I eat my own words.
Guillaume Latendresse has been retained by the Montreal Canadiens and is now an official NHL player.
Latendresse’s strong play made it virtually impossible to send him back to Junior without raising hell among fans and media. But it wasn’t the media and fans that made the decision. Gui deserved the chance after showing he can score, play physical and not be a defensive liability in the NHL game.
Latendresse seems to excel when the competition and opposition is strongest. With Latendresse the Canadiens mediocre physical presence is now improved and the Habs now have a potential ‘power forward’ which they’ve lacked for years.
So what happens next?
Latendresse is now ineligible to return to Junior and will be spending the rest of his days in Montreal.
The pressure is on. Making the team is one thing, pre-season games are pre-season games. It’s the big time for Gui now. Will he go on to surpass expectations and perform like Patrice Bergeron did for Boston? Or will the pressure get to him?
Either way, having him on the team makes the games even more fun to watch.
Congratulations to Latendresse.