Reports that coach Martin St. Louis “ripped into” one of his players and then sent him to the AHL!
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Reports that coach Martin St. Louis “ripped into” one of his players and then sent him to the AHL!

Whoa! Marty laying down the law!



In case you missed the news earlier today, the Montreal Canadiens activated defenseman Arber Xhekaj off the injured reserve and immediately assigned him to the team's AHL affiliate Laval Rocket.

Check it out:

The 22 year old defenseman has just one goal and three points in 17 games with the Canadiens this season and will suit up for his first AHL game ever Wednesday evening against the Belleville Senators.

Interestingly enough, former Habs enforcer turned media analyst Georges Laraque reports that Xhekaj had a bit of a falling out with head coach Martin St. Louis, which resulted in St. Louis "ripping into" Xhekaj for playing "too aggressively".

You can hear Laraque in his entirety below (En Francais):

In effect, what Laraque says here is that St. Louis ripped into Xhekaj in front of his teammates following a loss. He challenged Xhekaj to clean up his game, which Xhekaj has since done but now he doesn't really fit into the team's needs. Laraque goes on to say that he wouldn't be surprised if the falling out between the pair ended up with Xhekaj seeking a trade elsewhere.


While I may not have the knowledge or insight that Laraque possesses, I can't imagine that things are so broken between Xhekaj and St. Louis that the relationship can't be repaired. These are two no-nonsense hockey players who have a lot of pride in what they do. St. Louis built a Hall of Fame career out of pushing himself and everyone around him. Hell... it's the main reason he's had success so far as an NHL coach despite basically having zero professional coaching experience.

And while Xhekaj may play a very different brand of hockey than St. Louis did, he's still very much cut from the same cloth. This is a kid who was stocking shelves at Costco just two years ago and he made it his mission to crack the Canadiens' roster. He did it and he establishing himself as a force during his rookie campaign. I have no doubt that this stint in the minor leagues will serve him well in the end. Stay tuned.

Source: Georges Laraque