Arber Xhekaj out of the Canadiens line-up? Major statement on newcomer Gustav Lindstrom
Indeed, former Canadiens scout Grant McCagg, who is still very active, believes that the Swede could surprise and play in the top 4. If Xhekaj and Harris don't play on the right, he'd be the one on the 2nd pair.
In the hierarchy of right-handed defensemen, McCagg would place Lindstrom 2nd behind David Savard and ahead of Johnathan Kovacevic, Justin Barron and Chris Wideman.
The former scout mentions, however, that this would be temporary, as he doesn't see Lindstrom making the top 4 in the long term.
BTW - I don't see Lindstrom as a second-pairing defenceman long term but I think he has the inside track on that spot with MTL to start this season if the club doesn't move Harris/Xhekaj to their off sides. https://t.co/PTjt2XQYhZ- Grant McCagg (@grantmccagg) August 17, 2023
On the left, Michael Matheson and Kaiden Guhle are certain to be in the top 4, leaving a great battle between Jordan Harris and Arber Xhekaj. If Martin St-Louis really does decide to place Lindstrom in the line-up, one of the two youngsters will have to be sacrificed.
One thing is certain: the coach will have options at the start of the season.