Canadian striker Alex Bilzel will be included in his list Saturday night against Toronto Maple Leaves, allowing Montreal to avoid playing its first game in its history without a single player from Quebec in uniform.
This possibility has become possible since Philip Danault suffered a concussion, Interim Technical Director Dominique Ducharme said Saturday morning, and returned to Montreal.
Additionally, Jonathan Drouin is still on vacation for personal reasons.
The Canadian could have played the first game without Quebecoa in its squad since its inception in 1909, according to Radio Canada.
So Belzel, who is from San Eloy, was called up from the Habs Reserve on Saturday. He will play his first regular season match in the National Hockey League, having made his debut in six playoff matches last summer at the age of 28.
In 14 matches for Laval Rocket this season in the US Hockey League, Belzile scored three goals and eight assists.
Bilzel skated to the right of Artury Licon and Jake Evans in a fourth lockup streak, during the morning team training.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi was in the center of Tomas Tatar and Josh Anderson, while Cole Caufield was to the right of Corey Perry and Eric Staal. Only the trio, Nick Suzuki, Tyler Toffoli and Joel Jeremiah, was unchanged.
Jake Allen will be on target after coming to Cayden Primo after the first half on Thursday in the Canadians’ potential 5-2 loss to Maple Leaves.
The Canadian must collect more points from the Vancouver Canucks to confirm their participation in the qualifiers. The Canucks meet up with the Edmonton Oilers late in the evening.
At Maple Leaves Camp, striker Adam Brooks and defender Ben Hutton will replace Stefan Nuysen and Rasmus Sandin, respectively. Jack Campbell will be the primary goalkeeper again.
The Maple Leafs need one extra point at the end of the season to secure their first in the division since the 1999-2000 season. Leaves will also be crowned once Oilers drop a point.
The Canadian menu for training on Saturday:
Tatars – Kotkaniemi – Anderson
Army Toffoli Suzuki
Perry Stahl Caufield
More details to come
Danault replaced “collectively”
“There is a bit of bad luck in our early games.”
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