Zachary Fucale was much, much better in training camp this year than he was last year, and improved greatly over his performance during July's development camp, but he is the first cut by the Canadiens heading into preseason play.
It's a bit of a surprising move since Fucale got a preseason start against the Sabres last season, but Arpon Basu may have cut to the heart of it on twitter.
The Halifax Mooseheads play Friday night at home, so sending Fucale down now makes sense if he wasn't going to play tonight, which he wasn't— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) September 23, 2014
Fucale has to play, and the Canadiens are loaded with goalies, and there is a lot of focus on Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski's fight for the backup role. Fucale may not have got much work during the preseason anyway, so why not let him start his season in Halifax?
With the departures of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin in back to back years, the Mooseheads are no longer a superpower in the QMJHL, so Fucale will be relied upon more than ever as the backbone of the team.
We should also see Fucale as the starting goaltender for Team Canada over the holidays, after he won the job in last year's World Junior Hockey Championships. It's a big year for Fucale to establish himself as more than just a potentially good prospect.
For his part, Fucale is pretty positive:
Another great camp and experience at @CanadiensMTL camp! Excited to get back to Halifax for another great year! Thank you to everyone!— Zach Fucale (@Fucale31) September 23, 2014