s meteoric rise.

He mentions that finally the negative talk about him is over, but that his blossoming was delayed because Dolan decided not to send him to the QMJHL and the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Lavoie received confirmation that it wasn’t Jeff Gorton, New York’s general manager at the time, who opposed sending him back to junior hockey, but the owner.

It’s important to remember the context at the time. Lafrenière had dominated the World Junior Championship at the start of 2020 and was unstoppable in Rimouski before the COVID-19 break. He seemed ripe for the NHL and hadn’t had the chance to have a normal rookie and training camp.

It’s easy to criticize the decision four years later, but the context wasn’t the same as it is today. Did he arrive in the NHL too quickly? Maybe, we’ll never know. He had accomplished almost everything in junior, so it’s really hard to say.

It’s different from a player like Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was really pushed into the NHL by the Habs because of the lack of depth. He didn’t burn out in Finland and would benefit from an extra year in junior hockey.

In bursts

– The Rocket is involved in a heated battle.

– Interesting discussions.

– Nice find.

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