Defender Karl Alzner has liked what he has heard from the direction of the Canadian
Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images / AFP
Defender Karl Alzner in the uniform of the Capitals, in march 2016
If the uncertainty around the “Russian die” in the Montreal canadiens, the outcome of British Columbia continues to grow.
While Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov remain likely to evolve under other skies, which is already assured in the event of Alexei Emelin, Mikhaeil Sergachev and Nikita Nesterov, the Habs did sign a contract of five seasons with Karl Alzner, a defender, left-handed 28-year-old native of Burnaby, Saturday.
Alzner, who signed a pact with a value of 23,125 million of dollars, found at Montreal three compatriots provincial Carey Price, Shea Weber and Jordie Benn. He could even patrol the left flank with Weber, at least it is mutated with Jeff Petry.
The general manager Marc Bergevin, who will meet with reporters Sunday afternoon, also came to agreements of two seasons with the forwards Peter Holland and Byron Froese and defenceman Matt Taormina, and has granted a one-year contract, Joe Morrow, another defender. These four players together account 429 games experience in the NHL.
Hiring Alzner, announced a few minutes after the 12 strokes of noon, came to confirm the rumors that had started circulating early this week. These were greatly amplified Saturday morning when TSN announced since about 10 a.m. that the Canadian and Alzner had found a common ground.
A visit to cost-effective
In a conference call, Alzner said that he arrived in Montreal in the late afternoon Monday and he had spent the equivalent of 24 hours, which allowed him to visit the facilities of the team and the city. Especially, he argued for “a couple hours” with Bergevin, exchanged text messages with the owner Geoff Molson and met members of the support staff of the team. He has also had the opportunity to exchange with Weber during his visit to Montreal.
What he saw and what he heard were charmed, he suggested.
“In the end, the fact of playing with the Montreal canadiens is extraordinary. It is not only one of the six formations of the original, but this is the first that we think, according to me, hockey. “
“The meeting we had was excellent. All the people we spoke with were outstanding, the facilities are outstanding, the city is remarkable. I’m excited to all points of view. We quickly received a ton of information on which we could be proud of and that made our decision quite easy, ” said Alzner, who is said to have discussed with other teams, but who have not visited any other city.
Desire to defeat
Alzner, who measure six feet two inches and tipping the scales at 214 pounds, left the Washington Capitals, the only team for which he played, and who had selected him in the 5th place in 2007, after eight seasons in the capital of the United States.
And even though the Capitals have won the Trophy of the presidents in the last two seasons, Alzner has confidence to see his new team do just as well, if not better than the Capitals.
“In Montreal, I see the potential and we have a chance to be a training threatening as early as next year […] there are some details that I consider important, is the fact of relying on a very good guard, a great defender of high-level leadership and players capable of scoring goals. Looking at the team, these are items that I’ve seen. And in speaking with the officers, I liked the direction they want to take and the style of players they are looking for. It has clarified things. “
In addition, Alzner has not hidden that the elimination of the Capitals in the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the past two seasons, began to weigh on him.
“We had good teams in Washington, but we never managed to take the next step. I loved the city and the people and we had a lot of friends. This aspect is difficult. But I want to win and that is the reason why we play hockey. And it was frustrating to lose in the second round. This is a detail that I could not ignore. My desire to conquer is very large, and I want to have the chance to win in a canadian city, especially Montreal. The idea of having the opportunity to win in Montreal makes me smile. “
Recognized more for his defensive qualities than for his talents offensively, Alzner has gotten 19 goals and 98 assists for a total of 117 points in 591 games in the NHL. He has hit 177 penalty minutes, and his ratio of defensive is +61 in his career. After two consecutive campaigns of 21 points, Alzner has scored three goals and ten assists in 2016-2017, with a ratio defensive of +23.
If his statistics offensive are not too bright, the durability is not a problem with Alzner, who has not missed a single match of the regular season since 2010-2011. However, he has only taken part in seven of the 13 parts of the Capitals for the last playoff berth after an injury to the upper body.
Before this injury, Alzner had taken part in 599 consecutive games, including regular season and playoff games, a sequence which had started during the seventh game of the series quarterfinals in 2010 against the Canadian.
The arrival of Alzner is the most recent piece significant to add to the brigade’s defensive Canadian. Last may 1, the Canadian has signed a contract for one season at defender Czech Jakub Jerabek, a veteran of the KHL, before getting David Schlemko Golden Knights Vegas, 22 June, in return for a choice of the fifth round in 2019.