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Canadiens Injuries

Canadiens Stephens Call-Up Is A Good News, Bad News Situation



Montreal canadiens prospect JOshua Roy

The Montreal Canadiens announced they have called up forward Mitchell Stephens from their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.

Stephens, 26, is enjoying yet another solid season in the AHL. He has three goals and nine assists in 16 games, but more importantly, he’s a stabilizing presence in a very young Rocket lineup that is currently undergoing more ebbs than flows.

On that note, some may suggest that Joshua Roy was overlooked, but considering Stephens’ track record in Laval, his promotion is well-deserved.

In addition, this allows Roy to keep ironing out the details of his game in the minors.

After a red-hot start to his AHL career that saw him earn 12 points in his first six games, Roy has cooled considerably. He’s been kept off the scoresheet in the last four games, which is perfectly normal for a young player acclimatizing to professional hockey. What’s more, most athletes take two or three years to adapt to the physical demands involved in a complete season.

For a management group that has made a few questionable decisions regarding the development of prospects, allowing Roy a chance to thrive without the added pressure of playing in Montreal is a wise decision.

He’ll make it to the NHL, eventually, but for now, he still has things to learn in the AHL.

Other Side Of The Centre Coin

Slowing down Roy’s ascension to the NHL is a smart call, but Stephens’ call-up also suggests Alex Newhook will miss some time.

Newhook was involved in two different plays that forced him to the locker room on Thursday night. The first incident could have resulted in a severe injury, but Newhook returned to the ice shortly afterward.

The second play, which forced Newhook out of the game, took place in the Panthers’ defensive zone. The speedy skater collided violently with the net, needing help to get to the locker room as he could not put any pressure on his foot.

Anyone who’s played hockey can attest to the pain involved when your foot takes the brunt of the impact in a collision. The Canadiens have not announced any time frame for his recovery, likely because they’re waiting for the swelling to go down before they can come to a proper diagnosis.

But the mere fact that the Montreal Canadiens called up a centre points to yet another serious injury.