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Lane Hutson: all signs point to him playing (at least) Tuesday’s game
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
This afternoon, the Canadiens announced the news that had been awaited by a ton of fans in town: the club has reached an agreement with Lane Hutson, and the latter has officially initialed his NHL entry-level contract.

It wasn’t exactly a huge surprise, but it’s still a good thing. His NCAA career has come to an end, and from now on he’ll be playing full-time in the pros.

The big question now is what’s in store for him in the coming days. Remember that the Habs’ season ends in just a few days (next Tuesday, to be exact), and with three games left in the season, time is running out for him to make his debut on the Bettman circuit.

We knew he wouldn’t be in uniform tomorrow night, ashe’ll be joining the team in Michigan on Sunday night, but the rest was unclear.

In the last few minutes, Lane Hutson’s NCAA teammate Mathieu Caron revealed in an interview that he will be in Montreal on Tuesday night (along with Kent’s son Jack Hughes) to watch the Habs game.

He didn’t confirm it… but if he’s making the trip, it’s probably because his (now former) teammate will be in uniform for the Habs. And considering that Caron’s roommate is the son of the Habs’ GM, it’s safe to assume that he may have received an unofficial confirmation.

A few minutes later, Mathias Brunet noted that “the majority” of the little defenseman’s teammates will be in Montreal on Tuesday night. Again, there’s no official fire yet, butthere’s a lot of smoke.

The question now is whether he’ll only play in Tuesday’s game (where he could make his debut in front of his fans and former teammates, but also in a context where the Habs will have the last change) or whether he’ll also be sent into the fray on Monday night in Detroit. We know Lane is a Michigan native, but he’ll be arriving on Sunday evening, so he may not have a ton of time to acclimatize with the Habs and be ready to play the next day.

Speaking of which, that’s something to consider when it comes to evaluating the young defenseman’s performance between now and the end of the season. The sample size will be extremely small, and considering the speed with which he’s joining the Habs, it’s not impossible that it’ll be a little harder for him if he plays next week. Let’s ease up on the word “bust”, and let’s ease up on the word “saviour” (talk to Ryan Poehling).

The other question is who would be the young defenseman’s partner if he does indeed make his NHL debut next week. David Savard seems to me to be the obvious candidate, as he’s likely to help Hutson by calming things down and giving him a little more room to manoeuvre.

But in any case, the chances seem more than excellent that Hutson will play his first game in a Habs uniform in the next few days. And whether he does it Monday night or Tuesday night, he’ll be facing his favorite player, Patrick Kane. And I imagine he won’t mind.

In a gust

– It’s understandable. It’s not easy for the players.

– Nice catch for the station.

– Great story.

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