In the final weeks of his tenure as coach of the Montreal Canadiens, I asked Jacques Martin if Louis Leblanc had made enough of an impression on management to warrant a long-term look in Montreal.

Martin did not skip a beat in answering the question.  Martin said a growing injury list had made room for Leblanc on the Canadiens. As players returned from sick bay, Martin said Leblanc would find himself back with the Hamilton Bulldogs, playing major minutes in all kinds of situations to continue his development as a pro.

Exit Jacques Martin.

On the day when Randy Cunneyworth was introduced as the new (interim) head coach of the Habs, General Manager Pierre Gauthier appeared to soft-peddle the inevitability that Leblanc would find himself back in the American Hockey League, sooner, rather than later. Assistant coach Larry Carriere seemed to drive that point home during the team’s recent road trip, when he suggested it would be difficult to send Leblanc back to Hamilton, considering how well he was playing.

Well, Louis Leblanc, a healthy scratch the last two games for the Habs, woke up this morning as a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs, where he will play major minutes and continue to develop as a pro.




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