Montreal Canadiens: Player thoughts from the annual golf tournament

MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 03: Goaltender Carey Price
MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 03: Goaltender Carey Price /

The Montreal Canadiens held their golf tournament ahead of the 2018-19 season and the players expressed how ready they are to get the year started.

For some fans, the Rookie Tournament marked the beginning of the year for the Montreal Canadiens. But in many ways, the annual golf tournament at Club de golf Laval-sur-le-Lac are one of the few signs that the new season is right around the corner. It’s also a good avenue to hear of player and management thoughts and expectations. Although, it was safe to say that a lot of that was overshadowed by the Max Pacioretty trade.

Other things were brought up though. Carey Price was his usual self in front of the cameras speaking of how important it will be for the team to respond after many disappointing performances the season before. And he held his play as a part of the way things can change.

There seems to be a good deal of optimism from Price as he heads into the first year of his new contract. Work during the summer may play a big role into his rejuvenation, but perhaps the support from the fans help out as well.

We also got a chance to hear from some players we haven’t heard from in a while in Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw. Both received offseason procedures and Weber’s second (on his knee) took Habs fans by surprise. The 33-year-old mentioned how hard it was to accept the injury and is trying to stay positive. He also plans to be close to the team and support them as much as he can which only speaks to the man he is.

Shaw spoke on his progress and the possibility of an early return to the lineup saying:

"I’ve been skating the last couple of weeks. It feels good. I just have to get my footwork back a little bit, strengthen it as well. The timeline is still six months, but there’s always room for improvement and getting ahead of the timeline."

On the other end of the spectrum, Paul Byron, who also received surgery over the summer for his shoulder, may be ready for camp (via Renaud Lavoie). The next few days will be a big indicator of that, but seeing it brought up as a possibility at this point is a positive.

Again, the major topic was the trade that sent Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights and all the noise that came with it. All of Marc Bergevin, Geoff Molson, and Claude Julien thanked the 29-year-old for his years as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

More from A Winning Habit

They also (more, in particular, the first two) wanted to make it clear that Pacioretty asked for a trade. That goes against the claims Allan Walsh made on the matter, but considering the move has been made, it doesn’t matter too much anymore depending on your standpoint on the whole situation.

Two more things that caught my attention from all this was Bergevin’s relentlessness to acquire an A+ prospect and the number of teams interested in acquiring Pacioretty. For all the criticism he gets, credit is deserved here. Nick Suzuki is a fantastic player and has the potential to be an NHL player if he is brought up the right way.

Going back to another tidbit from Lavoie, apparently, less than five (5) teams were interested in acquiring Pacioretty. It makes sense why the number would be so low right now. Perhaps more teams would be willing to pay the price after watching him in the regular season. But it speaks to expectations vs. reality. And it may end up tying into Bergevin’s price for Pacioretty.

Next. How likely is a third 20-goal season for Paul Byron?. dark

In Case You Missed It

Initial Reaction to the Max Pacioretty trade

The Montreal Canadiens let go of one of their best goal-scorers, but bring in a special young player in the process.

Michael McCarron is signed and ready to compete

After signing his qualifying offer, Michael McCarron has a year to show what he’s got.

Injury Update: Jarret Tyszka released from the hospital

A positive update on Jarret Tyszka after the scary incident in Sunday’s game.