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Jordan Harris is too small to be part of the Canadiens’ future
Credit: Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The cliché that a club is too small for the series is true, in my opinion.

It doesn’t mean that a player can’t play in the playoffs because of his size. Guys like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield proved that during the 2021 playoffs.

But what it does mean is that you still have to be a bit big as a team.

The Habs seem to have realized that this is important, since most of the big young talents they’ve acquired recently (Kirby Dach, Juraj Slafkovsky and David Reinbacher, among others) are tall.

It’s normal to want guys as “hard to play against” as the saying goes, you know.

That’s true offensively, but it’s also true defensively. After all, when you look at the defensive brigades of the teams in the finals right now, they’re not small.

Bob Hartley, on BPM Sports yesterday, made this point (which comes up every year) when talking about the Panthers’ and Oilers’ defenses.

  • Evan Bouchard: 6’3
  • Cody Ceci: 6’3
  • Mattias Ekholm: 6’5
  • Darnell Nurse: 6’4
  • Brett Kulak : 6’2
  • Philip Broberg : 6’4
  • Aaron Ekblad : 6’4
  • Dmitry Kulikov : 6’1
  • Gustav Forsling: 6’0
  • Brandon Montour : 6’0
  • Niko Mikkola : 6’5
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson : 6’2

Those are the Oilers and Panthers defensemen who played in the June 1 and 2 games. We could also add the name of Quebecer Vincent Desharnais (6’7), who is no small man in Alberta.

So, you get the picture.

This brings us to the Habs, who are trying to build a defense that will be the envy of many teams if everyone develops in the right way over the medium and long term.

The Habs have some big defenders, but they also have some smaller guys.

Obviously, a club can succeed with one smaller guy like Cale Makar… but not many. And if all goes well, Lane Hutson will be that defenseman for the Habs in the playoffs.

It doesn’t take much, because the playoffs are a different ballgame. Talk to Quinn Hughes…

Jordan Harris (5’11), by force of circumstance, finds himself with too much on his plate. A left side in the playoffs can’t include Hutson (5’10) AND Harris, two sub-6’0 ars who don’t do much offensively.

He may fit in with what the Habs want in a man off the ice, but once in the playoffs, will he be able to stir the pot? Stu Cowan and Tony Marinaro discussed his future in Montreal earlier this week on the Sick Podcast.

As you know, Harris doesn’t have any great qualities that stand out. He’s not the fastest, he’s not the strongest, he’s not the tallest, he’s not the most offensive, he’s not the most defensive, and so on.

That’s nothing against the guy, but it’s reality. If he had a big quality – as Lane Hutson does – on the ice, it would be something else. But he doesn’t, and that’s why he’s in the trade rumours.

I don’t see how the Habs could have him as a playoff regular. Why not take advantage of his market value (which can’t be all bad) to build a defense in the image of the modern champions?

Because yes, Vegas, Denver and Tampa Bay also had big defenses when they won…

On that subject, I know it’s not exactly fashionable to project a defenseman for the Habs with their fifth pick, but I cringe when I hear people suggesting that the Habs will go down in the draft if Ivan Demidov and Cayden Lindstrom aren’t there at #5.

If that’s the case, it means the Habs could theoretically get the second-best defenseman of their draft. And that would be the future #1 defenseman on its Oilers- or Panthers-like defensive brigade.

Don’t go off scared: I’m aware that the plan is to draft a top forward at #5. I truly believe it’s the right thing to do under the circumstances.

It’s probably what will happen, too.

All I’m saying is that potentially drafting a modern defenseman who can win Stanley Cup titles isn’t a disaster in my eyes.

I’ve seen worse scenarios, let’s say.

In gusts

– It’s hard out there.

– The Rangers believed, says Louis Domingue. [98.5 FM]

– Really?

– To watch.

– 735!

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