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Wednesday Habs Headlines: Joel Armia is close to returning

In today’s links, Joel Armia hopes to be back in the lineup before the bye week, first impressions on Ilya Kovalchuk, and Nicklas Backstrom signs an extension with the Washington Capitals.

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Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens news and notes

  • Joel Armia is close to returning to the Habs lineup. [Montreal Gazette]
  • Nate Thompson hopes that his story can help others facing the same struggles. [Montreal Gazette]
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling, and the potential beginning of a beautiful friendship. [The Athletic]
  • A positive first impression for Ilya Kovalchuk. [Radio-Canada]
  • For the time being, Kovalchuk is making Marc Bergevin look good. [RDS]
  • Kovalchuk is enjoying the warm welcome that he’s received. [La Presse]
  • The Habs must improve their home record. [RDS]
  • What should the Canadiens do with Carey Price at the trade deadline? [Sportsnet]
  • Gianni Fairbrother’s season looks to have come to a premature end.
  • An update on Joni Ikonen:

Around the league and elsewhere

  • The Washington Capitals have re-signed Nicklas Backstrom to a 5-year contract extension with a $9.2 million AAV. [Japers’ Rink]
  • What does Backstrom’s contract mean for Braden Holtby? [The Athletic]
  • Based on recent trends, defence helps, but it’s not the be-all-end-all to winning the Stanley Cup. [Sportsnet]
  • Could Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings set the market price for deadline defencemen? [TSN]
  • Twenty names who could be changing addresses at the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
  • Despite his two-game suspension, Zack Kassian says that he would “do it all over again”. [TSN]
  • Originally slated to miss 2-3 weeks, Tage Thompson will be out 5-6 months after team doctors determined that surgery was required. [ProHockeyTalk]
  • Do these five stars have bad contracts? [The Athletic]
  • A free agent at year’s end, Corey Crawford doesn’t see himself retiring or as a backup. [Second City Hockey]
  • Can Roman Josi win the Norris Trophy this season? [On the Forecheck]
  • An alternate history: what if the Dallas Stars had selected Cale Makar and the Colorado Avalanche Miro Heiskanen in 2017? [The Athletic]
  • Frolunda HC and Mountfield HK will play for the championship of the Champions Hockey League.
  • Sabrina Scali is doing something about a common perception of gender roles in sport.
  • A tale of two Gretzkys: Wayne and Slava. []
  • They might not put this Forsberg on a stamp for it, but Filip’s got pretty slick hands.