We've talked a bit on the site about how we don't believe this year's edition of the Habs to be as good as the ones that started last year, but are they better than the Habs that ended it?
Last year the Habs' roster was as follows for the April 7th game against the Toronto Maple Leafs:
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Erik Cole|
|Rene Bourque||Tomas Plekanec||Louis Leblanc|
|Blake Geoffrion||Lars Eller||Michael Blunden|
|Brad Staubitz||Gabriel Dumont||Aaron Palushaj|
|Left Defense||Right Defense|
|Josh Gorges||P.K. Subban|
|Andrei Markov||Alexei Emelin|
|Chris Campoli||Tomas Kaberle|
Obviously Price was still a Hab last year, but he was out with a concussion. This was the lineup the Habs had to work with for the last few games of 2012.
So who's out?:
- Louis Leblanc is back in Hamilton for now. Suffering a high ankle sprain early in the season, he's still not up to speed.
- Blake Geoffrion was injured in Montreal while playing for the Bulldogs in a freak accident, he's still on the sidelines and our indefinitely.
- Michael Blunden is in Hamilton and was not called up for training camp.
- Brad Staubitz was let go as an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Anaheim Ducks.
- Aaron Palushaj is down in Hamilton, recovering from an injury obtained in practice.
- Chris Campoli wasn't retained by the Habs and is still a free agent.
- Robert Mayer is currently the starting goalie for the Bulldogs.
- Scott Gomez was injured at the time, but he's also a goner from last year's Habs team.
- Mathieu Darche was also injured, and he was let go in unrestricted free agency.
- Most importantly Carey Price is back.
- The second biggest addition is likely getting team captain Brian Gionta back from his bicep tear.
- 18 year old top draft pick Alex Galchenyuk looks like he's going to make the team.
- Marc Bergevin's big free agent acquisition was Brandon Prust, who will add some toughness and lay it all out on the line.
- Colby Armstrong was brought in on a bargain basement deal. If he rebounds, he could add some solid two way play and physicality.
- Francis Bouillon was brought in for depth on defense, and could allow the Canadiens to move a defenseman for another asset.
- Raphael Diaz is healthy again, which is a big upgrade over Campoli.
- Brendan Gallagher is up from Hamilton to try to force his way onto the team.
Here's what the Habs' roster looks like in training camp:
|Andrei Markov||Alexei Emelin|
Tomas Plekanec and Petteri Nokelainen are both skating away from the team, recovering from minor injuries. Expect Plekanec to push Eller and Prust down the depth chart and White to the right wing on the 4th line or into the 13th forward slot. Don't expect anything from Nokelainen because he's bad.
Gabriel Dumont is up with the team and skating as a spare for now.
P.K. Subban is still not signed, but he likely will be by the Saturday when Montreal plays the Leafs. He's currently skating in Toronto. Expect him to play with Josh Gorges again this year, which will be the top pairing.
It may not be the best team out there, but it should be a competitive club, and certainly better than the injury riddled bunch we saw for the last 20 or so games in 2012.