Peter Budaj traded. Francis Bouillon released. Just the beginning. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin still has at least two difficult decisions to make before he locks in his opening day lineup at the NHL-imposed Tuesday 5:00pm deadline.
Including Lars Eller and P.A. Parenteau, there were five forward lines on the ice at Canadiens practice Monday morning which, under NHL guidelines is one unit too many. For the first time in years, the Canadiens first four lines are locked in. That fifth line included Travis Moen, Michael Bournival and Jacob de la Rose. Assuming that Bergevin is comfortable carrying the two rookies Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi on his defence, it means two members of that fifth line will have to go. Basically, Bergevin and his coaching staff will be deciding on who will be his seventh forward.
Moen is the veteran who’s abilities are fading but has two years remaining on a four year contract he signed in 2012. Bournival is the speedster with the all-out hustle and versatility. De la Rose is the rookie with the high up-side who showed rapid game-by-game improvement during training camp. Take your pick. I can see reason to keep any one of them.
It always comes down to team-needs and, of course the market as other teams face their own issues and make talent available either through waivers or trades.
Here’s the way the Canadiens were set up their practice Monday.
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Sekac
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
Moen – de la Rose – Bournival
Subban – Emelin
Gilbert – Markov
Weaver – Beaulieu
Extra – Tinordi