While the Canadiens will be getting some key veterans back for the postseason in defenseman Shea Weber, winger Brendan Gallagher, goalie Carey Price, and center Phillip Danault, it does not appear they will be getting winger Jonathan Drouin back in their lineup. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports (Twitter link) that Drouin is not expected to return for the playoffs as things currently stand.
The 26-year-old took a leave of absence in late April after missing several games to what was called an illness and the team asked for his privacy to be respected at that time. Montreal then placed Drouin on LTIR but with the retroactive placement, enough time has elapsed for him to be activated for their series opener against Toronto but instead that won’t be the case.
Drouin had a tough season offensively; while he managed to put up 21 assists in 44 games which is the best assist per game ratio of his career, his two goals made him a lynchpin for criticism, especially with a $5.5MM contract. Nevertheless, he still would have been an interesting wild card addition to Montreal’s lineup given that he tied for the team lead in scoring in the bubble last summer. Instead, the focus will now shift to him hopefully being able to return for next season.