Coaching Legend Scotty Bowman thinks the Habs need more size

The Hockey Hall of Famer likes the Habs defence group but believes they to get a little bigger.
2019 NHL Draft - Round One
2019 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Gone are the days of the Montreal Canadiens being loaded with sub-6-foot tall players, but they would be wise to beef up the team a bit more in preparation for a long, sustainable Stanley Cup contention window.

Legendary head coach and hockey hall of famer Scotty Bowman spoke with Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy and NHL analyst Pierre McGuire on the Sick Podcast - The Eye Test. Bowman gave the Canadiens a B+ overall on their rebuild in it's current state. But he was quick to point out that the team needs to add a little more size.

Certainly, they have addressed that on their blueline, with Kaiden Guhle (6-foot-2), Arber Xhekaj (6-foot-4), Justin Barron (6-foot-2), Logan Mailloux (6-foot-3) and David Reinbacher (6-foot-3). But up front, in the top six, the top line features only Juraj Slafkovsky who is over 6 feet tall. The second line isn't set, so it's likely Dach (6-foot-4) then perhaps Alex Newhook (5-foot-10) and say Joshua Roy (6 feet)

They aren't dreadfully small and Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki despite being on the smaller side, aren't easily pushed around. Suzuki more specifically isn't, at 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds, and even though Caufield isn't a physical specimen, he is insulated quite well by his linemates. But it's hard to argue that the Canadiens don't need a little more size, which in some form should be addressed in the offseason, players like Rafael Harvey Pinard won't likely see much more ice time.

Brendan Gallagher, though, will continue playing, and he has that engine and certain edginess that should allow him to fit just fine. But he will need to be paired with bigger players, Joel Armia (6-foot-4) comes to mind. Then Christian Dvorak is their centre, who is 6-foot-1.

Depending on who is available at the draft, I don't think the Habs will be leaning toward a smaller forward unless they are high on Berkly Catton. Otherwise, Cayden Lindstrom (6-foot-4), Ivan Demidov (5-foot-11) but loaded with skill and tenacity - and Tij Iginla (6 feet) and 185 pounds seem like legitimate targets that are talented and add size. I don't foresee the Canadiens passing on a guy who is smaller if he is skilled, but I do believe they are aware of the importance of having a well-balanced roster.

The league isn't the same as when Bowman coached, but anybody with the resume that he has is worth giving your time to. Montreal is being built the proper way, but seeing what they add going forward will be the most interesting. Adding character players to this rebuild that is culture heavy will be the most important.