(Saint-Jean) General Manager Kent Hughes recently said the Canadian Montreal players are gradually trying to make up for the leadership shortfall caused by the absences of Shea Webber and Carrie Price for extended periods in the winter.
Posted at 10:35 a.m.
Goalkeeper Jake Allen admits the captain’s absence and the face of the franchise created a void in the locker room last season. But although the Canadian officially cut ties with Webber by trading his contract with the Vegas Golden Knights last week and Price’s future is uncertain, Allen is not worried about history repeating itself next season. Instead, he believes everything is in place for the Habs to develop a winning culture.
“I only played one season with Shea, but you can tell right away that he was the alpha male. He’s exactly what everyone imagines: a true leader. It’s part of his nature,” Allen told the Canadian press earlier this week after appearing at a conference at the Cup. Memorial.
“It was a difficult season without him. He added that you can see that we needed to lead him at times. Other players filled the void. I was really impressed, especially by guys like Galli. [Brendan Gallagher]Suzy [Nick Suzuki| et [Jeff] run out. »
Price also missed most of the campaign, only returning to play in mid-April and making do with five outings. Although he was able to spend more time in the team’s entourage during his rehabilitation, his absence from matches clearly created a void.
“He doesn’t have a C on his shirt, but when you think of the Montreal Canadiens, you think of Carrie Price,” Allen said. He has this poise that you can’t teach or instill. He is a leader, a very good person, and a very good fellow.
“Again, it was tough without him last season. He is someone you will look to to stabilize the ship.”
Hughes has said several times since his appointment that he would like to appoint a new captain before the start of next season.
The names Suzuki, Gallagher and Joel Edmundson are those that most often appear in discussions in public forums.
“I think a lot of people learned from Alchi. Nick is obviously one of those people, but he’s still young and it will depend on which direction he goes. [Hughes] Allen indicated that he wanted to give to the club. We have a lot of good leaders. truly. »
Allen noted that many players spoke through tough times last winter, so there are plenty of candidates for the captain’s role.
“But I think it would be important to have someone steer the ship now that Xia is officially gone,” he insisted.
Allen also said the management’s new top three — Hughes, Vice President of Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton and Head Coach Martin St. Louis — brought a breath of fresh air to the organization.
He noted the infectious positive energy of St. Louis, and how quickly the Hall of Famer gained players’ trust. Allen also spoke about the little things the management has done that the band appreciates.
“They have made some of the resources more accessible and they are open to our ideas,” Allen said. They are not afraid to ask us what we think, what we need, and what could be done better.
“I think it’s a sign that we’re heading in the right direction,” he added.
Allen was asked to comment on comments made by Hughes on 91.9 FM on May 4. Then he said, should Price not return next season: “We don’t have one yet among our goalkeepers who has shown year after year that he is No. 1”.
The 31-year-old New Brunswick goalkeeper has yet to catch his eye from the comments, but it appears he hasn’t been shaken by them.
“You know what, I don’t tag goalkeepers these days because there are so many good goalkeepers in the league,” Allen said. In nine seasons in the league, I’ve learned that you have to work and prepare to play. »
Allen said he wants Bryce back to good health and is ready to go back to the extra chair if asked.
“I am really looking forward to next season because of the second half of the season. I think that was energizing everyone,” Allen said. “If I have to play a lot, I will play a lot. If I have to play a little, I will play a little. Alright. I am happy with my last season, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue building on it.”
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