I think the report that neither Francis Bouillon nor Mike Weaver got an offer from the Canadiens is good news.
While they both provided precious service to the Canadiens last season, it's time to provide opportunities to our youngsters in Hamilton. It also gives us a chance to size up on the back end. Both of these guys were tough and played with heart, but as they say, there's no substitute for cubic inches.
In any case, if management thinks the kids are ready, and won't melt in the face of the pressure, I want them on the ice, not on the bench or in the pressbox. I don't mind taking a step back next season, losing a couple extra games, in exchange for the long-term gain.
I was surprised that Francis, as good a man as he is, and as well as he's played for the last two seasons, didn't get his walking papers at the end of the year like Douglas Murray and George Parros did. I thought that maybe he was being kept in the bank as veteran insurance, as negotiation ammunition in the dealings with Andrei Markov.
Now that Andrei is signed, we really can't use him, he's part of the leftie glut on the blue line, behind Andrei, Alexei Emelin, Josh Gorges, and the two Bulldogs Jarred and Nathan.
So a hearty handshake and well-wishes to both of these gentlemen, and if Marc Bergevin can't land Erik Gudbranson for what he finds under the couch cushions, let's sign a veteran stopgap rightie until Magnus Nygren and Greg Pateryn prove that they're ready and need the icetime.