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Canadiens Slafkovsky & St-Louis Discuss Approach Next Season



Montreal Canadiens Juraj Slafkovsky

Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St-Lous is taking a measured approach when discussing the expectations for forward Juraj Slafkosvky.

“I know there’s a lot of expectation,” said St-Louis. “But he’s got to have fun, so for us, we want to help him out as much as we can in a timely fashion but while we do that, we got to be careful of killing his passion because he loves the game.”

Slafkovsky played just 39 games last season, scoring four goals and six assists in the process. He missed a significant amount of the season due to an injury, not to mention a two-game suspension in November.

“If we ask too much, and kill his passion, when you kill somebody’s passion, they start getting bitter because they don’t like it anymore,” said St-Louis. “For us we have to tow that line of pushing him, make sure he’s having fun & not killing his passion”

St-Louis would never mention specific names, but his warning evokes memories of the situation that eventually arose between third-overall pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi and former general manager Marc Bergevin.

Kotkaniemi enjoyed a solid rookie season with the Habs, but quickly started to falter once his usage became inconsistent. After two disappointing seasons, he eventually signed an offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that would not put as much pressure on the young player, not to mention a city that has very little media coverage compared to Montreal.

Slafkovsky is a different person than Kotaniemi and tends to be overflowing with confidence, but he’s not immune to the type of pressure that comes with being a top pick in Montreal.

Fortunately, he had an opportunity to return home this summer, which allowed him to enjoy some of the creature comforts that most young players enjoy, such as mom’s home cooking.

He also had a chance to spend some time with his friends, which is always a boon from a mental health perspective.

Slafkovsky also trained with strobe technology this summer, a technique that should allow him to improve his hand-eye coordination, as well as his timing.

Some have suggested that Slafkovsky may start the season in the AHL with the Laval Rocket, but his head coach was quick to come to his defence.

“I’d be quite surprised if he didn’t start the season in Montreal,” said St-Louis.

Slafkovsky showed up to the annual charity golf tournament with a new look, one that involved losing a few pounds.

He didn’t confirm exactly how much weight he lost, but he did explain that he was feeling good, and was in great shape, an encouraging development for the 19-year-old, especially since he wants to earn more ice time with the Montreal Canadiens in the upcoming season.

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Kotkaniemi showed almost no effort to improve himself, as he is a mediocre talent compared to Slafkovsky. It took him 5 seasons to improve upon his rookie year and even then he showed next to nothing.

Derrek Cauchi

Slavkovsky should be given a chance to play right wing on the top line and forced to watch tape of Jagr, amongst others. He should be supported by veteran players who step in while he watches. If he can’t succeed there to some degree, he needs Laval time instead.


That would be fine, except he is a left winger


The way he was utilized last season would definitely be classified as “passion killing”. Hopefully management and coaches have learned some lessons from last year too. Slafkovsky isn’t the only one who needs to demonstrate growth. They do too.


LW, 2nd line with either Monahan or Dach at center(depending on whether they want Dach as the RW on the 1st line or center the 2nd line), Anderson on the RW