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Sam Dickinson, who’s never fought, would dare to throw down the gloves against Xhekaj
Credit: Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

We’re getting closer and closer to the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. Teams are in the final discussions and finalizing their rosters for June 29.

And with the draft shaping up to be quite unpredictable, it’s safe to assume that these lists will differ greatly across the Bettman circuit.

The Canadiens, with the fifth pick, would probably prefer to select a forward. That said, Cayden Lindstrom’s health problems mean that, as my colleague Charles-Alexis Brisebois pointed out, the idea of selecting a defenseman isn’t crazy either.

It wouldn’t be my first choice, but…

Of the lot, Sam Dickinson (who believes he can play in the NHL as early as this fall) seems to be a fan favorite, and he’s obviously not shy about it. In fact, as he told Mark Masters (TSN), the Habs met him at the Combine and asked him what he’d do if, at practice, Arber Xhekaj wanted to fight him.

Dickinson, who has never fought, says he wouldn’t hesitate.

We know that the Habs used Xhekaj as an example to measure the toughness and “recklessness” of the prospects at the Combine, and obviously Dickinson was asked about it.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done… but he explains that he would do it to try and earn some respect within the group.

In the same interview, Masters also asked Dickinson, a native Torontonian, if he was a Maple Leafs fan when he was growing up… and the answer was surprising: not only did he not like the Leafs (in fact, he hated them), he was more of a Canadiens fan.

It was his father, a huge Habs fan, who led him to become a fan of the Montreal outfit.

We can therefore imagine that if the defenseman is the Habs’ choice, his father won’t necessarily be unhappy to see his son join his beloved team.

And if that were to happen, I wonder if Xhekaj would tease the youngster a bit in connection with those remarks. Not to throw down the gloves against him, but to remind him that he is the Sheriff in town, after all.


– That’s right.

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