BROSSARD — on The 1st of July, Xavier Ouellet and Michaël Chaput have signed contracts to two-part as free agent with the Montreal canadiens. Less than three months later, here they knock on the door of the Bell Centre rather than at that of the Place Bell in Laval.
Ouellet and archbishop Chaput have escaped the wave of cuts which has brought down the young striker Nick Suzuki, returned to his junior club of the Attack Owen Sound in the League of Ontario, the centre Michael McCarron and defenceman Rinat Valiev, whose names have been submitted to the runoff.
As it was expected, Jesperi Kotkaniemi has remained with the Habs, eight days before the start of the regular season.
Ouellet, who already knew a good camp, helped his cause with a performance of two goals — his first points of the camp — in gain 5-1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
“I’ve lived these last few years when I was in Detroit. This is never really earned, you have to compete every day. I’m glad to be here, I’m happy to have other opportunities to show what I can do, said Ouellet after the team training, Tuesday, noon, in Brossard.
“In general, I find that I play well,” added the defender, a native of Bayonne, France. I try to be solid defensively and my transition play is one of my strengths. This is an aspect that I have been able to bring in the three matches that I played. Now, it is to be consistent and do it every time.”
As for Chaput, it represents possibly the most beautiful surprise of the camp, if we exclude Kotkaniemi. He has made his presence felt in each of the matches that he has played. His efforts resulted in a harvest of three points in three games, a ratio of defensive to + 4, and five shots on goal.
“These days are always stressful, but I try not to think too much about it, because this is where it starts to play in the head. I can’t control what happens at the top,” said Chaput, referring to the direction of the team.
Archbishop Chaput is presented to the camp with a goal, simple : to prove that it could bring something concrete to the Canadian. He thinks he has had the opportunity to be shown under its best day until now.
“It’s a training camp and I try to make my evidence in any way possible. I want to make the team and I said to myself that I was going to give everything, that I would leave nothing behind, and that I forcerais to make decisions. I play games, I have opportunities to play on the trios and I think they want to see what I am capable of doing.”
Praise for Suzuki
The group of players cut off, Valiev has seen the camp the more productive. In three preseason matchups, the defender of the Russian has scored a goal and two helpers with a ratio of defensive to + 5. It has also got four shots on goal.
However, according to Julien, this was not enough.
“When you look at our group of defenders currently, we didn’t see him in our seven or maybe even top eight. We still have two preseason matchups, it is necessary to make decisions and it must take them quite quickly.”
For his part, McCarron has not obtained any point and presented a ratio defensive – 1 at the two meetings in which he participated.
“With the competition and the players that remain, they could not find him a place,” summed up Julian about the former first-round.
The head coach of the Canadian has been more creditable to the place of Suzuki, which however has not yet managed to imitate Victor Mete a year ago by carving out a position in Montreal at the age of 19 years.
“We liked what we saw. However, we sincerely believe that it is better for him to return to the junior level. It is likely to be with Team Canada in the junior also. This would be a good experience. I think it was the best decision when you look at our group now, first explained Julien.
“But I liked his abilities and even during the camp, we saw an improvement, there also analysed. It is a young man who has an incredible vision. Even yesterday [Monday], and he proved that on some of the games he made. This is surely a guy from the national League, but maybe not this year, or immediately.”
Forwards Hunter Shinkaruk, Byron Froese and defenceman Brett Lernout will also by the tie, while the veteran Joel Ward was released. Finally, the defenders Michal Moravcik and David Sklenicka, were reallocated to the Rocket.
The result of all these decisions of the management of the team, the Canadian has 33 players to his training camp-18 forwards, 12 defenders and three keepers. The list includes five players who are injured or Shea Weber, Andrew Shaw, Nicolas Deslauriers, Jarret Tyszka and Matt Taormina.