The season is coming to an end, and it seems like some coaches and management jobs might be as well. However, let's not forget that some players could pay the price too, as more trade rumors are being heard around the National Hockey League and the free agent market is just a few months away.
I guess one head coach really wanted to remind players that they can pay for not showing up to games and giving it their best. On Tuesday, Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien met with media members after the morning skate as the Habs get ready to face the mighty Winnipeg Jets this evening.
He was happy to report and congratulate players like forwards Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher. This morning, the Canadiens announced that Byron is this season’s winner of the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the team who played a dominant role during the regular season without earning any particular honour. Gallagher is the Molson Cup Player of the Year, winning the honour for the first time in his career.
However, the rest of the gang got a clear message. If you cannot do the job, somebody else will be there to do it for you. Julien told media members that "Some players should get better or we'll get better players," translated from French.
There has been so much trade chatter around the Canadiens this season, it is deafening in Montreal. Captain Max Pacioretty has has his load, and even star goaltender Carey Price has been involved in some crazy rumors, claiming he could start his massive new contract with another team this summer. Speaking of Price, he should get an ovation tonight when the Canadiens announce that this marks his 557th game and he will move ahead of the late Jacques Plante for the most games played by a Canadiens goaltender.
Rumors have also circled around Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk and a few defenders as some pundits demand that the Habs enter a rebuild mode after many failed seasons. The main thing die-hard Habs fans want to see is a change in management, as some are unsatisfied with the work general manager Marc Bergevin has done over the years.
However, Bergevin has made some bad moves as general manager of the Canadiens, but he made a very good move when he claimed Byron off waivers from the Calgary Flames back in 2015.
But it does not change that fact that the Canadiens will miss the playoffs for the second time in three years... and now Julien is hinting at some players paying the price for it...