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Mike Matheson is frustrated with the way he is perceived by some fans
Credit: Photo by Vitor Munhoz/NHLI via Getty Images

Mike Matheson scored 62 points for the Canadiens this season. It’s a season worthy of the Canadiens’ greatest defensemen of the past few decades, let’s face it.

He’s not a perfect defender, and defensively, it’s not easy. But the positives he brings to the table far outweigh the negatives.

On this subject, Arpon Basu (The Athletic) has written a piece in which he mentions that the main player is aware of the fans’ criticism of him and that it’s getting to him. There’s a frustration that emanates from all this.

What’s wrong with him? His defensive play and the fact that he blocks Lane Hutson.

That said, as Matheson said at the end of the season, there’s room for him and Hutson in the same club. It doesn’t take “just one offensive defender” to win games.

It takes Matheson on the ice to win games and allow the youngsters to develop properly. After all, at the moment, there are only two veterans on the blue line: Matheson and David Savard.

With Savard already rumoured to be headed elsewhere, we can’t let Matheson go just because Hutson is there.

There isn’t a world in which Hutson is capable of filling Matheson’s role as early as October 2024. The Quebecer played 82 games against opposing top trios, led the power play, played short-handed, ate up minutes and scored 62 points.

In a few years, if all goes well, Hutson can aspire to that… but not right now.

Still, there are rumours that the time to trade Mike Matheson is now. And on that subject, I think it would be a mistake to let him go this summer.

Barring a ridiculous offer, like the sixth pick… but I don’t believe it.

After all, Matheson is only 30 years old. He’s not the youngest, but there’s still time to evaluate whether he’ll be part of the next window to win in the playoffs for the Habs.

The Quebecer has two years left on his contract. What’s the rush to trade him before we know what David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux and Lane Hutson have to offer in the NHL?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t trade him, give him too big a contract and keep him forever. But with two years to go, Kent Hughes can/should take another 12 months to assess the situation.

If the youngsters are to become what they can be, they’ll need Matheson to mentor them. Trading him now would set the Habs back several years since the blue line would be horrible – with all due respect to the good youngsters who are growing up… but who aren’t ready yet.

In a gust

– That makes sense.

– Auston Matthews is not 100%.

– Really?

– Wow.

– Please note.

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