The Montreal Canadiens administration has been busy. In the span of a few days, it has had to pick players to protect from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and take stock of all the team's long-term injuries. Now, the team must decide on 11 potential new players that could join them, as the NHL prepares for its 2021 draft on July 23.
With 11 possible picks in the upcoming NHL Draft, as well as the option to trade, the Habs have some big decisions to make about their future.
In the first round, the Habs have the 31st pick. While there are plenty of players to choose from, Sportsnet has predicted that the Habs will take Wyatt Johnston, a centre who plays junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires.
TSN, meanwhile, believes that the Habs will go with Sasha Pastujov, a left-winger out of the U.S. National Team Development Program.
If you want to feel old, both of these players were born in 2003.
The first round of the NHL Draft airs at 8 p.m. EST on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW, and TVA Sports in French.
"We are very excited to have been chosen by the League to host the draft, which will take place in Montreal for the first time since 2009," France Margaret Bélanger, president, Sports and Entertainment of Groupe CH, said in a press release.
It’s official, the 2022 NHL Draft will take place in Montreal on July 7 and 8!
Groupe CH, the parent company of the Montreal Canadiens, just unveiled its new action plan to bring awareness and education to the community and its employees about sexual cyberviolence.
Titled the "Respect and Consent Action Plan," the plan will tackle "the internal environment of Groupe CH as well as the external and community environment."
In a press release, Montreal Canadiens owner, president, and CEO Geoff Molson said, "we want to ensure that our actions will be part of a concerted approach that will bring about positive changes within our company and in the hockey community."
All employees and hockey operations staff will benefit from training "on respect and consent and sexual cyberviolence in line with our policy of equity, diversity, and inclusion and with the values of our organization," the release said.
The company will also hire women in "key positions" within the hockey operations department.
As for its community initiatives, the Montreal Canadiens will collaborate with aid organizations and the Quebec hockey community at large to develop a "prevention program aimed at young hockey players, as well as the interveners who support them in their practice of the sport."
Financial support will also be given to registered organizations that are committed to preventing and raising awareness about sexual cyberviolence. Groupe CH has also given financial support to an organization that supports victims of sexual violence.
The release of the Respect and Consent Action Plan follows uproar surrounding the Canadiens' draft pick of defenceman Logan Mailloux, who admitted to distributing a pornographic photo of an 18-year-old woman without consent.
At the time of the draft pick, the team said it was "committed to raising awareness among [its] players about the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others."
If you require resources or assistance surrounding sexual assault in Quebec, the CAVAC helpline is available 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-532-2822. Other crisis lines and 24/7 options can be found at The Lifeline Canada.
The Hurricanes' move comes as a form of revenge for when the Canadiens' general manager Marc Bergevin tendered an offer sheet to Carolina's star centre, Sebastian Aho, back in July 2019.
Bergevin seemed to have underestimated Tom Dundon and Don Waddell, the Carolina team managers, back in the day, as they chose to match Aho's offer sheet.
Unfortunately, the same didn't happen with the Hurricanes' recent offer sheet for Kotkaniemi. On August 28, 2021, the Hurricanes pulled out a $6,100,015 offer sheet for the Canadiens star player, with a $20 signing bonus, which led to the Carolina team winning one of the Habs' star players.
In an Instagram post, the Montreal Canadiens wrote "The Canadiens will not match the Hurricanes' offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Montreal will receive Carolina's 1st- and 3rd-round 2022 Draft picks as compensation."
The player shared an emotional post following the announcement, stating "It is truly hard to say goodbye to Montreal. I have experienced the best years of my life thus far in one of the world's greatest hockey cities and will always cherish the past three years." But, he went on to say that he's excited for his new journey.
Being a sports fan can tend to involve a lot of work, but in the 514, it feels as though it's simply part of our culture to naturally be Montreal Canadiens fans — at least for many of us.
New data from Casino En Ligne found which NHL fans were the most committed, based on prices of supporting the teams (going to games, etc.) and social media engagement. Here are the top seven NHL team fans according to Casino En Ligne:
1. Toronto Maple Leafs 2. Montreal Canadiens 3. Edmonton Oilers 4. Winnipeg Jets 5. Vancouver Canucks 6. Calgary Flames 7. Ottawa Senators
You'll notice that the top two are rivals Maple Leafs and Canadiens, with Toronto fans taking the number one spot and Habs' fans coming in second place.
It seems there are some benefits to being in second place here: it's cheaper. "Maple Leafs top the ranking as the most expensive team to support. The price of a game ticket is by far the highest and the prices of services offered at the Scotiabank Arena are also expensive," Casino En Ligne found.
Yup, being a sports fan can cost you a pretty dime. "Canadian teams are known for their high NHL game ticket prices, compared to the teams south of the border. And even so, have seen an increase in prices of at least 26% in 2021, with the list price of playoff tickets sitting at $468 on average across the NHL for 2021."
In regards to providing free support, the Leafs also allegedly have the highest following across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter out of all the league's teams.