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Canadiens Youngsters Receive Subtle Reward Due To Quality Play



Montreal Canadiens prospect rafael harvey pinard

Out of all the Montreal Canadiens’ recent call-ups, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Justin Barron are the two that have impressed the most, and they’re being rewarded for it in a subtle way.

The Canadiens are still in the middle of a very tight roster crunch, meaning that, although Joel Armia and Jonathan Drouin are set to return after the NHL All-Star break, they’ll still be short a few bodies.

The Canadiens were at 22 players on their active roster before Tuesday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators, but proceeded to reassign Jesse Ylönen and Alex Belzile to the Laval Rocket.

They couldn’t send any more players down to the minors due to the NHL’s roster criteria, which requires NHL clubs to have a minimum of 20 healthy players on their active rosters at all times; even during breaks.

That meant that the Montreal Canadiens made the conscious decision to keep Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Justin Barron on the main roster over other players during Montreal’s 10-day break.

It may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but for young hockey players, it makes a big difference, especially when it comes to their paychecks.


An NHL player’s salary is calculated on a daily basis, similar to each NHL team’s salary cap, meaning that every day is a good day to be on an NHL roster.

Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Justin Barron earn $825,000 and $925.000, respectively, when they’re on the Montreal Canadiens roster.

With the NHL calendar spread over 184 working days, each day a player spends on a team’s active roster, they get a significant boost in pay compared to their minor-league salary.

For example, Harvey-Pinard and Barron make $70,000 and $80,000, respectively, in a season playing for the Laval Rocket. Thus, during the 10-day break the Canadiens commenced between February 1 and 11, both players are set to earn over half their minor-league salary ($44,000 and $50,271, respectively).

It may not seem like much, but it’s a subtle reward for two youngsters that have worked hard this season to prepare for an eventual call-up to the NHL.

Encouraging Signs

For Harvey-Pinard, he’ll take the boost in pay for sure, but he’s focused on upping his pay scale on a more permanent basis.

The diminutive winger has won over the Montreal Canadiens faithful with his relentless effort and never-say-die attitude.

The 24-year-old has put all the odds in his favour during his seven-game call-up, registering an impressive five goals and one assist for six points during that time.

He’s proving to be a versatile player; being used regularly on the penalty kill by Martin St-Louis; who also rewarded his young winger by having him out on the ice to end the game.

It’s a great sign of things to come for Harvey-Pinard, who’s right on the cusp of achieving his dream of becoming an everyday NHL player.

Justin Barron has also eased himself into a regular role on the Canadiens’ blueline over the last month, and has looked especially comfortable over the last few weeks.

Playing with much more assurance in all three zones, Barron has been much more dangerous in transition and in the offensive zone.

He’s trusting his shot much more than he did last season, and is now routinely being used on the second power wave due to his mobility and offensive instincts.

He’s shown better defensive tendencies as well since his call-up, buying into head coach Martin St-Louis’ desire to be more aggressive in coverage and keep players out of the high-danger area.

There’s still much to work on, but the steady progression since starting the season has been noticeable.

His solid play in the AHL this season earned him an invite to the AHL All-Star Classic, which is taking place in Laval on February 6 and 7. However, he will now be unable to attend, given the fact that the Canadiens decided to keep him up with the team a while longer.

It’s an easy trade-off for Barron, who looks to be one step closer to becoming a regular NHL defenceman.

*All financial numbers taken from Puckpedia.

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