Montreal Canadiens AHL Affiliate | Laval Rocket News: Karl Alzner Not Returning To Laval, Joel Teasdale Injury, Changes to Rocket Broadcasts
ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | LAVAL, QC. — Everyone around the Laval Rocket spoke highly of Karl Alzner last season for his professionalism and positive attitude when he was with the team. Alzner had countless reasons to be upset about his assignment to the AHL, notably having his iron-man streak of 622 consecutive games ended at the start of the season, and for having spent most of the time with the Canadiens in the press box.
With the Rocket, Alzner served as a mentor to the team’s young defensemen, playing most of the time with Cale Fleury, and Brett Lernout (now with Vegas.) Alzner had an excellent stint in Laval doing a good job defending as he was well positioned defensively and was physical.
“I don’t really think there’s much of a choice you know, it’s what what the organization wants and then I follow from there,” said Alzner when asked at the conclusion of last season if he would agree to return to Laval in 2019-20.
In a interview with TVA Sports on Friday, Alzner was clear that he doesn’t want to return to the AHL. “If it’s the same situation as last year than I mean, I’ll be 31 this year, I don’t want to waste any time you know, I don’t have too many years left. So I want to take advantage of all those years playing at the highest level.”
Alzner’s goal is to play 1,000 games in the NHL, a milestone that he will unlikely reach with the Canadiens. It was reported at the end of November, that Marc Bergevin gave Alzner’s agent permission to speak to other teams to find a fit. “I never came out and said to trade me but I was definitely open to it when I when I realized kind of saw the writing on the wall,” Alzner told TVA.
There aren’t many possible and realistic options to make Alzner happy right now. I think that he will be given an opportunity to force the team’s hands at training camp in September. The left side of the defence is currently Montreal’s weakest link. Alzner would need to battle with Victor Mete, Brett Kulak, Ben Chiarot, Mike Reilly, Xavier Ouellet, and Gustav Olofsson to earn a spot with the Habs.
If all those players remain healthy, I doubt that Alzner would get a roster spot in Montreal. Reilly’s two-year contract extension over the summer, solidified that he will start the season with the Habs.
In order to complete a trade involving Alzner, Montreal would need to retain a portion of his salary, and receive another team’s bad contract in return. “I understand that my contract is maybe a little bit tough for other teams to handle right now since the cap didn’t go up all the way, and the majority of teams are right up against the cap. So that’s that’s the unfortunate part.”
Alzner has a seven team no trade list that he can provide to the organization, but I’m certain that he would accept a trade to any other team where he would have a chance to play in the NHL.
There was two buyout windows for the Canadiens over the summer, but it didn’t make sense for Alzner’s contract to be bought out this year, with three years remaining on his contract that comes with a $4.625-million cap hit. A buyout would impact Montreal’s salary cap for the next six seasons, including a cap hit of over $4-million in the 2020-21 season.
Joel Teasdale Injury
On August 16th, the Montreal Canadiens announced that Joel Teasdale will miss a minimum of seven months after suffering torn ligaments in his right knee (MCL and ACL) during an on-ice session in Boisbriand. Surgery will be required at a date to be determined.
Teasdale was expected to play an important role with the Rocket this season. Teasdale played over three years with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL before being traded to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in January 2019.
In 66 games played last season, Teasdale scored 43 goals and added 37 assists, and in the QMJHL playoffs, he collected 34 points in 20 games. Teasdale added a Memorial Cup championship to his successful 2018-19 season by helping his team with five points in five games and was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
Changes to Rocket Broadcasts
As part of their announcement of their fall schedule, 91.9 FM Sports has decided to make a change in their broadcasts of the Laval Rocket games for the 2019-20 season. Anthony Marcotte will now be broadcasting the games on his own without a colour analyst. Raphael Doucet, Marcotte’s former colour analyst, will now be primarily covering the Canadiens for the station. The 91.9 FM Sports audio is the one used on AHL TV for Rocket games.
In the AHL, it’s common that the game broadcast is handled by one person, especially on the road. Last year, all the visiting team broadcasts at Place Bell was handled by one person, with the exception of the Providence Bruins, that had no one in the building.
Doucet had an important role during the broadcast over the last two seasons. In addition to being the colour analyst, he would run down to Laval’s dressing room to speak to the players and Joel Bouchard after each game.
In the first two years of handling the broadcasts, 91.9 FM Sports included a 30-minute show before and after each game. There was no details announced if this would continue this season, but I would expect some pre-recorded content to be aired during intermissions to assist Marcotte.
I’m not surprised that 91.9 FM Sports decided not to replace Doucet for road games, as it requires additional expenses, but I think a replacement should have been found for home games at Place Bell.
No announcements have been made by TSN 690 or RDS about their coverage for the upcoming season.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to Joe Cox and William Pelletier. Cox signed a two-way (AHL/ECHL) contract with the Rocket on June 7th, while Pelletier signed on July 1st. You can listen to the Cox interview by clicking here and the Pelletier interview by clicking here.
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