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.

Tonight’s lineup

                 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

                                 Alex Auld

                                 Curtis Sanford (Injured)**