The Montreal Canadiens have decided that Cole Caufield needs some more seasoning, sending the high-flying winger to the minor leagues after a tough start to his season. Mathieu Perreault has been moved to injured reserve, while Michael Pezzetta has been recalled to take Caufield’s place on the active roster.
Caufield, 20, came into the season as one of the presumptive favorites for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, after his outstanding performance in the 2021 playoffs. The undersized winger had four goals and 12 points for the Canadiens on their Stanley Cup Finals run, showing blazing speed and huge offensive upside. That offensive performance has been nowhere to be found this season, however, as Caufield has recorded just a single assist and no goals through the first ten games of the season.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that at least some of that is due to poor luck through the first month of the season. Caufield is still tied for the second-most shots on the team and it’s not like anyone is really lighting up the score sheet in Montreal. Free agent signing Mike Hoffman leads the team in goals with four, while Perreault’s hat trick from earlier this season puts him in second place at three. Usually, reliable offensive players like Tyler Toffoli, Brendan Gallagher, Nick Suzuki, and Jeff Petry have all been unable to break through, making Caufield’s struggles at least a little bit easier to swallow.
The fact is though, if the Canadiens are going to struggle so badly to create offense at the NHL level, why not let Caufield show what he can do with big minutes in the minor leagues. The 2019 first-round pick basically skipped the AHL, playing just two games there last season after his time at the University of Wisconsin ended. He’ll now go back to work on his game and get his confidence back, while the Canadiens give Pezzetta a chance at the NHL level.
There goes the rookie of the year…lol. Way to go Habs….
Looks like Bergy’s house of cards is tumbling down. Sad really.
Looks like the Canadian conference from 20-21 set up false expectations for the Habs. They are mediocre at best, even with Price.
Guess this is what a shortened off-season can do a team and its players. Cole will be back though.
Montreal had a great season last year. But guys leaving and guys getting injured have affected the roster and quality of play deeply. It’s going to be a tough season for them but they need to look at their own blue print last season for success. They had many of the right types of players that compensated for not having all the big name talent.
Please bring Mark Hunter in…whatever title he wants….Gallagher, Evans and Lekonin are the only 3 hab drafted on the current roster… Caufield will be back, but actually fell into their lap at the draft
Did anyone have Kotkaniemi scoring more goals through October than Suzuki, Caufield and Dvorak combined?