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Maxim Tsyplakov: the Habs were not among the three finalist teams
Credit: Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In recent days, Maxim Tsyplakov’s name has been the talk of Montreal. The Russian forward, coming off a big season in the KHL, wanted to make the jump to North America for 2024-25.

And with Elliotte Friedman AND echoes in Russia linking him to the Habs, the whole thing was being watched in Quebec.

As it turned out, he’ll be playing under Patrick Roy next year, ashe reached an agreement with the Islanders. So the Canadiens missed out.

And obviously, he may not have been in the picture at all.

As Andrew Zadarnowski reports, Tsyplakov’s agent talked about the three teams that were finalists for the player’s services: the Islanders (obviously), the Panthers and the Golden Knights.

The Canadiens were not among them… nor were the Maple Leafs, who have also been linked to the Russian in recent days.

In the end, it’s in the Big Apple that he’ll pursue his career, possibly because he’s more likely to have an important role with the Islanders. Because in Florida and Vegas, let’s just say, there’s no shortage of attacking talent.

We should also remember that an Islanders scout is a good friend of Tsyplakov’s, as Zadarnowski said earlier today. That must have weighed in the balance, too.

With the Islanders, he will join three of his compatriots in Alexander Romanov, Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov. He’ll also have the chance to prove his worth, as he’ll be playing in the top-6 on Long Island.

Not a bad situation for him, let’s say.

Of course, it’s a shame for the Habs, who could have got their hands on a gamble without the slightest risk. That said, the club will have the chance to find other options to bolster its attack this summer, a priority for management this off-season.

It’s a shame… but it’s not the end of the world, either. Let’s wish him the best of luck with the Islanders, and hope he doesn’t haunt the Habs too much either.

In gusts

– Indeed.

– It’s still the talk of the town 10 years later.

– To be continued.

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