Ramblings: Carter Extension; Brodin and Gallagher Updates; Merzlikins Faces Barrage – January 27

Michael Clifford

2022-01-27

Brendan Gallagher was back at Canadiens practice on Wednesday but did so in a red non-contact jersey. There is no official timeline for his return. He has battled both injury and COVID this year and as a result, like most Canadiens players, he's had a bad year. A turnaround in the second half doesn't seem likely without the team itself having a big turnaround, so it could end up just being a lost year for the winger.

With that said, the team does have the talent to ostensibly put a decent top line together if they end up with, say, Toffoli-Suzuki-Gallagher. We will just have to wait and see what they do, but I'm not running out to add him from the wire just yet unless we're talking deeper leagues.

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Aaron Dell had a hearing for his hit on Drake Batherson and landed with a three-game suspension. He probably deserves it but that's a brutal break for Batherson more than anything. He had been having a very good year and was on his way to the All-Star Game. Brady Tkachuk is taking his place and congratulations to him, but Batherson had really earned this.

While we're talking about the young Ottawa players, I just noticed that Tim Stützle has 49 points in 88 games to start his career. That works out to roughly 46/82 games for a guy to begin his NHL journey and he just turned 20 years old in January. That is also, by the way, largely playing away from the other top Ottawa stars for long stretches of time. The power-play production has certainly helped, but it's a wonder what his point totals would look like if he skated with a top-6 NHL centre at all times, versus just some of the time.

The question is what Jimmy Stu's upside is if he keeps up this role for the next couple years. It certainly seems like being a 50-point winger with high hit totals is in his near future, but is there more coming in the next couple years? It would be nice if they got him some real help in the offseason. This is a team that has loads of cap space and should be looking to start rounding out a playoff roster this summer. Whether that is what they decide to do, well, I have my doubts.

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A Jonas Brodin update: