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Ben Chiarot’s first-year progression or: Why we need to be patient with new players

When I first heard the news of the Montreal Canadiens’ signing of Ben Chiarot, I was skeptical. While the defenceman established himself as a solid presence next to Dustin Byfuglien with the Winnipeg Jets, Chiarot was not driving the play on that pairing. In his years with the western team, he acted as the anchor for his loose but offensive gifted partner. But in Montreal, a team that already possessed its share of shutdown defenders, I worried that the ex-Jet would only drag down the Habs’ offence.

Fast forward a year and we see that those concerns were largely unfounded.