The photos, released a few days apart, were highly symbolic.

In the first, we see the 22-year-old star of the Canadiens, Cole Caufield, perhaps the next 50-goal scorer in Montreal, feasting on the sidelines of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal with some young NHL stars, Jack Hughes. , Trevor Zegras and Pierre-Luc Dubois, among others… without forgetting P. K. Subban.

In the second, published this morning by Carey Price’s wife, Angela, a group of neighbours, including Paul Byron, greet the small family whose day it is to move from the South Shore of Montreal, to return to the Canadian West Coast.

For almost fifteen years, this club has revolved around its goalkeeper. The identity of the team was strengthened with the arrival of Marc Bergevin in 2012. He built a strong defense to better protect his jewel.

The CH had better times under the Price era than under the reign of captain Saku Koivu, between 1996 and 2009. Poor Koivu held the fort as best he could, but he was the victim of many decisions harmful to the organization.

With Price as number one keeper, the CH have made the playoffs eight times in eleven seasons. We exclude the 2015-2016 season where he played only 12 games.

Montreal reached the semi-finals with him in 2014 and might have even made the final if Chris Kreider hadn’t screwed up the jewel’s knee in the conference final. Price and the CH reached the final in 2021 and won a round in 2015. A very favorable result overall.

But there haven’t been any great offensive teams during Price’s reign. The Canadiens topped the top ten in goals scored just once in eleven years, during the shortened season, and finished 15th or worse nine times and 20th or worse five times.

There have only been four scorers of 30 or more between 2010 and 2021, Max Pacioretty five times, Erik Cole, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Tyler Toffoli would have joined them if the season hadn’t been cut short in 2021. Only one player has reached 70 or more points, Max Domi, in 2018-19.

Price is going home this week. The team’s two highest earners, Nick Suzuki and Caufield, are 23 and under, unless you insist on counting Price’s salary, buried for the next three years on the long-disabled list. term.

Cole Caufield had 26 goals in just 46 games when he fell in action this winter. He would arguably have become the team’s first scorer of 40 or more goals since Vincent Damphousse in 1994. None have scored more than 50 since Stéphane Richer in 1990… 33 years ago!

Suzuki, even if some like to call him still a third center, has just obtained 66 points despite the loss of its regular wingers. He finished with almost 30 points more than the second in this chapter, Kirby Dach, deprived of about twenty meetings. Only Pacioretty and Domi have scored more points than him since 2010-11.

By signing long-term eight-year agreements with the Canadiens, one season apart, and by staying in Montreal for a good part of the summer, while welcoming colleagues from outside, Suzuki and Caufield have demonstrated that it was good for a young attacker to settle, and flourish, in the metropolis.

Adding to Suzuki and Caufield are Kirby Dach, Juraj Slafkovsky and possibly a forward drafted fifth overall next week. The new administration is also looking for mobile defenders, capable of supporting the attack.

If all goes well, we shouldn’t see the team falling behind offensively in the next few years.

It’s the best of both worlds for both parties. Sean Monahan has a year to prove his worth in an environment where he seemed comfortable before he got injured. The CH obtains for an additional season a striker who, before breaking his foot was one of the club’s offensive leaders with 17 points in 25 games, and for just under 2 million moreover.

The return of Sean Monahan does not close the door on the arrival of a Pierre-Luc Dubois, according to our information, but the obstacles hindering the arrival in Montreal of the Quebecer are numerous, among other things the salary required.

Monahan played on the wing or in the center at the start of the season last year. It would be surprising to see Kirby Dach pushed back to the flanks again, given his effectiveness in the middle in the second half of the season and what he means to the future of the club. Christian Dvorak would remain the third center and Jake Evans would be relegated to the fourth line.

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