It has been a grim year for Canadiens fans. While this offseason has been dominated by talk of last season’s failure and the oncoming rebuilding period, Montreal should remain hopeful that success is right around the corner. With a plethora of young and talented prospects, a return to the Eastern Conference playoffs could be on the horizon.
Things can only get better for the team that finished with a 31-35-16 record and a conference-low 78 points. The Canadiens were one of only two teams in 2011-12 to finish the season with less than 32 wins. For a franchise that has become accustomed to winning, last season was unacceptable and clearly changes in leadership needed to be made in 2012-13.
Montreal did not hesitate to make early offseason moves. In early May, the Canadiens replaced former general manager Pierre Gauthier with Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Marc Bergevin, who quickly hired Michel Therrien to relieve interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth of his duties. Shortly after hiring Therrien, Bergevin and his aspiring Canadiens had a fully revamped coaching staff.
Montreal will undergo plenty of on-ice changes in 2012-13 to go along with their new-look coaching staff. It will be a classic case of “out with the old, in with the new” for the Canadiens until they find the perfect formula to achieve every team’s goal of winning the Stanley Cup Finals.
This article will highlight the Canadiens’ seven most promising young prospects. They will be listed in order of their age (youngest to oldest), so the players in the beginning of the slideshow may take a few years to develop into NHL stars, while the players towards the end of the slideshow should have a more immediate impact.