It’s not just Canadiens fans who are keeping a close eye on the wave of young hopefuls approaching Montreal or Laval. Within the organization itself, players with a precarious situation are not fooled.
At the end of June, Joel Tisdale learned that Habs would not make him a qualifying offer. The news caused relative surprise among observers…but not among those principally concerned. Thus, he became a free agent without compensation.
We’re not crazy, guys! Teasdale called out in an interview last Saturday, on the sidelines of the KR Classic, a charity event that featured a few dozen players from the pro ranks.
“We’re looking at the players coming in, and the Canadians have a lot of them who are rookies who will jump into the Laval rocket. We prepared for the possibility that the Canadians wouldn’t make me an offer, and that’s what happened.”
Quebec was right. In 2023-2024, the Rocket, CH’s school club in the MLS, will present a somewhat different face compared to last season, especially on offense. Even if he tasted the NHL at the end of the last campaign, Sean Farrell should logically end up at Laval. Emil Heinemann made a solid impression on his North American debut last spring and is expected to be one of the club’s attacking engines. Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, and maybe even Phillip Messar will turn the page in their young careers. And Xavier Simoneau, who now has a dual contract in the NHL, will be in a better position than last year in the attacking hierarchy.
Although he saw it coming, Tisdale was somewhat disappointed.
The Canadian is my childhood team, so I definitely wanted to continue with them.
However, his dream remains to ‘play in the NHL’. As such, it “wasn’t going in the right direction” in Montreal. Which causes him to say that the “fresh start” will also benefit him.
The first start
An unusual fact in the career of a professional athlete: It will be, at the age of 24, the first time that Joël Teasdale has settled away from home to make a living from his sport.
Aside from a break of a few months spent in Rouyn-Noranda at the end of his junior coaching stint – he took the opportunity to win the Memorial Cup with, in particular, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – he never left the metropolitan area to play hockey, whether on South Beach at the bantam and midget levels, at Boisbriand in the QMJHL, if not in Montreal among the pros.
“In my initial draft, I wanted to go far,” he says. I had hoped to go to Cape Breton; I wasn’t very good at English, I thought this was the best way to learn it. But it didn’t work! But hey, this was another brave new world. »
He welcomes this new reality with a smile, despite the obvious “adaptation” it will require.
Although he hasn’t signed a new contract yet, he’s still hoping to find a two-way deal that ties him to an NHL team. He says some clubs have shown interest in him.
After scoring 23 goals in 58 AHL games last season, and ranking second on the Rocket, Teasdale has done well in the two games he has played for the Habs late in the game. This is what he and his agent are trying to emphasize to other teams. “I think I showed I can play in the NHL. I didn’t look crazy… anyway, I don’t think so!” he bursts into a burst of laughter.
He expects to find his next employer in the weeks leading up to the training camps. “Every year you see a rush of signings and then teams take a little break to assess things. We are at this stage.
With Joël Bouchard recently hired as head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, a coaching club for the Tampa Bay Lightning, one wonders if there isn’t a chance for Teasdale to join the person who led him for three years in the QMJHL, then another year in the MLS.
Tisdale smiles at the idea, but quickly dismisses it. He and Bouchard see each other regularly at the Rousseau Sports Center in Boisbriand this summer, but they “avoid talking about it,” he says.
“He’s new to the organization, so it might be reprehensible to push for someone so quickly,” Tisdale said. It would be interesting to find him, but my goal is still to sign an NHL contract. »
Joel Tisdale in a nutshell
Born March 11, 1999 in Repentigny
He played three and a half seasons with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL.
He won a Memorial Cup with the Rowen Noranda Huskies in 2019.
Never scoring in the NHL, he signed a contract with the Canadiens in September 2018.
He missed the entire 2019-20 season due to a knee injury.
He played his first two matches for CH in April 2023.
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