The Montreal Canadiens went into Thursday night’s game versus the Washington Capitals with just six defencemen on the roster after an injury to Victor Mete and the trade of Marco Scandella earlier in the week. Just minutes into that game, Xavier Ouellet was hit into the end boards and had trouble getting to the bench. After the game, it was announced that Ouellet had sustained a concussion, leaving Montreal’s complement of healthy defenders at just five. To get back up to six, the team has recalled Karl Alzner from the Laval Rocket.
Alzner’s last NHL game was over a year ago — January 10, 2018 — and he’s been playing in the AHL ever since. There he’s been a mentor for several of the young defenders, largely glued to Josh Brook’s hip as the prospect gets accustomed to the professional game. He has one goal and 12 assists in that role this year.
The organization is running out of personnel options. After starting the year with a large number of blue-liners, the combination of injuries at both levels and a few trades have made it difficult to populate the team at both levels, currently only with 12 healthy options between them. Seeing as how defence was already the area of the organiation in need of the most attention, you can expect to see a few new faces added ahead of the trade deadline in various deals.