The Canadiens announced Thursday that defenseman Yannick Weber, goaltender Marc Denis as well as forwards Max Pacioretty and Kyle Chipchura have been recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. All four players will join the Canadiens tonight in New Jersey.
This coincides with the demotion of Maxwell (largely ineffective so far) and the embattled Ryan O'Byrne.
The moves make sense in that Weber is the PP specialist we have desperately needed for months, and could not be any worse than a nervous Ryan O'Byrne. Chipchura, captain of the Bulldogs, has already proven he can play NHL hockey, which should be an improvement over Maxwell who had trouble proving the same. And Pacioretty comes in to replace the injured Alex Tanguay, who is out of the lineup for up to 6 weeks. It has been painful waiting for Gainey to move this year again, but the team's success has papered over the cracks. It is great to see him make these moves now, even so late, as the current formula was bulging under the stress of tight games.
The promotion of Marc Denis is more temporary. Price has lower body discomfort (read "the runs", in all likelihood). The way Price played and ended the last game, it is hard to believe the injury is substantial. The Denis call-up feels odd. Perhaps this is part of a showcase move as the Canadiens need for winger may need to be addressed through the trade of a goaltender. Speculation on my part, but I feel something is up.
Hopefully Weber will play this evening, as we have been waiting for his promotion for an age. Chipchura should make the cut too, based on ability and experience, and I would be surprised to see Pacioretty (though that would be interesting too). Three good reasons to tune in tonight...
as for the demotions, Maxwell will benefit from more time. As for O'Byrne, I don't think it could be any worse for him than being bolted to a bench in Montreal.