Montreal Canadiens: With Justin Barron - It's Time For A Stint With Laval

Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators
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Barron Down, Who Comes Up?

Jesse Ylonen, Sean Monahan, Justin Moore, Emil Heineman
Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

I was an advocate for the idea, and still to some extent, I believe that Xhekaj should be in the next Uber to Montreal. But I can't sit here and pretend that he isn't thriving with the Rocket. The same can also be said about his defence Partner Mailloux, who has been equally as good as Xhekaj.

So that makes the decision quite difficult - but Johnathan Kovacevic can slot in, then Barron can go down. As for a call-up, I think Emil Heineman makes sense, considering that the blueline is pretty packed without Barron in the mix. The Habs have Mike Matheson-Kaiden Guhle, Jayden Struble-David Savard and Jordan Harris-Kovacevic, all healthy without Barron.

Heineman, to me, is a part of the Canadiens' plans, so having him in the lineup over Joel Armia or Michael Pezzetta makes a lot of sense to me. With Roy showing what he can do, adding Heineman into the mix, with Ylonen already in the lineup would be a great look at the future of the team.

I do think that having a seventh defensemen available makes a lot of sense, but aside from Xhekaj and Mailloux, I don't see that any other Rocket defender would be a fit. Not right now anyways, and the tough gig is sitting in the press box, which doesn't benefit the player at all.

It will be tough for Heineman to play any higher than the fourth line, but I think he should be in over Armia at least. Pezzetta brings some grit and tenacity to the team, so I feel he can stay for now. Heineman could play on the second powerplay, and maybe even develop some chemistry with Joshua Roy.

It is tough to assess what Marty and the Habs management want to do going forward. But having the youth up with the big club, allowing them to audition what they can do could pay off big. Perhaps one of Roy or Heineman go off, and next year they have their stint in their back pocket to build off.