According to Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien, his inserting defenseman Victor Mete into the lineup this week had nothing to do with trade speculation or rumors the player was unhappy with his position on the team. Instead, despite how it might look, getting Mete into the lineup was always the coach’s plan.
As per both the coach and according to a report by Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, the fact that the Canadiens debuted Mete after it was confirmed by the player’s agent that the blueliner would like to be traded was not a showcase to motivate a trade. Julien said the team has always been trying to find the right opportunity to get Mete into the lineup and he simply didn’t want him to sit too long.
Mete’s agent confirmed on Saturday that the defenseman was unhappy being used so infrequently. A deep Canadiens roster and some excellent play by rookie Alexander Romanov meant that Mete was not going to be used as often. But, the Canadiens were one injury or some poor play from another defenseman away from calling on Mete. Moving him could wind up being problematic if unforeseen circumstances reared their ugly head.
Mete’s Playing Apparently Changes Nothing
Mete played 17:45 in Monday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks. He had no shots on goal, no assists and was a plus/minus – 2. He finished with three blocked shots, one hit and two penalty minutes. It was not a bad outing, but it wasn’t enough to necessarily keep him on the roster.
All that said, it doesn’t sound like anything has changed on the Mete trade front. The Canadiens still don’t want to waive him or trade him and the defenseman would still prefer to be sent to another team where he’ll have more of an opportunity to play.
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