Former Montreal Canadiens winger Mark Recchi is loving where the Canadiens are heading. Recchi has been watching what’s going on with the Canadiens since executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes started running the hockey operations department and the hall of famer has been a big fan so far.
“I love the direction they’re headed in since Jeff and Kent took over,” Recchi told Montreal Hockey Now recently. “You look at teams working up from the bottom and I put them at the top of the list. It reminds me of what the Senators have done the last few years but honestly, I think the Habs could be ahead of them sooner than you think. They’re really setting themselves up nicely.”
That’s some high praise considering the offseason the Senators have had. Besides re-upping with one of their best young players in Josh Norris, the Senators acquired goalie Cam Talbot and forward Alex DeBrincat in separate trades and signed hometown favourite Claude Giroux. Thanks to some solid drafting and asset management from Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and his staff, the Senators were able to position themselves nicely and finally pull the trigger to take it to the next level.
The way Mark Recchi sees it, Gorton and Hughes already have the Montreal Canadiens on that same path and this rebuild or retool or whatever people may call it, is going to be shorter than many may think.
“The Senators have done a great job to get to this point but it’s been since 2017 really and I don’t see it taking that long in Montreal,” Recchi said. “The Habs just had a great draft and I like the Dach pick up a lot. That kid has tons of potential and Marty [St. Louis] is the guy to help him get there. You got some good vets there to help and if they keep doing things right, they will be back sooner than you think.”
Recchi played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1995-99 loved his time there but those weren’t exactly the best times for the Montreal Canadiens and their fans. While the Montreal Canadiens made the playoffs three times during Recchi’s tenure in the bleu, blanc et rouge was a bit of a purgatory of mediocrity. What Recchi likes most about Gorton and Hughes is that they’re not willing to settle for that. They want to do this right and Recchi respects the courage to do so in the toughest hockey market in the world.
“I think it takes guts what they’re doing,” Recchi said. “They have a vision and they’re sticking to it and will stick to it. That’s why the future is bright there.”