A Look to Next Season: Montreal Argonauts (2021-2022)

Free Agency
Profile Photo of Sennet Beaulieu

Sennet Beaulieu

Published Nov 30, 2021

The early exit from the previous season's playoffs stuck a cord in the players returning to Montreal. Starting shooting guard Willie Favors was especially passionate (i.e. vulgar) about their performance, stating that they gave the Philadelphia Silverbacks "easy buckets on the line." The team managed to carry that energy throughout the entire 2021-2022 season, earning the No. 3 spot in the east and a first round match against the Miami Sunbirds.

At first, it looked like it was going to be a repeat of last year's performance accompanied by another first-round exit. Yet, they rallied together and pulled out the series, winning 4-to-1. Their next opponents would only grow in competitiveness and difficulty. In the second round, the Argonauts faced the Toronto Roar and the series went down all the way to Game 7! In the end Montreal took the series, and reached the Eastern Conference finals versus the Indiana Express. It was a similar story to the previous series. Back and forth, the Argonauts and Express battled, going to another Game 7. After 48 minutes, the Argonauts were deemed the Eastern Conference champions and were heading to the finals for the first time in franchise history.

To nearly everyone, including Montreal's GM Brittani Avery, it seemed like an impossible challenge even to win a playoff game against the Champs, the Kansas City Koyotes. At the start of the finals, they were undefeated. It looked liked the champs would stay undefeated as Kansas City won Games 1-3 by 20 points. However, Favors had other plans, scoring 61 points in Game 4! Along with the help of the facilitating expertise of point guard Jack Murray and his 18 assists and 25 points, they managed to do the unthinkable: win a playoff game against the reigning champs and avoid getting swept.

With the series heading back to Kansas City for Game 5, emotions were high for the team. The more veteran players such as Favors, McIntyre, and the Hightower brothers (Jake and Rodney) seemed more excited to have wind back in their sails. The younger and more rookie players like Jim Kerr and Josh Parker, who had been recently recalled from the D-league, were nervous having to play at such a high level. Once the game started, it was veterans that took control and gave the Koyotes a taste of their own medicine. Game 5 was in the books with a final score of 123 Montreal to 104 Kansas City. Three of the starters combined for 80 points and the sixth man Lance McIntyre had his own 17 points that helped steal another game.

Game 6 was much closer with a final score of 132 to 126. With all starters having double digits in points, the Montreal Argonauts won this game, coming back from 3-1 and forcing a Game 7. Favors again displayed his scoring power by putting up 52 points. Yet, that steam ran out by the time Game 7 started. Losing once again by 20 points, Montreal struggled throughout the entire game. The drain of travel and intense play had finally caught up with them.

Once the team returned to Montreal, I caught up with Brittani Avery and asked her how the organization plans to follow up their brilliant performance. "It'll be one day at a time really," she said with a shrug. "I am excited about the changes we've made in the coaching staff. I really appreciated what Mike Wallace did with us the past couple of years and his Coach of the Year award is well deserved. However, I think that a new perspective is needed for us to continue to improve."

Derek Evans, the new head coach of the Argonauts, expressed his gratitude for the chance to prove himself as a head coach. Having spent the last three seasons as the 1st assistant coach for the Calgary Charge, he was excited to have been approached by Avery. "Seeing what she has done with this organization is great and I'm happy to be a part of a winning team," he said during the media briefing on his hire.

Adding to the new faces in Montreal, Errick Graham and Bradley Davis are the two newest pickups from this year's draft. While both are listed as point guards, Davis has the ability to play shooting guard and small forward. Evans has stated that there is some back and forth if Davis will stay in the main league or if he will be sent to the D-league, playing for the Terrebonne Musketeers. No matter where he plays, he will more than likely play small forward. Graham is looking to become the backup point guard for when Murray is out. He put up some nice numbers during the summer league and I know that the fans are looking forward to seeing how he progresses.

With free agency just starting and the organization being over the cap, it doesn't look like too many more new faces will be joining the Argonauts. However, I'm confident that everyone from the front office to the side lines is going to give their all to make it back to the finals and maybe even take the championship home.

Back to Articles