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Canadiens Mailbag: NHL Trades, Monahan, Most Underrated Hab

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Montreal Canadiens defenceman Johnathan Kovacevic

Welcome to the inaugural Monday Habs Mailbag, which will serve as an opportunity to answer the most pressing issues facing the Montreal Canadiens.

Let’s jump right into it.

Mailloux

During his first dozen games, Mailloux coasted on his raw talent and physical maturity, which was incredibly worrying when evaluating his ability to transition his skill set in the NHL.

He won’t be able to overpower every opponent when playing professional hockey, nor will he be facing goaltenders that simply can’t keep up with his excellent shot.

But in recent games, Mailloux has shown a significant uptick in results in a few crucial areas, most notably, from a defensive point of view.

His positioning and gap control have been points of pride over the last stretch of games, and those improvements will be much more important than his scoring pace when it comes to earning a role in the NHL, or even the AHL.

Monahan

The Habs, as a whole, are missing Monahan.

Kent Hughes is without a player who serves as a conduit for offence regardless of who he plays with, which lowers the overall value of his players that are currently on the trade market.

Martin St-Louis is missing an above-average centre, one of only two on the roster, which has caused many issues for the Canadiens’ head coach, as he attempts to spread his limited talent throughout the lineup.

Not to mention, Monahan is virtually guaranteed to be moved at the deadline, and his recent injury throws cold water on his value.

As for the possibility of keeping him at the deadline, I’d suggest the odds are as close to zero as possible.

There are so few quality centres on the trade market that Hughes will certainly want to take advantage of the leverage provided by the scarcity of talent.

First Trip To The Cathedral

First off, I’m beyond happy for you.

When I was working for the Canadiens during their Stanley Cup final run, I was lucky enough to witness several fathers and daughters enjoy their first taste of Habs glory together.

It was the start of a lifelong love story with the greatest franchise in hockey, and an important bond between parent and child that will serve them well as their children navigate the choppy waters of life.

So, here’s the lowdown on making her trip special.

I’d suggest eating before entering the arena. There’s a McDonald’s nearby, as well as a grocery store if that’s more your speed. The food at the Bell Centre is mediocre, at best, and quite expensive.

If she is interested in meeting the Canadiens players as they drive into the Bell Centre, you can show up early at the Saint-Antoine parking garage entrance. Players usually start to arrive around 3 or 4 PM local time, and they will sign a couple of autographs on most days.

If you hang around past 4, you’ll probably witness head coach Martin St-Louis arrives with his trusty backpack in tow. St-Louis usually takes the time to say hi to the fans and take pictures.

Your idea of bribing players with food is the epitome of a great game plan. Especially since Allen will surely recognize the source of the food, as he’s a proud New Brunswicker.

You can make a sign before entering the game to catch his attention, and I’d suggest mentioning you’re coming from his province somewhere on the sign.

During warmups the Canadiens always allow young fans to get a front-row seat to the pre-game festivities, but it’s a first-come, first-served system.

So head there early to get a good spot.

There are a ton of trinkets available at Tricolore Sports, and some of them are reasonable. I found that most kids tend to gravitate toward the Youppi! plush doll.

If you take a walk around the 100 level, you can find Youppi!’s corner and a few other activities for children, including a mock locker room.

There’s even an escape room option, though I heard the experience was expensive, and mediocre at best, not to mention it’s geared toward adults rather than children.

But more than anything, it will be a special experience, regardless of how much money you spend or how many Canadiens shrines you visit.

She’ll surely have a million questions, and as you try to remember why it’s called a Zamboni, you’ll be forging a link that will last a lifetime.

Have fun and don’t worry about making it special.

Even without all the bells and whistles, it’ll be very special for both of you.

NHL Trade Market

No.

Underrated Hab

For a while, I would have suggested Jake Allen or Samuel Montembeault deserve the honour of being called the Canadiens’ most underrated player, but if we consider the entire season, there’s probably only one answer: Johnathan Kovacevic.

Not only does he produce some of the best underlying numbers on the team, but he’s also shown incredible consistency despite his lack of NHL experience.

Kovacevic isn’t a game-changing presence, but he’s a stabilizing presence, which is quite a boon for the coaching staff, especially when you consider how many rookies are in the lineup on any given night.

Also, tacos are great.

Agreed.

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habbernack

There are few quality centers in the NHL. Do the Habs need quality centers for the next 3 years so the center prospects can develop?. Should they trade Sean will they have to trade for another center to replace him. Are Nick, Dvorak, Drouin and Evans the answer for the next 3 years so the team can DEVELOP a winning attitude or just go on struggling until the prospects develop?

Tyrone

Drouin is a UFA, so he’s not going to be here next season.

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