Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 10/07/10 at 10:34 AM ET
As you’ve probably already read, the Canadiens trimmed their roster one final time yesterday, and two players who had excellent camps were sent to Hamilton. Ryan White and Alex Henry both head to the Bulldogs, along with Curtis Sanford, Ben Maxwell and Yannick Weber.
Many Habs fans, including myself, are especially frustrated by the demotion of White. He had an excellent camp, scoring goals, setting up his teammates and establishing himself as an imposing checking forward. He is exactly what the Canadiens have lacked for years on their 3rd line, a 2010 Shayne Corson-esque player, willing to plant himself in front of the net, take his whacks, and stand up for his teammates when necessary.
However, consider for a moment that Pierre Gauthier and Jacques Martin may have made a great decision.
Following the ever successful Detroit Red Wings model, the Habs have opted to go with established veterans on the third and fourth lines, while younger players such as White and Maxwell continue to hone their skills in the American Hockey League.
Silly to demote a player who had an excellent camp? Perhaps, but remember that White will likely play 20 minutes in the AHL, whereas he would have been a six or seven minute fourth line player for Montreal. For years, Detroit has continued to employ players such as Dallas Drake, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty on their bottom two lines, as young players such as Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm get valuable experience as key cogs on an AHL team.
In the meantime, while White, Maxwell, Weber, and others continue to fine tune their skills and take leading rolls with the Bulldoggs, savvy veterans such as Jeff Halpern and Mathieu Darche give the Canadiens solid character players to plug holes on the third and fourth line.
So to anyone disappointed in White’s demotion, I am disappointed too. But don’t worry, he’ll be back in the NHL soon, as will David Desharnais and Yannick Weber. For the first time in years, the Canadiens have a plethora of talented, hard working young players. Trust me, as a hockey fan with twenty-five years of observational experience, this is a very, very good problem to have.
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