Michael McNiven is up in arms against the Habs organization

Jeff Drouin
October 26, 2021  (6:15 PM)

Michael McNiven talked about a situation that has been bothering him for some time.

In his first start with the Laval Rocket this season, McNiven underperformed in the eyes of many. He allowed three goals on 21 shots and people pointed fingers at him for that ordinary performance. The goaltender didn't like this situation at all because he wasn't listened to by the Rocket coaching staff. He was not soft in any case ...
"I was playing through an injury. I asked to be taken out of the game, the coaches left me in there and I was given three goals. So before you say I had an atrocious game, it wasn't an atrocious game."
"I don't know why they didn't replace me. I could barely move from post to post at that point. I don't think the coaches had any idea it was that bad, in fact I would hope so. The trainer told me to stay in the game if I felt up to it, but I said no. I'd been asking to be taken out for ten minutes."
"For me, whether it's coming from a reporter or just a fan, the way the first question was asked of me, that's probably what everybody's going to think. But I think they should have listened to me first. My next game was much better. That's all I'm going to say about that."
Since joining the organization in 2015, McNiven has surpassed the expectations placed on him. However, the Habs staff has failed to return the favor. He is aware that Cayden Primeau is the man for the job in Laval, he is understanding, certainly, but not satisfied with his current fate.
"I haven't been told anything, but everyone has eyes, it's not hard to see," said McNiven without even being told what his coach said. It's always the same thing. Cayden is their guy. I have to keep working and do the best I can, but at the end of the day, it's hard when you know the chips are down."
"I signed here almost eight years ago (sic) and I've always been in the same position," continued the 24-year-old netminder. Every time they've given me a goal to reach, I've surpassed it, but they keep sending me back down the line. That's just how it works here."
"You could say that's what I've done in each of my seasons here. In my first two seasons, my numbers may not have been where I wanted them to be, but from a big picture perspective, I feel like I've done my part and deserve a chance. But I guess I'll just wait for that day to come."
Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle even admitted that the organization has a soft spot for Primeau. They will give the American goaltender every opportunity to shine.
"Yes, it's important to have some merit in there, but Cayden, we have to develop him as a goalie, admitted Houle. It's hard when the other guy is doing well, but that's part of hockey. For sure, Cayden is a very important prospect for the Montreal Canadiens and we'll try to give him as much ice time as possible."
McNiven obviously had a big message for his bosses... How will they react to such statements? Transaction in sight? To be continued.
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