Montreal Canadiens: Keeping Francis Bouillon Around A Puzzling Decision
The Montreal Canadiens had one of the most promising regular seasons in recent history, but once again saw that fail to translate into any kind of postseason success. While many players (and goaltender Carey Price in particular) experienced a sharp drop off in production once the postseason hit, others never really got going over the course of the season. One player who did little to help the team this season was Francis Bouillon, which is why the one-year contract extension he received in March makes little sense.
Bouillon returned to the Canadiens after two seasons with the Nashville Predators, and appeared in all 48 games. He managed only one goal and nine points this season. While Bouillon is primarily valued for his skill as a penalty killer and a physical game that is much bigger than his size, he also saw some time on the power play this season and proved largely ineffective. While the decision to include him on the man-advantage unit falls on the coaching staff, any player who sees the kind of minutes he did at extra strength should come away with at least a point.
Bouillon also isn’t getting any younger (he’s 37) and his lack of speed and occasional struggled to play man-on-man defense against younger, quicker players is a liability for the Canadiens. With most of the team made up of young, promising talent it was surprising to see the Canadiens extend a veteran like Bouillon. With prospects like Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu waiting in the wings, his time with the team may soon be coming to an end.
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