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In Hainsight: Josh Anderson’s Groundhog Day

February 20, 2024, 1:06 PM ET [178 Comments]
Karine Hains
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Last season at the exit interviews, Josh Anderson almost lost his cool with journalists when he was asked for the umpteenth time about the possibility of being traded. It was understandable considering he had made the headlines of rumor sites for months, but it can expect more of the same this time around and that’s his own fault, he has done nothing to show the team he could be a valuable contributor in this rebuild.

When Marc Bergevin signed Josh Anderson to a seven-year contract after acquiring him in return for Max Domi, there were a lot of question marks and four years on, most of these remain. Yes, Anderson has got all the attributes necessary to be a power forward, but he seems to have forgotten how to use them.

The big winger didn’t find the back of the net until December, 5th this year and while he had a little burst of production shortly thereafter, but it turns out it was only a little splutter, he’s now back to his new normal, which is being a shadow of what he could be.
Year after year, he’s been given opportunities to ride shotgun on the first line along with Suzuki and Caufield as it was thought his big body would complement their game as he could retrieve pucks from the corners and create space for them, but it never worked. Now, Juraj Slafkovsky is filling up that spot nicely and he’s also a fixture on the power play, leaving Anderson with crumbs to work with on the second PP unit.

So far this year, Anderson has only managed to gather seven goals and eight assists for a total of 15 points. For all the stick Gallagher gets from fans and media alike, he’s got eight goals and eight assists for 16 points, one more than Anderson. Still, it’s Gallagher who catches most of the heat. Granted, Gallagher earns a million more than Anderson, but at least he’s always trying his hardest and brings a lot of leadership to the table. Gallagher’s about more than points, Anderson, not so much.

At one stage, Anderson was known as someone who could stand up for his teammates if needed, but with his surgically repaired shoulder, it wouldn’t be the smartest idea for him to do so. Besides, the Canadiens have got Pezzetta and Xhekaj who can fit that need for toughness… Anderson really is just about the points right now, but he’s not producing nearly enough to receive $5.5M per year.

The problem is, if the Canadiens’ brass and fans alike can see that Anderson is not living-up to the contract he has, Kent Hughes won’t get that many suitors. Still, Anderson should brace himself for plenty of speculation as his performance this season has done nothing to show he could be useful to this team in the coming years…
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