Jean-François Houle did not use Mattias Norlinder the right way

Published November 11, 2021 at 8:36

Former NHL scout Grant McCagg didn't look too happy this Wednesday night. He is visibly irritated with the way the CH organization is handling the Mattias Norlinder case.

The young Swede has just been recalled by the big club, but it seems that he left a poor impression during his stay in Laval. That's to be expected, because according to McCagg, Norlinder wasn't used properly.

"They (the Canadiens) had limited time to evaluate Norlinder and they didn't take the opportunity to try him out where he excelled in Frolunda? He was their best defenseman on the power play for two years. Montreal is in need of a defenseman who can move the puck well and the Rocket bench him to play Ouellet, who will never be one."

McCagg mentioned that this is not the first time a veteran has taken the place of a young, mobile defenseman on the power play in the minors for the Rocket. A situation that drives him crazy, he said.

"It's pretty bad that Bouchard used Ouellet before Brook on the power play last year, just like Houle used Ouellet before Norlinder this year. This organization is driving me crazy! The CH is trying to develop a 28-year-old guy (Ouellet) who has never reached more than 30 points at the professional level as a power play specialist? It's inconceivable!"

The main interested party did not play a great game on Wednesday, he is even aware of it.

Good game or not, this sequence may make some people salivate.

On the other hand, when a player is in development, he must be able to count on tools that will support him in his success, which the CH is not currently doing. Jean-François Houle believes that he still needs to get used to the North American style of hockey before he can graduate to the next level.

So, if I understand correctly, the plan is to have him play with the big club according to what Dominique Ducharme said last week. What I don't understand is the process that was used to come to this conclusion. He hasn't been on the ice in situations where he could have succeeded with the Rocket, but the CH is trying to make the fans believe that he can come and help the Habs? Something is wrong with this story. A return to Sweden is imminent.
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