Major development: Arber Xhekaj is about to leave the Habs' lineup?

Published November 16, 2022 at 11:33

In the last few seconds, we just got a major update on defenseman Mike Matheson.

"Mike Matheson is closing in on a return to action. Regular jersey this morning." - Montreal Canadiens

For the first time ever this season, Matheson is sporting a regular jersey, and he's practicing at 100% with his teammates. This is a major milestone for him to return to the game in the next few days.

"Matheson is on the ice in a white jersey. First practice with a normal jersey color for the defenseman." - Jonathan Bernier

Seems to confirm that Matheson will be back in his team's lineup as soon as this week.

This is great news, but it could lead to a big disappointment for fans. Arber Xhekaj could really leave the lineup when Matheson returns.

Why? Simply because a defenseman will absolutely have to go.

Let's look at the CH's current defensive squad:

Guhle (Left) - Savard (Right)
Edmundson (Left) - Xhekaj (Left)
Harris (Left Handed) - Kovacevic (Right Handed)

And here we will soon have to add to that the name of Mike Matheson, who will be automatically inserted into the lineup and who is a lefty.

With the performances of Kaiden Guhle and Jordan Harris, unfortunately for "Jacko", they will obviously move ahead of him. Joel Edmundson has his spot secured, as does David Savard.

That leaves Xhekaj or Khovacevic. One of the two will be bailing out and will have to give up his spot to Matheson, and indications are that it will unfortunately be the rugged Xhekaj who will bail out.

First, because Xhekaj is left-handed and it is highly unlikely that Martin St-Louis will dress FIVE left-handers (out of six defensemen).

Second, because we got another major clue this morning:

"Johnathan Kovacevic was told by the Canadiens on Monday to look for a home in Montreal. It's been a long road to the NHL, but he's taken advantage of his opportunity and found a team that appreciates what he brings to the table." - Arpon Basu

Please understand us here! We don't want this to happen and we don't think it would be a wise decision to take Xhekaj out of the lineup, but looking at the facts, we have no choice but to talk about this possibility, which is looking more and more likely.

If that were your decision, what would you do?

November 16   |   615 answers
Major development: Arber Xhekaj is about to leave the Habs' lineup?

Which lefty would you take out of the lineup?

Guhle284.6 %
Harris25040.7 %
Xhekaj13121.3 %
Edmundson20633.5 %
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