Jean-Sébastien Dea has been an American League player since his professional debut. In nine seasons, he hauled his gear through seven American cities. He played 33 National League games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabers.
At 28, his track record is comparable to that of Mathieu Darche at the same age. He is living his career to the fullest and is hoping that one day a National League team will draw his number.
This season, the Canadian welcomed him into his organization. His wish was to play for a big club.
Unfortunately it didn’t work. However, when he headed towards Laval, he found himself in a city he knew like the back of his hand. There he spent his childhood and early teens before playing on the South Shore with the Riverains of Charles-Lemoyne College in what was then the Midget AAA League.
He then went to Abitibi, where he played three seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior League. He then got to know American culture in small towns.
good truth to tell
Yesterday, during Rocket’s end-of-season report, he came to tell us a truth that has been lost to time in the Canadian universe.
It was about Quebec’s great representation inside the rocket.
“The Canadian should follow that example,” he said.
“With a band of Quebecers representing the Canadians, there wasn’t a night that the boys didn’t want to play with pride and honor. »
Dea wasn’t done yet.
He concluded by saying: “In the past when they won [en parlant des joueurs du Canadien de cette époque], there were many Quebecers. Is that a coincidence? I do not think so. It’s very special. »
Belonging goes far
Fans who don’t believe this theory can’t blame the nasty reporters this time. These comments are from a player with us.
I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that there are several former members of the organization who share these comments. Not just Serge Savard, who has always been the defender of Quebec talent. It’s not about favoring local players at the expense of talented players.
That was never the case anyway.
We love Cole Caufield like we loved Saku Koivu.
But what’s the difference between players drafted from the third, fourth, or fifth round?
Taking to the podium yesterday, Rocket coach Jean-François Houle said the presence of many Quebecois players on his team likely allowed him to progress further in the playoffs than people expected.
Without doubt. Fans gathered behind their team at Place Bell. The atmosphere was charged.
Less easy in the NHL
However, Houle was nuanced when I asked him what he thought of Dea’s comments regarding the Canadian.
According to him, it’s easier to hire Quebecers in the American League than in the National League.
This is true when it comes to top players. But when we talk about the average players who get drafted in the later rounds, what’s the difference between a Quebecer and a Timbuktu player?
A sense of belonging can make all the difference.
Hopefully Dea’s comments don’t cost him a new contract with the organization and Kent Hughes has taken note.
For years, Canadian officials have claimed they attach great importance to Quebec players, but those are just words.
There is no concrete.
The QMJHL does not appear on the GPS of the organization’s recruiters.
It has to change.
Will there be others?
Kent Hughes has managed to complete an initial transaction that will allow him to reduce his payroll. But so far so little. According to site Capfriendly.com, the Canadian now enjoys more than 1.9 million leeway under the salary cap.
That amount could rise to over 12 million if Carey Price is unable to play next season.
If his knee doesn’t improve, you’d think he’d want to give himself a chance to attend the camp.
Anderson on the market?
Of all his teammates with heavy contracts, Josh Anderson is the one I would be least willing to let go. I’d like to see him score more goals, but he’s going to the net and he brings a physical dimension that the Canadian can’t live without.
Perhaps that’s why his name is the subject of trade rumours. Anderson is only 28 years old.
But is there a demand for Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry, Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia or Paul Byron?
The Canadiens’ general manager said the volume of calls he received was higher this week.
We will see.
Shea Weber is gone, the Habs are officially captainless. The campaign to appoint his successor has already begun.
My eminent colleague Jonathan Bernier mentions the names of Nick Suzuki, Joel Edmundson, Gallagher and Anderson.
I have a question: is it really necessary to choose a captain for a team in recovery?
The Toronto Maple Leafs were waiting to choose between John Tavares and Auston Matthews. Ottawa Senators did the same with Brady Tkachuk. The New York Rangers have been without a captain since trading for Ryan McDonagh four years ago.
Suzuki is the logical candidate for the Canadian but as he begins his contract extension next season it could mean too much for him.