A wise man once said that one man’s garbage is another man person’s good un-garbage. When the Calgary Flames waived a certain Paul Byron back in 2015, the Montreal Canadiens jumped at the opportunity to have him on their team. He has been with the team ever since, and is regarded as perhaps the best waiver pickup they’ve ever executed.
In a losing effort against the Canucks, Rem Pitlick managed to continue his string of promising performances, reminiscent of the last great waiver wire pickup in Byron.
He formed a trio with Jake Evans and Artturi Lehkonen, which looked like arguably the best line for the Habs in a very sleepy effort against the Vancouver Canucks. They were definitely the most productive, with Lehkonen scoring twice — both goals drawing assists for Pitlick — and our main character of this article adding a late goal in a failed comeback bid.
That Martin St. Louis trusts Pitlick to play in the final minutes of the game with the goaltender pulled is very telling. He’s already earned a lot of trust from his new coach, and should continue to see such opportunities with the way he’s capitalizing on them. The remainder of this year should be about evaluating anyone who is to stay with the club, and there is a strong case to have him brought back.
I would personally like to see Pitlick back in the Tricolore next year. The chemistry with Lehkonen and Evans is there, and it could end up being a very useful bottom-six trio for the club.
But with the way he’s playing, there could also be trade offers coming. As he is found money, it would be foolish for the Canadiens not to entertain those offers should they be contacted. Time will tell, but for now it is great to see another waiver pickup having success in Montreal.
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your podcast platform of choice. Next up will be the Seattle Kraken on Saturday night, which will happen at a normal time for all the Eastern time zone dwellers.