David Savard’s warning
BROSSARD – David Savard warns that the skates we want to see him put on with the Montreal Canadiens this season, he won’t tie them up.
» I’m not Shea weber ”Said the veteran Quebec defender on Friday. “I will not replace him. I will be myself. «
We had just asked him if the pressure was on him because we made his commitment to make up for Weber’s loss for the entire season.
Savard may well be a right-handed defender, like the captain of the CH, and advocate a similar style, he will not seek to distort himself.
READ ALSO : Suzuki, Caufield, Toffoli, Petry and Chiarot in Toronto, Saturday
“If I stay within my limits and play the way I can, I will have a positive impact and help the team. «
Savard has only to remain himself in order to be a worthy replacement for Weber on the ice. On the outside, he can certainly exercise leadership, but we still cannot ask him to be the captain’s clone.
Savard just joined the team he won the Stanley Cup against with the Tampa Bay Lightning in July. Little by little it will make its place.
“I’m getting to know the players individually. There are several that I do not know. It’s a super nice group, from what I see, he said. It doesn’t change my work habits. It’s another way of being a leader, setting an example on the ice. It’s a very short camp. I try to have as much fun as possible. I want to get into the group as quickly as possible. «
The native Saint-Hyacinthe defender, who will be celebrating his 31st birthday next month, has also been given a mentoring role. We put under his wings the young Kaiden Guhle, who was the team’s first choice in 2020 (25th overall).
“I try to put him at ease by talking to him a lot. The more we communicate, the more comfortable he will be and that will allow him to be at his best. This is the role of veterans. It’s different when you join a new team, but it’s still hockey. «
The former Columbus Blue Jackets finds Guhle doing very well so far.
“His skating is what impresses me the most. He also displays a lot of composure. With this attitude, he will climb the ranks quickly. He has a bright future ahead of him. «
Coach Dominique Ducharme thinks the same.
“He moves very well for a youngster. I like what he does. He is on and he quickly learns the intricacies of the game. He will continue to improve every day. «
Guhle does show great promise, but it would be surprising if he deserved a position with the big club this season.
The Canadians are banking on a solid ‘top-4’ in defense, with the Jeff petry, Ben chiarot, Joel edmundson and Savard. The young Alexander Romanov is expected to rise in its second season and the veterans Brett Kulak, Chris wideman, Cody Goloubef and Xavier Ouellet will fight for other available positions.
Niku in reinforcement
Since Friday, there is another aspirant: Sami niku, formerly of the Winnipeg Jets who just bought out their last year on contract. CH awarded him a one-season contract at two salary brackets – $ 750,000 in the NHL and $ 425,000 in the American League, with a guaranteed salary of $ 450,000.
Niku, 24, played 54 games with the Jets between 2017 and 2021. He had two goals and added eight assists, while spending 22 minutes in the penalty box.
In 2018, the Finn, who will wear the number 15 that his compatriot had Jesperi Kotkaniemi, won the best defenseman trophy in the American League.
The Jets’ 2015 seventh-round pick (No.198) helped his country win gold at the 2016 World Junior Championships.
Ducharme has said he doesn’t know when Niku will show up to training camp.