Updated: Oct 10, 2022
In a galaxy not too far away, what could the future Canadiens look like? Also, are they building this team of the future in the right way? I mean, it's nice to stockpile all these young prospects (suspects, until proven otherwise) but how do we know all these pieces will one day make for a nice collage? Also, as any championship team of the past has shown, you need those anchors, those bonafide superstars to win those big games.
The Canadiens appear to finally have those (current or future) pieces that they can surround these pillars with. From Suzuki to Caufield, to potentially Slafkovsky, Dach, Ylonen and down the road, perhaps Mesar and Owen Beck, the Canadiens appear to be building a deep supporting cast (not to mention their slew of young and mobile d-men). But the problem is who really are these pillars? Who in effect will take on the role of lead actor or actors a couple of years from now? Who will be the Nathan Mackinnon to their Arturi Lehkonen, the Cale Makar, the Rantanen to their Nazem Kadris and Devon Toews?
Heck, who will be the Canadiens' Carey Price of the future?
The point in all this is that the Canadiens do not have, at this stage of their reconstruction/rebuild/retool/reset (feel free to add another description), those marquee players at the heart of their roster. And if we assume that they will be back contending for a playoff spot in the next year or so, those 3-4 superstars may be hard to find via the draft.
It may therefore take some combination of more out-of-the-box moves, like say packaging a bunch of picks and young assets to acquire those studs, or heck, more confusing backdoor trades like the one K̶o̶j̶a̶k̶ Kent Hughes pulled out of his magician hat at the draft. Perhaps even rolling the dice here and there, which our brilliant GM (hey I have to pump his tires given I reside in his hometown of Beaconsfield) seems more than willing to make. Could a Pierre-Luc Dubois be one of those moves down the road? Perhaps, but thus far in his career PLD has not shown he can be a Matthews, a Marner or a McJesus. Or will Hughes one day (once the Habs become a legitimate contender) be able to lure a top UFA to our city, which hasn't seen a championship in any professional sport (sorry CFL) in decades?
Either way, even though the Canadiens are finally back on the pleasant yellow brick road, this is likely to be a very long trek, with unexpected obstacles, and many highs and lows (pardon the cliché). Let us just hope that the Wizard is not too far away and that he will be able to grant us our wish for a 25th Stanley Cup.