There has been a Quebec-born player within the lineup of each game the Montreal Canadiens have played since the club first took to the ice on Jan. 4, 1910.
Until Monday night. Coach Dominique Ducharme announced earlier within the day that Paul Byron would play against the Edmonton Oilers rather than Alex Belzile, of Saint-Éloi, Que.
Victoriaville-born Phillip Danault out with a concussion and Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts’ Jonathan Drouin gone indefinitely for unstated personal reasons, Belzile is that the only other Quebec-born player eligible to play. Belzile was a last-minute insertion into the lineup on Saturday as speculation mounted over whether that game, against the Maple Leafs, would be the primary with only imports. it had been the 29-year-old’s first-ever regular-season game within the NHL. Though Belzile picked up an assist, he was scratched Monday when Byron, who’s from Ottawa, was cleared to play after recovering from a lower-body injury.