Reconstruction of the CH: patience is required

The reconstruction of a team does not always produce the expected effects despite a first draft pick, as the Canadian has just inherited.

Reconstruction of the CH: patience is required

The reconstruction of a team does not always produce the expected effects despite a first draft pick, as the Canadian has just inherited. Ex-forward Jason Pominville knows something about it, having experienced the situation with the Buffalo Sabers.

• To read also: Quebec pee-wee tournament: the small Remparts dominating like the big ones

• Read also: A very touching moment for an Aboriginal team

• To read also: Pee-wee tournament: moved to tears by the medal of the National Assembly

Present at the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec as head coach of the little Montreal Canadiens, Pominville was kind enough to look into the situation of the big club.

The Habs will be the first club to speak in the next draft and already, many are dreaming of an accelerated recovery.

"The people of Montreal don't have a lot of patience, that's for sure," laughed Pominville, referring to how in Buffalo the road to a return to respectability continues to be winding.

After making the playoffs in 2009-10 and 2010-11, the Sabers sold off their rosters to begin a rebuild. Pominville took the road to Minnesota before returning safely to end his career, from 2017 to 2019.

Upon his return to the Sabres, they had the same opportunity as the Canadian will have in July, namely to decide in first place. They had opted for defender Rasmus Dahlin in 2018.

In previous years, from 2013 to 2017, the Sabers had also benefited from five selections in the top 10. Yet, they are still waiting to relive the playoffs.

“It can be quite a long process. In Buffalo, it has been going on for several years. The draft is never a guarantee of success, but in the position of the Canadians, you want this first choice, ”recalled Pominville.

The Shane Wright effect?

Shane Wright seems to be leaving with a head start to be selected first in Montreal.

Pominville, a 39-year-old retiree who scored 727 points in 1,060 NHL games, sees this option in a good light.

“If they select Shane Wright, it fits their need to improve their center line. They've been talking about it for years," he said.

“Wright is often compared to Patrice Bergeron. It would reduce [Nick] Suzuki's charge. At the moment, he is the one who inherits the most difficult clashes, both on the road and at home. If Canadians can split the work between two guys alike, that would clearly be advantageous. »

nothing guaranteed

However, in the past 30 years, only six first-round draft picks have led their team to the Stanley Cup. The last in line is Steven Stamkos, who was chosen by the Lightning in 2008.

“We saw the spark at the Canadiens with the arrival of Martin St-Louis. I am convinced that he will do good things with this team, but it is not because you have the first choice that you instantly fall with a good team, ”warned Pominville.


8 h BB  

9 h 15 BB  

10 h 30 AAA

11 h 45 BB  

13 h AAA

14 h 15 BB  

15 h 30 AAA

By directing his son Jayden, Jason Pominville enjoys a pleasant return in time.

The father and son are not only living the dream of many young hockey players at the Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament, but fate has done it perfectly.

In 1995 and 1996, Jason Pominville took part in the famous tournament. In his second year, he had experienced the happiness of representing the Montreal Canadiens, like his son at the moment.

At the time, he was led by his father Jean-Marie, who finds himself this week by his side behind the bench.

"It's like a spinning wheel. The team [Les Pionniers de Lanaudière] won the tournament which meant that we could represent the Canadian.

“It was the same thing that happened to me back then. It's not easy to be a local team in the big AAA category, "commented the one who has been involved in the Pioneers program since his return to Quebec, a year after his retirement.

New supporters

While he was still active, Pominville repeatedly saw his wife and two children in the colors of the Sabers or the Wild. You had to see them arrive at the Videotron Center, with the Canadiens logo on their chests, to understand that the return to Quebec soil had its effect.

"It's funny," smiled Pominville. Since we came back last year with the Canadiens who made it to the final, my guy started wanting Canadiens t-shirts and all his friends follow the team. They are really happy to wear this jersey. »

A failure

The little Canadians had a difficult first experience for morale by losing 3-2 against the Latvian team of Riga and dad Pominville hopes that son will go a long way than him, who had been eliminated in his second game 26 years ago.

“We had a whole team. We were three players who then played in the NHL [with Yannick Lehoux and Pascal Leclaire]. It's rather rare and we all three came from Repentigny. Those were good years,” he recalled.

“You just have to take advantage of the moment to have fun and take the time to realize what is happening. It's a tournament we've been waiting for since day 1 at training camp. »