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Habs Mailbag: Trading For Dubois, 2023 Draft, Price’s Future



Montreal Canadiens trade target Dubois

Welcome back to another edition of the Canadiens Mailbag!

I won’t bore you with a long preamble, because I already ranted at length about the Beach Boys in the final answer of this mailbag.

This week, we cover the Pierre-Luc Dubois dossier, the 2023 Entry Draft, defensive prospects, and much more.

Let’s dive right into it.


As Elliotte Friedman mentioned yesterday, the Winnipeg Jets are running out of leverage when it comes to players like Pierre-Luc Dubois.

However, he also mentioned other teams have shown interest in acquiring him on a short-term basis, even if it’s clear Dubois wants to play in Montreal.

This means the Jets should be looking for a healthy return from one of those teams, but I don’t think they can ask for much from the Canadiens.

In my opinion, the 17th overall pick would be a very fair return given the circumstances. But if the Jets balk at that offer, you simply sit tight until next summer and wait to see if Dubois really wants to play in Montreal.

There’s no point in selling the farm if he genuinely wants to play in Montreal.

I’ve heard a lot of things.

First, the word on the street was that the Canadiens did not like Matvei Michkov, and thus, would not draft him regardless if he’s available at fifth overall.

And then, shortly afterward, I heard the exact opposite.

I guess the lesson here is that the word on the street is fairly useless.

Personally, I think it would be incredibly foolish to pass on a player with Michkov’s talent. He’d be the first-overall pick in many Draft years, the Canadiens can’t afford to pass up on him.

The team needs high-end talent, too. It’s their greatest need.

Matvei fits the bill.

They shouldn’t galaxy-brain the decision. Pick the most talented player available. It rarely backfires.

But when you start assigning intangible value to these prospects, things often go haywire.


Unless they reach the Conference Final, the Florida Panthers draft pick, which belongs to the Canadiens, is locked in at 17th overall. They qualified with the lowest number of points and thus will be given the best draft pick of all teams in the playoffs.

The question is “The Canadiens’ second 1st-round pick (Florida’s) plus Arber Xhekaj in exchange for the 9th, 10th, or 11th overall pick, to draft David Reinbacher, who says no? The Canadiens can add another pick (second or third-round) if it’s not enough.”

I like this question because the upcoming Draft is the type of event that will force teams to move, seeing as there’s a bevy of talented players available.

And for some reason, NHL teams tend to struggle when it comes to Draft pick value.

To get a better idea, from a purely mathematical standpoint, I refer to Michael Schucker’s paper that evaluated the impact of picks in a decade and assigned them a numerical value.

In this case, the equation would be as follows:

Canadiens trade: 17th overall pick (value: 395), for the 9th overall pick (596), the 10th overall pick (565), or the 11th overall pick (535).

As you can see in Schucker’s chart, the value in picks decreases significantly once you drop out of the top 12.

Arber Xhekaj may be enough to convince a team to move, but I don’t think he holds the type of value to make up for the gap. To sweeten the pot, which is often necessary for these situations, a second-round pick, which holds a value of 217 if the Canadiens end up staying put at the Draft lottery, would have to be involved in the deal.

So, mathematically speaking, you offered a perfectly acceptable deal and included a roster player, which would pique the interest of many general managers.

Well done. Seriously, it’s rare people will present fair offers on Twitter.

As for the actual question, I’m not sure who would say no, but I do know that the offer you put in place would warrant some serious consideration by the teams drafting 9th through 11th.

If we’re talking about prospects that aren’t currently playing in the NHL, my answer has to be Lane Hutson. He needs to shore up his defensive positioning, but he clearly has all the tools necessary to eventually blossom into a top-pairing player. He’s not there yet, though.

To get a better idea of his current form, check out what Draft Experts had to say about his freshman season in the NCAA.

An honourable mention goes out to Adam Engstrom.

I’m sure some will suggest Logan Mailloux, but for now, I don’t think that’s realistic. His decision-making simply isn’t up to snuff, but there’s time to work on it.

As for players that have played professional hockey, I think it comes down to either Kaiden Guhle or Jordan Harris, however, I will give the edge to Harris.

Why? Because he’s one of the smartest players on the ice at all times, and I believe a cerebral approach leads to big minutes in the NHL. That’s not to say Guhle doesn’t have what it takes. He’ll likely make me look foolish (or more foolish than usual) in the near future, but I simply can’t ignore Harris’ hockey IQ. His underlying numbers this season were also quite excellent, which bodes well for his future responsibilities with the Canadiens.

I would sit tight and see what Montembeault can do in another season in which he isn’t battling injuries. Basically, I want to know if last season was a fluke, or whether it signalled his ascension as a legitimate starter in the NHL.

If it works out, you may have your goalie for the next few seasons, and if not, it’ll lead to another great Draft pick.

And in the meantime, I would keep my eye out for some goaltending prospects that fell through the cracks in other organizations.

It’s a little too early to produce a lineup, but we can expect a significant uptick in talent in the AHL.

Canadiens prospects such as Emil Heineman, Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Sean Farrel, Jared Davidson, and perhaps even Filip Mesar could feature in the lineup, playing big roles for a team that will hopefully be led by high-end prospects for the first time since it moved to Laval.

I’m particularly excited to see what a player like Davidson can do when he’s facing better players than his usual CHL competition. He’s been excellent for the Seattle Thunderbirds, but is it simply because he’s playing against younger opponents? Time will tell.


I don’t want to speak for him, but my impression of Carey Price is that he’s a person who is blessed with high-end athletic skills but prefers to spend his time in the forest, either hunting or fishing.

And I have to say, I get it. Frankly, I’d rather be hunting or fishing as well.

I don’t think he wants to get involved in a full-time position, though a consultant job may be in the cards.

This is going to shock you, but I really enjoy hunting and fishing. I could spend 36 hours on a boat if the walleye are biting. People pay a ton to go on vacation in the South, and I get it, but personally, I find peace by floating into a lake, far away from any other human. It’s my happy place.

I’m also annoyingly lucky when it comes to fishing. I’ve avoided being snakebit during every single fishing expedition throughout my life. I still use a rod that I bought for cheap about 15 years ago at Canadian Tire.

Much like myself, it ain’t pretty, but it’s effective. I’ve hooked thousands of fish with that low-quality rod while my buddies struggle to catch one fish with an $800 rod and a $500 reel.

But other than getting lost in the forest in a desperate attempt to get away from all the noise that comes with living in Montreal, I genuinely look forward to the scheduled reunions we have planned every summer.

About 10-15 of my friends from high school get together two or three times per year. It’s a great opportunity to catch up, laugh like idiots, and talk about life.

I’m incredibly lucky to have such a solid group of friends that I have known for almost 40 years, and spending time with them does wonders for my mental health.

Also, once per summer, I head to Smith’s Falls to work at the farm. Whether it’s fixing a roof, slaughtering animals, or installing new fence posts, I just want to get my hands dirty with hard work.

It’s tiring, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

And it’s a good reminder that our food doesn’t just magically appear at the grocery store. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. A lesson many people should learn, in my opinion.


The first time I was lucky enough to hear the Beach Boys was in 1994, shortly after the Canadiens won their 24th Stanley Cup.

I was left to my own devices when it came to, well, most things, including music, and it was really a matter of trial and error when it came to finding the style I enjoyed most.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. But other than Burt Bacharach, Jacques Brel, and Les Compagnons De La Chanson, which got little to no airtime unless we were in a car, I had no musical influences growing up.

One thing that really helped back in my day was purchasing movie soundtracks. They contained a variety of musical styles, which gave you a sneak peek of various bands and their sound.

At that time I was lucky enough to put my hands on the Forest Gump soundtrack. I’m fairly certain I got a copy of a CD, but it may have been a cassette, I can’t remember.

Regardless, it ended up being the biggest influence on my musical taste for the rest of my life.

Other than Elvis Presley, who opens up the soundtrack with ‘Hound Dog’, I hadn’t heard of the rest of the artists listed. And frankly, Elvis’ music was never my favourite. I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why he was so popular.

Once the soundtrack reached the seventh song on the first CD, a tune called ‘Fortunate Son‘ by a band called Creedence Clearwater Revival, I knew I had found something that spoke directly to my soul.

A few tracks later, a song called ‘Sloop John B’ by the Beach Boys played, and I was blown away. It was the harmonies that really hooked me. I had never heard that type of arrangement, and it led to me playing it over, and over, and over, and, well, you get the point.

A couple of tracks later, I heard “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, and it was official, I knew what kind of music I truly loved.

“There’s battle lines being drawn,Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.Young people speaking their minds,Getting so much resistance from behind.”

I wanted to know what the song meant because there was clearly an important underlying message that I was missing. And thus, I learned about the Vietnam War, which led me to study almost every major conflict in recorded history.

In a way, the Forest Gump soundtrack is why I always aced history tests.

On that note, I really didn’t get into the Beach Boys at the time, except for overplaying Sloop John B. In my mind, they were a bubblegum band that had a few good songs.

It wasn’t until half a decade later, when I entered high school, that I learned about more Beach Boys songs. My good friend, Johnathan, bought a CD called “Pet Sounds”, and I’m fairly certain I borrowed it and never gave it back. John, if you’re reading this, I owe you one scratched copy of Pet Sounds.

At that point, I loved The Beatles but had never given the Beach Boys much of a chance.

Pet Sounds changed everything, and I now consider it one of the best albums ever recorded.

On that note, let’s finally get to my top 5 Beach Boys songs.

5. Sail On Sailor

I’m a sucker for anything that starts with piano/organ/moog, and Sail On Sailor had me hooked from the first note. It’s a little more funky than most of their stuff and I loved Blondie Chaplin’s vocals. It’s just an all-around fantastic tune to play at the beach.

4. Sloop John B

Shoutout to the Kingston Trio for also performing a beautifully harmonized version of the Bahamian folk song.

3. Good Vibrations

Again, it was the arrangements. Brian Wilson’s vocals are… otherworldly.

I don’t know where but she sends me there,” is one of the best lines in music history, not to mention the fantastic tempo change that takes place a few seconds later. The theremin bringing it home is just the cherry on top of the happiness sundae.

Good Vibrations is the epitome of musical genius.

Brian Wilson, we salute you.

2. Trombone Dixie

I can’t explain why this became one of my favourite songs. It wasn’t popular, it never got any airtime, and there are no vocals. It’s just a cool tune. I love it.

1. Here Today

One of the greatest songs, full stop.

You’ve got to keep in mind love is here today,

And it’s gone tomorrow

(A hat tip goes out to “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times“, another favourite of mine.)

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