He’s injured… again. A wrist injury… again. We’re talking surgery and an extended leave… again. The Canadiens paid a high price to get Jonathan Drouin’s services, in what is arguably Marc Bergevin’s only big trade lost in his almost 10-year reign in Montreal. Due mostly to him being unable to stay healthy both physically and mentally, it is getting harder and harder, even for the most positive fans and supporters, to maintain any hopes for any kind success, let alone his future in Montreal.
Before we get started, note that I have been one of Jo’s biggest defenders over his years in Montreal. And this article is in no shape or form, a mean to put him down as a person or even as a player. However, in the name of fairness and integrity, one must be able to give credit when it’s due, and also call a spade a spade when it’s needed too.
Drouin was already away from the team due to a COVID-19 close contact and is now facing an extended absence. With approximately five weeks left in the NHL season, it’s not impossible that Drouin has played his last game this year. The diagnosis he received calls for him having his right wrist operated on, but the Canadiens’ winger wants to seek a second opinion. If his season is indeed over, he would end the 2021-22 campaign having tallied six goals and 14 helpers in 34 games.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Drouin would have missed substantial time. Since joining the Canadiens, the Ste-Agathe, QC native has played a combined total of 263 games out of the team’s 356 regular season’s contests. In the past three seasons, he has been limited to 105 of the Habs’ 192 games.
- 2019-20: 27 of 71
- 2020-21: 44 of 56
- 2021-22: 34 of 66 thus far
That’s 55% of his team’s total games over a three-year span.
|Nov. 2017||Upper body|
|Nov. 2017||Lower body|
|Feb. 2018||Upper body|
|Nov. 2019||Left Wrist||Surgery|
|Apr. 2021||Personal reasons||Assistance Program|
|Nov. 2021||Upper body||Puck to the head|
|Jan. 2022||Right Wrist|
|Mar. 2022||Right Wrist||Exposed to COVID|
Wrist – Possible surgery?
In the 263 games that he’s played for the Canadiens since being traded from Tampa Bay in the summer of 2017, Drouin has racked up 46 goals, 111 assists, 157 points with a differential of minus -59. That’s an average of 0.60 points per game, which averages out to 49 points per season on an 82-games schedule.
At $5.5 million per season, and considering that when he’s not producing offensively, he brings very little to a team, those numbers are simply not good enough. Of course, injuries factored into Drouin’s offensive production but there’s no denying that he has been underwhelming.
With that being said, it’s not due to a lack of effort, as some fans suggest. He has worked hard at improving all aspects of his game and he wants to be a leader on this team. However, the results simply haven’t been there for him.
Time to go?
Perhaps Drouin would greatly benefit from a fresh start elsewhere. He is just turning 27 today, so it’s not like he doesn’t have some good years ahead of him. But maybe in a market where he doesn’t get recognized in the streets, where there isn’t that omnipresent pressure, the sheer number of reporters following the team, he could focus on himself a bit more.
In a recent article, even before knowing about the most recent news regarding the possibility of Drouin missing the rest of the season, I had him as someone who had to be traded. This news doesn’t do anything to change my mind. The Canadiens do need to shed some cap and it seems like they’re not getting a good bang for their buck with Drouin.
Charting the Course into the Future by Bob Trask