MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 08: Lane Hutson, #62 pick by the Montreal Canadians, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 08, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Pat Hickey believes that the Canadiens possess an excess of young and skilled defensemen.

Marc Bergevin often emphasized the importance of having a surplus of defensemen, but as the Canadiens approach what could be a busy off-season, they may find themselves with too many players in that position. While having a deep pool of 11 defensemen, with eight of them under 23 years old, seems advantageous, it presents a challenge in terms of roster space. The team must determine which players can contribute to future playoff runs and which ones might be traded for help upfront.

The debut of Lane Hutson and Logan Mailloux adds to the complexity. Hutson, though smaller in stature, brings dynamic energy on the ice, particularly beneficial during power plays. Mailloux, on the other hand, stands tall and is a strong offensive player, showing improvement defensively as well. Both players, being right-handed shots, fill a positional need for the Canadiens.

Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes, the team’s management, are open to trading promising defensemen if the right deal presents itself. However, veterans like Mike Matheson and David Savard are unlikely candidates for trade. Matheson’s value lies in his significant ice time and defensive contributions, while Savard’s shot-blocking skills and leadership make him an asset, especially during a playoff push.

The Montreal-Toronto game in the PWHL, selling out in record time, signifies the growing popularity of women’s hockey. The matchup is crucial for Montreal’s playoff hopes, as they aim to prove themselves against the league-leading Toronto team.

In the NHL coaching scene, Marty St. Louis’s tenure with the Buffalo Sabres places him among the longer-tenured coaches in the league, while the potential hiring of Jordi Fernandez by the Brooklyn Nets is noteworthy, especially considering his role as the coach for the Canadian team in the Paris Olympics.

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