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Enough about young people, let’s move on to the 80s

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As we know the CH wants to bet on youth. This is particularly true for the center post as the 2nd trio is led by Nick Suzuki (21 years old) and the 3rd by « KK » (20 years old). Furthermore, as for the 4th trio, it will be a competition between Jake Evans (24 years old) and Ryan Poehling who just turned 22.

A well-balanced team

Even though the focus has been put a lot on our youngsters, it is important to know that the 2021 CH is a very well balanced team in terms of the mix of young players and veterans. In fact, tied with the Florida Panthers, the CH is the 13th youngest team in the league. As a result, the average age of the players under contract who came to the Montreal training camp is 27.5 years old.

Let’s talk about veterans

To make a change, I decided to talk about veterans. By consulting the roster on the Tricolore site, we can see that the team currently has 6 players born in the 80’s, that is to say over 30 years old. So I wanted to make a slight summary of the role of each one, from the youngest to the oldest.

Paul Byron, 1989, 31 years old

Its arrival in 2015 via the waivers remains to this day one of Marc Bergevin’s great moves. More than 5 years and 2 seasons of 20 goals later, the man who speaks French very well has become a real crowd favourite. However, injuries have caught up with him lately and in the last 3 seasons, he has experienced a regression compared to the previous year. As he tries to make his way into the 4th trio, there are rumours that his career with the CH could ironically end the way it started: on the waivers.

Michael Frolik, 1988, 32 years old

With 14 points in 57 games last year, one word describes him: depth. He is a veteran who will add stability to the 4th trio. Moreover, with an even better than average defensive play, he could quickly win Claude Julien’s heart.

Carey Price, 1987, 33 years old

The backbone of the team for years. At 33 years old, he proved during the bubble that he hadn’t slowed down. With an improved team ahead of him, he will answer the call again this year. Nothing more to add.

Jeff Petry, 1987, 33 years old

Speaking of Bergevin’s good acquisitions, Petry is one of them. Despite the last shortened season, Petry has reached the fourty points plateau for the 3rd consecutive season. Now with Edmundson instead of Brett Kulak at his side, he will be a defensive anchor, again this year, with Shea Weber.

Shea Weber, 1985 , 35 years old

As mentioned above, he is, along with Petry, the defensive cornerstone of the team. However, he brings a whole new dimension to the team through his leadership. Much like Price, when he plays, everyone seems to be calmer and less nervous. Having slowed down, injuries are his worst enemies. With the fast transition and the accelerated season, it will be interesting to see if his body will keep up. If however the captain manages to avoid injuries, the thirty points plateau (in 56 games) is still possible.

Corey Perry, 1985, 35 years old

Finally, the oldest player on the team, Corey Perry brings a lot of experience to the table. Especially in the playoffs, a crucial element knowing the expectations in Montreal this year. Like Frolik who won top honours with the Blackhawks in 2013, Perry won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks. He also made it to the finals with the Stars last year. Like Frolik, he played 57 games last year, and showed he was still capable offensively, scoring 21 points. However, like Byron, Mete and Weal, there are rumours that he could be on waivers before long, while many players are aiming for the 4th trio. To be continued…

Translated by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert

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