IceCaps Hockey Report Interviews Canadiens Defenceman Greg Pateryn [VIDEO]

by Amy Johnson, Video Editor/Producer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

Greg Pateryn (Photo by Rick Stephens | Rocket Sports Media)

WILKES-BARRE, PA. — The Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps are currently on a six-game road trip through Pennsylvania. The IceCaps have one game remaining with the Hershey Bears on Saturday. You can read full reports for each game here.

The IceCaps Hockey Report | All Habs Hockey Magazine team was onsite in Wilkes-Barre as the IceCaps played the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the second of their two-game series.

Greg Pateryn played in both games against the Penguins after being sent to the IceCaps on what was called a two-week conditioning stint. Pateryn told our crew that he would be returning to the Canadiens on Sunday.

Following Friday night’s action, IceCaps defenceman Greg Pateryn kindly spent a few minutes with our team to talk about the game and his season.

The interview is below.

Press release

26 Player Roster for Canadiens Rookie Camp

Canadiens announce rookie camp details

(Photo by
(Photo by

St. John’s IceCaps PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL (September 1st, 2015) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that 26 players will participate in the team’s rookie camp from September 11-16. The Club will participate in a rookie tournament which will take place from September 11-13, in London, Ontario (99 Dundas Street, London, Ontario).

The tournament features rookie players from four NHL clubs; the Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Each team will play three games in three days.

You can find the full roster below.

Among the 26 players to participate in the rookie camp, there will be 15 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. Sixteen (16) players at camp are Canadiens draft selections, including three of the five players selected by Montreal at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Twenty-three (23) of the 26 players also took part in the Canadiens’ development camp last July.

St. John’s IceCaps coaching staff led by head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, along with Donald Dufresne, Vincent Riendeau and Nick Carrière will handle coaching responsibilities for games and practices.

Schedule – Canadiens 2015 Rookie Camp / Tournament
Friday, September 11: 9:30 a.m. Practice (London); 4 p.m. Game vs Pittsburgh (London)
Saturday, September 12: 11:30 a.m. Practice (London); 7:35 p.m. Game vs Toronto (London)
Sunday, September 13: 8:30 a.m. Practice (London); 4 p.m. Game vs Ottawa (London)
Monday, September 14: Day Off
Tuesday, September 15: 10:30 a.m. Practice (Bell Sports Complex – Brossard)
Wednesday, September 16: 10:30 a.m. Practice (Bell Sports Complex – Brossard)


Habs Prospects Ready to Make the Jump

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report


ST. JOHN’S, NL. — The Montreal Canadiens were the healthiest team in the NHL in 2014-15 with the fewest Man Games Lost at 88 (team reported.) By contrast, the Columbus Blue Jackets topped the list with a whopping 508 Man Games Lost. Given the low number of injuries we saw typical Hamilton callups like Christian Thomas, Sven Andrighetto, Jarred Tinordi and Greg  Pateryn. It was good to see Pateryn, Nathan Beaulieu and Jacob De La Rose earning their keep playing big minutes in the Habs playoff run.

We can only hope for similar luck in 2015-16, but in case it doesn’t happen Bergevin definitely feels comfortable with the pieces in the system. This year the organization has an exciting crop of young guys waiting for their chance to make a jump, whether that be from junior to the pros, or the AHL to the NHL.

Michael McCarron

McCarron was drafted 25th overall by the Habs in 2013. Bergevin had visions of the 6-foot-6-inch, 230 pound ‘man-child’ meeting Milan Lucic at centre ice while making the Habs a much tougher team to play against. Times change, the NHL continues to get faster, and the Bruins have lost some of their edge with Dougie Hamilton and Lucic heading west in separate draft day deals.

McCarron still remains an interesting prospect because of his development. This time last year Habs fans heard whispers of “bust,” a word rarely used before a player even leaves junior. In his first year with the London Knights, McCarron struggled to find the back of the net. This year he found his touch playing with speedy playmakers like Max Domi and Mitch Marner. Unfortunately, due to politics by USA Hockey (they aren’t fond of American players who choose the CHL as a development path), for the second straight year McCarron was snubbed from the US Junior Camp.

Meanwhile a trade was in the works to move McCarron to the Oshawa Generals. McCarron didn’t see the same production in Oshawa, but remained close to a point per game player. More impressively, McCarron was counted on to play major minutes at the center position for the eventual Memorial Cup winners while impressing scouts with his ability to shut down top guys on opposing teams on a big stage. Once again Bergevin drools over the prospect of having a big body up the middle, something we’ve lacked in Hab land since, well, since McCarron was born.

Ceiling – Two-way center, potential 20-goal scorer. Think Brian Boyle 2.0
Floor – John Scott, look out Phil Kessel.

Nikita Scherbak

Without a doubt the flashiest player on this list with the apparent highest ceiling, Nikita Scherbak was drafted 26th overall by the Canadiens in 2014. After coming into the Canadiens camp at 6-foot-1-inch, 175 pounds last fall, Scherbak made noise this year growing an inch and adding another 25 pounds to his now 6-foot-2-inch frame. His wide skating stance and creativity with the puck had comparisons to another young Hab of Russian descent, No. 27.

In junior, Scherbak came to Canada to prove his commitment to playing in the NHL, as a part of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades in 2013-14; he led all rookies in scoring with 78 points in 65 games, and followed it up with a modest 82 points in 65 games with Everett this past season. Nikita figures to compete in camp for a top-6 role on the big club, with potential to show his worth following news of Max Pacioretty missing most of the preseason (knee injury). With that said, following the recent Alexander Semin signing it is more likely he will spend some time with the St. John’s IceCaps this upcoming fall and before cracking the Habs lineup sometime in 2015-16.

Ceiling – Perennial 60+ point scoring winger.
Floor – Somewhere in Russia.

Charles Hudon

Drafted by the Canadiens 122nd overall in 2012, Hudon has spent his hockey career under the radar. In junior, he made Team Canada in 2012, just to suffer a back injury in the pre-tournament games and missed the tournament. The following year he was selected to play for Canada again, registering a couple points, but never really standing out. His junior career was highlighted scoring 273 points in 235 games, but his 5-foot-10-inch, 180 pound frame never considered to carry over to the NHL.

Last year with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Hudon was off to an incredible pace, leading the AHL in scoring with 27 points through 25 games as a 20-year old. However everything slowed down with just 30 points in his final 50 games. It is important to note that Hudon was a winger throughout junior, and was asked to play center position by the Hamilton coaching staff. It is yet to be seen if Hudon will ever become a bonafide NHL’er, but it appears that he will at least be given a chance, and is a current favourite to take over the vacant top-6 spot for the Habs; that is so long as the next prospect doesn’t have anything to say about it.

Ceiling – 40-50 point guy, 2nd-3rd line. Derek Roy.
Floor – Gabriel Dumont, career AHLer.

Daniel Carr

An unlikely hero in last year’s regular season, he was a bright spot on an inconsistent Hamilton Bulldogs team. Carr led all AHL rookies in scoring with 24 goals, and found chemistry with  Hudon. He spent four years at Union College, New York in NCAA Divison I. Scoring 78 goals in 160 college games, he helped bring Union College its first National Championship in school history.

Carr is a bit of a wildcard for the Habs, however they lost nothing by signing him as an undrafted free agent, and have been pleased by his development under Sylvain Lefebvre. Much like his line-mate from last season, he will by vying for that top-6 position in camp this September. The Habs’ brass hopes he proves to be a diamond in the rough for a team who may be depending on Alex Semin to address the lack of scoring. Bergevin and company have been adamant about the potential of a young player rising to the occasion and Carr figures to be just the type of guy they are looking for.

Ceiling – Brad Boyes, 30 goal threat.
Floor – Jason Jaffray, career AHL’er.

Zachary Fucale

The only thing more jammed up than Carey’s starter role is his trophy case back in Kelowna, BC. Because of this, Fucale is likely the furthest away from a Habs debut on this list, barring an injury to Mr. Price (let’s not go there.) Fucale will be fighting for a roster spot on the IceCaps with fan favourite Eddie Pasquale, who led the IceCaps (as part of the Jets organization) to a conference final and Calder Cup Final in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Along with the return of incumbent starter Mike Condon, Fucale now finds himself in a predicament. After shattering records for goaltending in the QMJHL, Fucale will get his first taste of the Pro’s this fall.

Fucale was the beneficiary of playing behind one of the greatest junior lineups in the last decade with players such as Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Martin Frk, and more recently Nikolaj Ehlers and Timo Meier. He found himself traded to the 2015 Memorial Cup Host Quebec Remparts following his Gold for team Canada in Toronto this past January (his second kick at the cat as starter for Team Canada). The QMJHL has always given goalies the benefit of the doubt as a high scoring league with no defence, so Fucale’s stats were never considered to be an issue. His calm and sometimes cocky demeanor had scouts comparing him to No. 31 for Le Bleu Blanc et Rouge. The pedigree is there for Fucale, but it’s yet to be seen if he can follow through with the IceCaps this year or perhaps the organization deems it more valuable for him to gather more starting minutes with the Brampton Beast of the ECHL. Best case scenario for the Habs is he becomes the Schneider to Carey’s Luongo in 4-5 years.

Ceiling – Franchise No. 1 Starter, Potential trade bait or successor.
Floor – Justin Pogge anyone?

Ice Caps Hockey Report is a sister site to All Habs Hockey Magazine
Published by Rocket Sports Media, Inc.

Press release

Montreal Canadiens Purchase AHL Franchise, OHL Bulls to Hamilton


Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)
Photo by Hamilton Bulldogs)

Hamilton Bulldogs Media Release

HAMILTON, ONT. – Hamilton Bulldogs Owner Michael Andlauer announced today the official sale of the American Hockey League (AHL) franchise to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Montreal Canadiens which will take place at the conclusion of the 2014-15 AHL season. Andlauer also announced the purchase of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Belleville Bulls who will be relocated to Hamilton and renamed the Bulldogs for the start of the 2015-16 season.

“I want to thank my partner Geoff Molson, Marc Bergevin and the rest of the Montreal Canadiens organization not only for the great crop of prospects that we have groomed here in Hamilton over the last 11 years, but also for facilitating the relocation of their AHL team to St. John’s to make this possible,” said Andlauer. “Memories like the Calder Cup championship in 2007 and the Outdoor Classic game in 2012 are permanently entrenched in our minds and won’t soon be forgotten.”

Andlauer added, “I want to thank AHL President and CEO David Andrews for expediting this transaction and accommodating these moves in such a short time frame. I also owe OHL commissioner David Branch and the league’s board of governors a great deal of gratitude for entrusting Hamilton and our community as a new player in the league. This transition today allows us to move forward with a more permanent solution for our fans and an answer to the long-term health of hockey in Hamilton. We’re very excited about joining the OHL for the 2015-16 season.”

“Michael Andlauer is well known for his commitment to both the game and the community, and we welcome him to the OHL family,” said David Branch, Commissioner of the OHL. “Hamilton has a long and storied history in junior hockey and we look forward to building on this tradition starting next season.”

The City of Hamilton has a rich history of major junior hockey and will return to the OHL for the first time since the Dukes of Hamilton departed for Guelph in 1991. Former Hamilton major junior teams include the Whizzers (OHA) – 1942-43, Majors (OHA) – 1943-44, Lloyds (OHA) – 1945-46, Szabos (OHA) – 1946-47, Tiger Cubs (OHA) – 1953 to 1960, Red Wings (OHA) – 1960 to 1974, Fincups (OMJHL) – 1974 to 1976 & 1977-78, Steelhawks (OHL) – 1984 to 1988, and Dukes of Hamilton (OHL) – 1989 to 1991.

The Red Wings (1961-62) and Fincups (1975-76) each won the Robertson Cup as OHL Champions and went on to win the Memorial Cup in their respective seasons. Hamilton teams were also league finalists on four occasions (1958, 67, 75 and 78). Hamilton co-hosted the Memorial Cup in 1962 along with Guelph and Kitchener. The City also hosted the 1990 Memorial Cup at FirstOntario Centre (formerly known as Copps Coliseum). The highest attended game in Memorial Cup history to date remains the final game of that tournament between the Kitchener Rangers and Oshawa Generals (17,383) despite the lack of presence of a host team.

Notable players that played junior hockey in Hamilton include: Larry Hillman, Larry Jeffrey, Brian Kilrea, Murray Oliver, Pat Quinn, Paul Henderson, Pat Hickey, Rick Kehoe, Peter Mahovlich, Bob Manno, Pit Martin, Dale McCourt, Jim Rutherford, Jim Schoenfeld, Ric Seiling, Ron Wilson, Gaston Gingras, Willie Huber, Al Jensen, Al Secord, Rick Wamsley, Shayne Corson, Keith Primeau, and Bob Probert.

The trophy that the OHL awards to the team that finishes the regular season first overall has been named The Hamilton Spectator Trophy since the 1957-58 season. Hamilton also hosted the 1986 World Junior Championship at FirstOntario Centre (then known as Copps Coliseum).

The Belleville Bulls currently have one player drafted to the NHL on their roster in Jordan Subban (Vancouver – fourth round, 115th overall in 2013). The team also has five players listed on the NHL Central Scouting’s North American skaters mid-term ranking released January 20, 2015. Those players include Matt Luff (95), Justin Lemcke (119), Trent Fox (143), Adam Laishram (186) and Connor Hicks (10 – Goaltenders). Current Canadiens defenceman and former Hamilton Bulldog P.K. Subban, current Bulldog Eric Tangradi, Jason Spezza, Matt Belesky, Shawn Matthias and Matt Stajan are all recent NHL graduates of the Bulls.

The Bulls drafted Grimsby native Brandon Saigeon from the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs fourth overall in the OHL’s 2014 Priority Selection. As a 16-year-old in the OHL this season, Saigeon has registered 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in 56 games. There are also three other local players on the Bulls current roster, including Stephen Harper (Burlington), Matt Luff (Oakville) and Niki Petti (Welland).

The AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club will be remembered as the city’s first and only team to date to win a professional hockey championship. The team was first established in 1996 after the Edmonton Oilers relocated their farm team from Cape Breton. The Quebec Citadelles merged with the Bulldogs in 2002-03 and after a season of duel affiliation with the Montreal Canadiens, the team officially changed affiliations from Edmonton to Montreal at the start of the 2003-04 campaign. In the summer of 2004, Andlauer bought out most of the minority shareholders of the team to become majority owner and governor, and eventually sole owner of the team.

The Bulldogs, who will finish their 19th AHL season in 2014-15, have reached the Calder Cup Final three times to date, including the club’s first season, again in 2003 and in 2007 when they were crowned Calder Cup Champions for the first time. On all three occasions, the Calder Cup deciding game was played at FirstOntario Centre (then known as Copps Coliseum).

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is comprised of 20 member teams, 17 in Ontario, and three in the United States, and is the number one development league in the world for players to the National Hockey League and Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

– See more at:

IceCaps news Press release

Official Release: Bulldogs Name Gabriel Dumont 13th Captain in Team History

Hamilton Bulldogs Press Release

Photo: Hamilton Bulldogs
Photo: Hamilton Bulldogs

HAMILTON, ONT. The Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club announced today forward Gabriel Dumont has been named the 13th captain in team history. The club also named four alternate captains, including forward Jake Dowell and defenceman Greg Pateryn for home games, as well as defencemen Davis Drewiske and Joe Finley for road games.

Dumont, 24, is the longest-serving member of the Bulldogs’ active roster. Heading into his fifth full season with the team, the Ville Degelis, Que. native has played all of his 252 career American Hockey League regular season games with Hamilton, over which time he has amassed 109 points (53 goals, 56 assists) and 328 penalty minutes. In 31 career AHL playoff games with the ‘Dogs, he has collected 11 points (eight goals, three assists) and 18 penalty minutes. The 5-10, 184-pound forward was an alternate captain for the Bulldogs for the 2013-14 season.

The club’s four alternates also bring a demonstrated history of leadership. Dowell, 29, in his first season with the Bulldogs, was an AHL captain with the Rockford IceHogs (2009-10) and the Iowa Wild (2013-14). Drewiske, 29, in his second season with Hamilton, was captain of the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2007-08 and was also a member of the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. Finley, 27, in his first season with the ‘Dogs, has played five professional seasons and was an AHL alternate captain with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2013-14. Pateryn, 24, in his third season with the Bulldogs, was an alternate captain with the University of Michigan Wolverines (2011-12) as well as with the Bulldogs last season.


Press release

Bulldogs Welcome De La Rose to Roster

Forward’s assignment brings training camp roster to 18 forwards, nine defencemen, three goaltenders

Hamilton Bulldogs PRESS RELEASE

Jacob de la Rose (Photo by The Canadien Press)
Jacob de la Rose (Photo by The Canadien Press)

MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Canadiens have assigned forward Jacob de la Rose to the Bulldogs.

The 19-year-old spent the 2013-14 season with the Swedish Hockey League’s Leksands IF. In 49 games with Leksands, the 6-3, 203-pound forward recorded 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and 18 penalty minutes.

The Arvika, Sweden native was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (34th overall) in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

The assignment of de la Rose brings the Bulldogs’ training camp roster to 18 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders.

The Bulldogs open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 11 when they will visit the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial at 7:05 p.m. The puck drops for Hamilton’s home-opening weekend on Friday, Oct. 17, when the ‘Dogs host the Toronto Marlies at FirstOntario Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on or watch live on Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.

Training Camp Roster 2014-15 (updated)

Press release

Canadiens Sign Drayson Bowman to One-Year Contract


Hamilton Bulldogs Media Release

Drayson Bowman (Photo by AP)
Drayson Bowman (Photo by AP)

MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Canadiens have agreed to terms with forward Drayson Bowman on a one-year, two-way National Hockey League / American Hockey League contract for the 2014-15 season.

Bowman spent the 2013-14 season with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. In 70 games with Carolina, the 25-year-old recorded 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and 16 penalty minutes.

The Grand Rapids, Mich. Native spent the previous five seasons (2009 to 2014) in the Hurricanes organization. In 176 career regular season NHL games with Carolina, the 6-0, 195-pound forward has recorded 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) and 53 penalty minutes. In 186 career regular season AHL games with the Albany River Rats and Charlotte Checkers, he has recorded 110 points (56 goals, 54 assists) and 148 penalty minutes.

Bowman was originally selected by the Hurricanes in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was invited to the Canadiens’ 2014 training camp on a professional try out.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on or watch live on Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.

Press release

Habs Trim Training Camp, 5 Players to Bulldogs

Canadiens assign five players to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs
Three forwards, two defencemen assigned bring Bulldogs training camp roster to 32 players

Montreal Canadiens NEWS RELEASE



MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Canadiens have assigned forwards Sven Andrighetto, Jake Dowell and Gabriel Dumont as well as defencemen Davis Drewiske and Greg Pateryn to the Bulldogs.

These assignments bring the ‘Dogs training camp roster to 18 forwards, 11 defencemen and three goaltenders. The five players assigned today will report to Hamilton, but won’t join the team for the pre-season games in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Bulldogs play their first pre-season game tonight when they visit the St. John’s IceCaps at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L. at 5:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on AM900 CHML.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on or watch live on Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 Training Camp Roster (updated)

IceCaps news

Bulldogs Well-Represented at Habs Training Camp

(image via
(image via

HAMILTON, ON. — The Montreal Canadiens have announced a 64-man training camp roster, that features more than a handful of players from the 2013-14 Hamilton Bulldogs squad.

Here is the official list of players that will attend the Canadiens camp starting on Sept. 18 in Brossard, Quebec.


  • BOURNIVAL, Michaël
  • BOURQUE, Rene
  • BOWMAN, Drayson
  • BOZON, Tim
  • BRACE, Riley
  • CARR, Daniel
  • CRISP, Connor
  • DE LA ROSE, Jacob
  • DOWELL, Jake
  • DUMONT, Gabriel
  • EBERLE, Tanner
  • ELLER, Lars
  • FOURNIER, Stefan
  • GALLAGHER, Brendan
  • GILL, Sahir
  • GRÉGOIRE, Jeremy
  • HOLLAND, Patrick
  • HUDON, Charles
  • MALHOTRA, Manny
  • McCARRON, Michael
  • MOEN, Travis
  • MOMESSO, Stefano
  • NEVINS, Jack
  • PARENTEAU, Pierre-Alexandre
  • PLEKANEC, Tomas
  • PRUST, Brandon
  • SCHERBAK, Nikita
  • SEKAC, Jiri
  • SORKIN, Nick
  • THOMAS, Christian
  • WEISE, Dale

  • BAKER, Justin
  • BEAULIEU, Nathan
  • BENNETT, Mac
  • BOUILLON, Francis
  • DIETZ, Darren
  • DREWISKE, Davis
  • ELLIS, Morgan
  • EMELIN, Alexei
  • FINLEY, Joe
  • GILBERT, Tom
  • MAKOWSKI, David
  • MARKOV, Andrei
  • NYGREN, Magnus
  • PATERYN, Greg
  • SHEA, Bobby
  • SUBBAN, P.K.
  • THROWER, Dalton
  • TINORDI, Jarred
  • WARDLEY, Evan
  • WEAVER, Mike
  • YUEN, Zach

  • BUDAJ, Peter
  • CONDON, Michael
  • FUCALE, Zachary
  • MacDONALD, Joey
  • PRICE, Carey
  • TOKARSKI, Dustin

The players are expected to report to the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec, where they will undergo medical exams on Thursday. The on-ice sessions are expected to start Friday.

The Bulldogs training camp will open shortly after the Habs’ main camp.  The team will make their to Newfoundland where they will battle the St. Johns IceCaps in a three-game series before kicking off the regular season on Oct. 11 in Rochester.

The Bulldogs home opener is on Oct. 17 against rivals Toronto Marlies at FirstOntario Centre.


What Should the Canadiens do With Budaj, Tokarski?

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Dale Lamontagne, Lead Correspondent, Bulldogs Hockey Report

About a year and a half ago, Montreal Canadiens fans thought the goaltending  position was weak. But now the Habs have Carey Price, Peter Budaj, Dustin Tokarski and Zachary Fucale in the organization. Pretty good, eh? 

MILTON, ON. — The Montreal Canadiens will have to decide what they are going to do with their back up goaltending situation this summer. Carey Price, Montreal’s starting netminder, was injured in Game 1 of third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Head coach Michel Therrien made the gutsy decision to start rookie Dustin Tokarski over NHL veteran Peter Budaj.

Although, the Habs lost Game 6 to the New York Rangers and were eliminated, I fully believe Therrien made the right call by giving Tokarski the chance to shine – and boy oh boy, did he look good out there! Tokarski played very well and he was able to give the Canadiens a legitimate shot at winning the series when many fans thought there was very little chance doing so.

So the question is, do the Habs send Tokarski down to the Hamilton Bulldogs and risk losing him to waivers, or do they trade him before, or after the draft? Another option is to send Budaj down to Hamilton to make room for Tokarski, or they can trade him for a draft pick. It is pretty obvious that the Canadiens will not get much in return for either goaltender, but it’s better to receive a draft pick than losing one of them to waivers and get nothing in return.

At this point, I think if they trade Budaj and keep Tokarski, the Habs are making the better decision. I know some fans believe Tokarski’s value is higher than the market would suggest, but if he is traded this offseason, the club won’t get as much as they would if they trade him within the next year or two. That’s if he plays well with the Habs in that time. With Zach Fucale in the pipeline, Tokarski will not be nothing more than just a backup in Montreal. So, I say build up his stock and then trade him within the next two years.

Budaj has one year left on his deal and I think his days in Montreal are numbered. It should be considered what Tokarski has done with the Habs this season. It has been incredible. There’s a reason why Montreal inked him a new two-year deal in early April, and it makes you wonder what the Habs are thinking about in goal. Tokarski has proved himself this season that he can handle the pressure and can jump into a game at any time.

There’s no doubt in my mind if the Habs decided to send Tokarski down to the Bulldogs he would be claimed off of waivers. And what would be the point in that, right? So, if Budaj is moved not much is lost and the club would gain a draft pick – which will be used in the future.

The summer in Montreal should be interesting, that’s for sure.