There is a gigantic rumor floating around the Montreal Canadiens right now and it's one of catastrophic proportions for the team.
According to a report from Montreal journalist Tom Lapointe, a man best known for breaking the Wayne Gretzky trade three days prior to the deal going through, the Montreal Canadiens have just been his with a disaster. Lapointe is reporting that Canadiens star forward Jonathan Drouin has suffered some form of a knee injury and furthermore Lapointe reports that the injury is believed to be very serious. To make matters even worse for the Canadiens the injury was not suffered while Drouin was playing for them or training for the upcoming 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season.
Lapointe is reporting that the injury was suffered during a charity game in Quebec put on by Pittsburgh Penguins star defenseman Kris Letang, an annual event known as the "Tournoi Kris Letang." Drouin being the all around good guy that he is known to be happily agreed to participate in the tournament for a good cause but unfortunately it now appears to have cost him and his team. The Canadiens have of course not officially reported any of this as of yet but we do have some anecdotal evidence that appears to lend a great deal of credence to the report from Wilson.
Drouin had two big events on his schedule ahead of him in the next few days and he has since suddenly and rather mysteriously pulled out of both events without sighting a reason for his absence. The first event was another charity tournament known as the "Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron," while the other was a boot camp that had been schedule in Quebec this week. The Boot Camp is especially noteworthy because all signs indicated that he would be attending up until Letang's charity tournament but suddenly Drouin cancelled with just 4 days of notice prior to the event.
The news will be particularly devastating to the Canadiens as they were seemingly putting all their hopes into Drouin becoming a true number 1 center this season. If this injury ends up costing Drouin some time at the start of the regular season he could get off to a slow start at a position that he has not yet fully acclimated himself to. That being said though given the current state of the Canadiens organization if an injury of this nature were to happen this may be the very best possible time. The expectations are not high after last season and a poor finish would give the Canadiens a better position in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft as the look to turn the fate of their franchise around.
In spite of the fact that he had to adjust to the center position in the NHL Drouin was coming off a decent year in the 2017 - 2018 NHL regular season. During the 77 games in which he appeared for the Canadiens he recorded 13 goals and 33 assists on a Habs team that really struggled to find the back of the net last season.
This may be a huge blow to the Habs in the short term.
Photo Credit: David Kirouac/CSM/Zuma