The loss of Kirby Dach is undoubtedly a shock. At 22 years old, we felt that this young man who had played 210 games in the NHL was on the verge of a big season. Unfortunately, he will have to spend a lot of time on the injured list and it is now impossible for him to continue his progression. A lost season.
If we focus only on the current season, therefore on the victories and defeats, the loss of Dach hurts the depth of the team, but the fact remains that the presence of Alex Newhook is reassuring, he who was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last summer. An addition which takes on even more importance in the current context.
But there is one veteran on this team who could really make a difference this season, if he is healthy, and that is Sean Monahan, who turned 29 on October 12. His efficiency in the faceoff circle and his 200-foot game make him a formidable player. And if the Canadiens beat those who predicted seventh or eighth place in the division, Sean Monahan will most likely be a big reason for the team’s success.
IN THE LINE OF THE GREATS
What’s tragic about Sean Monahan’s career is his groin and hip injuries, which meant we didn’t get a very large sample of what he could accomplish. What kind of career could he have had if bad luck hadn’t befallen him? Bob Hartley, who was his first head coach in the NHL (2013-2014), knew him very well and speaks of an impact player.
“Look at the Calgary Flames before his arrival and the impact he had on that team from the start,” Bob Hartley said over the phone. Johnny Gaudreau brought the flash, but Sean was the substance. He’s not a player that we can put on the same pedestal as Patrice Bergeron, but I would tell you that he’s a cousin of Joe Sakic. They have the same personality on the ice and off the ice. We’re talking about two people who don’t like noise. Sean doesn’t play hockey to have the spotlight on him, as was (also) the case for Joe Sakic. Joe Sakic was called “ordinary Joe” and the same goes for Sean Monahan.
The former Flames coach also highlights the leadership of Sean Monahan and his professionalism. From his first skates in the NHL, he constantly demonstrated that he wanted to make a difference. “He spent a lot of time in my office making videos. We watched every one of his presences and we always placed him in the center and made him kill punishments. It was a big challenge that we gave him, we invested in him, but it wasn’t a gift that we gave him. He deserved the investment we made in him. He lacked experience and physical strength in his first season. He showed up to his sophomore year with 20 pounds more muscle. Sean, it was really fun to coach him.”
Hopefully, Sean Monahan will avoid ending up on the injured list this season. This would be a first in five years. But at 29 years old, with the talent he possesses, the reality is he can have a major impact on this team, as was the case last season. Moreover, if Kent Hughes had not had the same feeling, it is obvious that he would not have retained his services for the current season. A wise decision.