(Brossard) Michael Pezzetta thinks he is capable of playing in this league, and soon he will find out if his bosses think the same of him.
There are only three games left in this interminable season for the Canadiens, and for some players, it may be time to try to get noticed, a little more, hoping that it will be enough for September and 2023-24.
At 25, Pezzetta is one of those who hang on. Of those who hope.
“I think I’ve proven that I can play in this league, that I can contribute,” the forward explained to Brossard on Friday morning. I’m obviously the only one here who plays this style of game, and I can play where I’m going to be asked. My style of play is tough, physical, with a lot of energy, and I think a team needs that. It’s not necessary to have five guys like that, but every club needs at least a guy or two like that, who can play with energy. I have demonstrated that I can do this. »
In his second season with the Canadiens, his first full in the NHL, the forward has certainly reminded his bosses that he is capable of lighting fires, that he is capable of meeting the most unpleasant customers in this league. – Thursday night against Tom Wilson, among others – in addition to recalling that he is able to put points on the board on occasion. He has 6 goals and 7 assists in 60 games this season.
But will that be enough? The Canadiens’ next training camp, in September, already promises to be crowded with all these attackers who will be present…
“I’ve spoken with Martin [St-Louis], but it’s not like he’s walking around here already revealing his plans for next season,” he added. I need a new contract, and that will be up to management to decide…”
In this regard, the principal concerned explains that he is not really involved in the discussions, that his agent and the management will “probably” have discussions once the season is over. He earned a salary of US$750,000 this season.
But he is confident about the future.
“I think I’ve become a much better player…it was tough having to come out of training at the start of the season, it was a bit hard on morale. But I think I imposed myself around the middle of the season and then until now.
“I can play more minutes in a game now, and I’ve been effective in my role, I’m not a nuisance on the ice. So I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, and I’ll try to finish the season strong in the last three games. »
The first of these last three games will take place Saturday night in Toronto, with a meeting against the Maple Leafs. It’s getting late, yes, but the 2016 Canadiens sixth-round pick believes his story has only just begun.
“I think I’m getting better every season, and another summer of training is going to get me even better,” he said Friday. I know that I will be able to continue to progress…”
The Canadiens announced Friday morning that goaltender Cayden Primeau and defender Corey Schueneman have been traded to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League. However, this could be a very temporary measure, because if you do the math, there are only five healthy defensemen left with the Canadiens at the moment, while veteran goaltender Jake Allen, injured, has did not take part in Friday’s optional practice in Brossard. It is therefore not impossible that Primeau and Schueneman will be called up again for Saturday night’s game in Toronto.