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Claude Julien was on a video conference Thursday to discuss the changes in the Canadiens roster and the outlook for the future, but he couldn’t avoid talking about a player who is no longer part of the puzzle.
Max Domi, who was the team’s top scorer in the 2018-19 season, found himself in a reduced role last season and was traded, with a 2020 third-round pick, to the Columbus Blue Jackets for power forward Josh Anderson.
While there appears to be friction between Julien and Domi, the head coach said Domi’s demotion to the fourth row during the playoffs was a matter of circumstances.
“You are talking about (Nick) Suzuki, (Jesperi) Kotkaniemi, two young centers that the organization really wants to succeed,” said Julien. “When we started training camp (in July) it was obvious that Max wasn’t there for the first week, so we got our group together, and all of a sudden we see these two guys – in particular Kotkaniemi – doing very well. So for us the first thing we thought about was, “Hey, we’ve got the opportunity to have four good lines here. “… That depth that we thought really got us through the first round against Pittsburgh.