Maxim Lapierre gave a very pertinent advice to the CH staff

Published December 14, 2021 at 8:56

Some analysts and fans want to see young players in the CH organization develop in the AHL. It's an effective method overall, but one that isn't applauded particularly by Maxim Lapierre, a former Canadiens star.

According to him, even if Cole Caufield makes mistakes in the big league, it would be out of the question for him to return him to Laval. It's not for everyone.

He mentioned some examples of players who plateaued early in the AHL system, including Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, Charles Hudon and Jarred Tinordi, to name a few.

"There are players for whom it can be difficult to get to the AHL," said Lapierre. "It's a different style of play, you're surrounded by a different kind of veteran, you're not as well surrounded by talent."

"If Caufield goes back down to the AHL, he's going to do the same thing he's always done. He's going to score goals, he's going to be good on the power play, he's going to have his stats. The little mistakes he's going to make, he's not going to "pay cash" as they say, because the caliber of play is not the same."

"Caufield is learning what his version 2.0 is: what do I do when I'm playing against bigger, physically stronger guys?" 

The former Tricolore number 40 used himself as a reminder that spending time in the minors isn't always THE way to develop a player. The Quebecer learned this the hard way.

"When I was in the American League, I won all my face-offs," he said. "When I came up against Rod Brind'Amour and Mats Sundin, I needed to lose about 20 a game to find a way at some point." 

In short, the message Lapierre wanted to distribute was to live with the mistakes of young players. There are a few nice projects currently on the books with the big club. We'll have to be patient. After all, the CH doesn't have a Connor McDavid in their prospect bank.

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