The Montreal Canadiens have lost one of the key members of their scouting department as Shane Churla was hired today by the Florida Panthers. Churla will serve as director of amateur scouting for the Panthers, after serving in a similar role with Montreal.
As Eric Engels of Sportsnet points out, Churla will likely have more autonomy in Florida than he did in Montreal, where Trevor Timmins still runs most of the scouting operations from his role as assistant GM. Engels also tweets that he does not believe the Canadiens will rush to find a replacement for Churla, because of the presence of Timmins.
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s loan has been terminated and Arpon Basu of The Athletic reports it is to be ready for a potential training camp should the NHL actually achieve its goal of a January 1 start. Kotkaniemi would need to serve out a quarantine when he returns to Montreal. The young forward scored eight points in ten games for Assat Pori in Finland during his time overseas, turning on the production after a slow start. The 20-year-old center played very well in the NHL postseason after an up-and-down season and should be a regular in the lineup this year. The Canadiens moved on from Max Domi, opening up more minutes for young players like Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki.
- While Montreal draft pick Kaiden Guhle works to make the Canadian World Junior team, a few of their other prospects will be soon battling for their own spots at the tournament. Mike Morreale of NHL.com reports that USA Hockey will hold their selection camp from December 10-13, where several Canadiens prospects will likely be taking part. Cole Caufield obviously leads that group as one of the returning players, but Jayden Struble, Sean Farrell, and Luke Tuch were all also on the WJC Summer Showcase roster before it was canceled.