Several moves that were done by the Montreal Canadiens this summer, have raised a lot of questions.
Defenseman Andrei Markov was not resigned by the Habs and left for the Kontinental Hockey League, back home in Russia. Alexander Radulov got a better offer with the Dallas Stars. Blue liner Alexei Emelin was not protected by the Canadiens, was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights during the expansion draft, to then be shipped to the Nashville Predators, and young Mikhail Sergachev was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oh and let's not forget Nikita Nesterov, who headed back to Russia.
The only Russian player on the Canadiens' roster is Alex Galchenyuk, and he is an American-born player... And he was still often on the trade block throughout the off-season.
According to Sports Illustrated and TSN's Michael Farber, it isn't a coincidence. The journalist suggested on TSN 690 the Canadiens have cleaned house when it comes to Russian-born players.
"If you add it up together, it seems clear to me that there has been a decision to clear out Russians here," Farber said flat out.
The insider went on, pointing fingers at head coach Claude Julien.
"Julien is from the Boston Bruins. Do you know how many players from Russia the Bruins have drafted since the big lockout in 04-05? Three! Three players in more than a decade," Farber explains.
He also added that in Montreal, the media is hoping to see more Quebec-born and francophone players, mentioning the chaos that ensued in the French media when no francophones were dressed in the Habs' lineup last season.
"People paid attention that francophones were clear, shouldn't we pay attention that Russians were? I think we should."
To be continued...