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Les Canadiennes make moves in busy week

Retirements, signings, new rink, oh my!

Emmanuelle Blais.
Michelle Jay

It’s been a busy week for Les Canadiennes de Montréal!

12 players to not return

In one fell swoop, Montréal announced 12 players who would not be returning to the team, a huge loss. Of the twelve, eight are retiring and four are playing in other locations.

Retiring players

The eight retiring players are defenders Natalie Barrette, Laurence Beaulieu, Cathy Chartrand, and Cassandra Poudrier; forwards Emmanuelle Blais, Noémie Marin, and Kayla Tutino; and goaltender Catherine Herron.

They represent a large chunk of the team’s depth. Perhaps the biggest losses are veterans Chartrand, Marin, and Blais.

Chartrand has been with the team since 2012-13 and served as captain for three seasons. She’ll retire as the team’s career leader in points as a defender, playing in 144 games amassing 122 points. No other defender in team history even comes close to her point totals. She was a two-time CWHL Defender of the Year, in 2014 and 2018.

Noémie Marin
Michelle Jay

Marin is a four-time Clarkson Cup champion, having been with the team since 2008. Last season, she became the CWHL’s all-time leading scorer with 132 goals. She totaled 272 points over the course of her career.

Blais won three Clarkson Cup championships in her eight years with the team. She scored 134 career points. Herron also has three Clarkson Cups from her time with Les Canadiennes. She won 36 games in the regular season.

Last season Poudrier suffered a career-ending injury, derailing her time in the CWHL after only two seasons. In her 42 games in the league, she scored 23 points.

Natalie Barrette
Michelle Jay

Barrette and Beaulieu are both leaving after one season in the league, both coming from U Sports teams. Barrette had five points, and Beaulieu had three last season. Barrette will be an assistant coach at her alma mater, Windsor University.

Former first overall draft pick Tutino leaves the CWHL after two seasons. She began her career with the Boston (now Worcester) Blades before returning to her native Montréal for a season with Les Canadiennes.

Moving players

Three players left Montréal for Sweden: Marion Allemoz will play in the SDHL for MODO. Lore Baudrit and Nachi Fujimoto join Division 1 and will play with IF Björklöven and Färjestad BK respectively.

Erinn Noseworthy was listed on Toronto Furies training camp roster.

Signings

Les Canadiennes officially announced the return of their Olympians. Marie-Philip Poulin will return after sitting out the rest of the 2017-2018 season post-Olympics, as well as Lauriane Rougeau, who played four games last season after returning. 2017 first-round pick Mélodie Daoust will make her CWHL debut as well.

Returning from last year are Sarah Lefort, Erin Ambrose, Emerance Maschmeyer, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Katia Clement-Heydra, Karell Emard, and Melanie Desrochers.

They’ll all join American Olympian Hilary Knight and recently-acquired Canadian Olympians Jillian Saulnier and Geneviève Lacasse.

This season will be the first time we see Poulin and Knight on the same team. Along with the formidable and deadly Daoust, Les Canadiennes’ roster is terrifying.

New Rink

Les Canadiennes will have a new place to call home: Place Bell, the home of the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

A majority of their games will be played in the community rink with two games being played on the main rink, including their season opener on Oct. 13 against the Calgary Inferno. The 6:30 p.m. game is a doubleheader with Laval Rocket. The other game in the main rink is on Feb. 13.