Habs Coach Confirms a Big Rumor About Arber Xhekaj

Julien Trekker
April 29, 2023  (8:09 PM)

Unfortunately, Arber Xhekaj was only able to play 51 games with the Montreal Canadiens during his first NHL season. He had to end it prematurely due to a shoulder injury sustained during a fight against Vincent Desharnais of the Edmonton Oilers on February 12th.

Stéphane Robidas, the assistant coach and defensive specialist for the Montreal Canadiens, praised Arber Xhekaj during his appearance on a TV interview on Friday night.
He emphasized that Xhekaj brings more than just physical strength to the team, but he must choose his battles wisely. Robidas' remarks clearly indicate that Xhekaj is an important asset for the team.
"He's a young player who plays with passion, but he needs to gain experience. You can see that players from other teams respect him a lot. I can confirm that other teams wouldn't have taken as many liberties if he had been in the lineup at the end of the season.

He has a presence on the ice, and it's not just physical. He's a very good hockey player. He has a good stride for a young man with such an imposing frame." - Stéphane Robidas.

According to Hockeyfights, Xhekaj fought twice in preseason games and nine times during the regular season. In addition to his 101 penalty minutes and 159 hits, Arber Xhekaj also scored 5 goals and recorded 8 assists for a total of 13 points during the season.
While he was in Quebec to watch his son Justin, who plays for the Remparts, Stéphane Robidas also discussed the performances of other Montreal Canadiens rookies. He particularly appreciated the performances of Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Johnathan Kovacevic, and Justin Barron. The assistant coach seems to see the positives in this difficult season and is optimistic about the team's future.
"With all the injuries this year, it's hard to evaluate what we have. There are different ways to look at it. I prefer to see things positively.

The numerous injuries allowed many players who wouldn't have had the opportunity to play as much to gain experience. One person's misfortune made others happy.

Next year, we start from scratch. I like the direction we're going with Martin St-Louis, Kent Hughes, and Jeff Gorton. It's exciting for us." - Stéphane Robidas.

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Habs Coach Confirms a Big Rumor About Arber Xhekaj

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