Every year we go through this. The final solution to the Canadiens opening roster. . The players who will become the 21st, 22nd and sometimes 23rd player. The whole thing makes for good conversation, but in the overall scheme of things, who does and who doesn’t make the final cut seldom becomes a season-changer.
Last year it came down to Yannick Weber, Mathieu Carle, Matt D’Agostini, Max Pacioretty, Ben Maxwell and Greg Stewart for the final three roster spots. D’Agostini, Stewart and Pacioretty made the team. For various reasons, Stewart and D’Agostini are now with other organizations.
This year the bubble names seem to be Alex Henry, Alexandre Picard, Ben Maxwell (again), Yannick Weber (again) and Ryan White; all looking for two spots on what is expected to be a twenty-two man roster.
The fact that the Canadiens have twelve forwards on one-way contracts is a problem, although not an insurmountable one. If we make the always dangerous assumption that Lars Eller will be part of the team, that makes 13 forwards, a full complement. The question then might become, “Should Mathieu Darche be on the team ahead of Ryan White?” If not, the Canadiens have the option of asking waivers and assigning Darche to Hamilton while paying him the full 500-thousand dollars on his current one-way contract. There is one fly in that ointment; the NHL side of White’s contract calls for 350-thousand dollars more than Darche is making and the Canadiens are very close to their cap ceiling.
Assuming that Ben Maxwell is destined for Hamilton, it’s possible that Martin could carry 14 forwards and go with six defensemen. Possible but, I don’t think probable.
Martin has Eller, White and Picard in tonight’s Quebec City lineup against the Islanders. It’s a final look for all three. Darche is in the game as well.
LW C RW
13-Michael Cammalleri 14-Tomas Plekanec 46-Andrei Kostitsyn
52-Mathieu Darche 15-Jeff Halpern 40-Maxim Lapierre
32-Travis Moen 81-Lars Eller 94-Tom Pyatt
57-Benoit Pouliot 17-Dustin Boyd 53-Ryan White
Defence Left Right
75-Hal Gill 26-Josh Gorges
6-Jaroslav Spacek 76-P.K. Subban
43-Alexandre Picard 20-Ryan O’Byrne
Goal 31-Carey Price
Remaining in Training Camp
LW C RW
Michael Cammalleri Tomas Plekanec Andre Kostitsyn
Benoit Pouliot Scott Gomez Brian Gionta
Travis Moen Jeff Halpern Lars Eller**
Mathieu Darche Tom Pyatt Maxim Lapierre
Hunter Bishop (injured)** Dustin Boyd Ryan White**
Ryan Russell (injured)**
**= Two-Way Contract
Defense – Left Right
Hal Gill Josh Gorges
Jaroslav Spacek Ryan O’Byrne
Alexandre Picard** P.K. Subban**
Alex Henry** Yannick Weber**
Andrei Markov (injured)
Roman Hamrlik (injured)
Goaltenders – Carey Price
Curtis Sanford (Injured)**