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Wednesday Habs Headlines: The Canadiens have all the pieces necessary to be a top contender

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In today's headlines, the personnel additions made by the Canadiens this summer move them closer to a Stanley Cup, Alex Kovalev challenges you a stick-handling duel, Martin Brodeur was great, Joe Thornton still is, and McDavid and Eichel will be. Oh, and the regular season begins tonight.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens news and notes

  • With a few of the Habs' draft picks having developed into elite talents, and the addition of several key, inexpensive forwards in the off-season, the Canadiens have most of the parts necessary to contend for the Stanley Cup [Metro]

  • One of those forwards was acquired just yesterday, as Paul Byron was claimed after the Calgary Flames placed him on waivers [EOTP]

  • Think you've got better stick-handling skills than Alex Kovalev? He's offering the chance to prove it on November 20th in Laval, Quebec. [Twitter]

  • The 2015-16 NHL season officially gets underway tonight.  RDS has compiled a video of the top plays from last year. [RDS]

  • The Canadiens own waived players — Dustin Tokarski and Mark Barberio — went unclaimed and will join the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL. [EOTP]

  • To make room for Byron's arrival, Jacob de la Rose was assigned to the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL. He will play with Charles Hudon and Sven Andrighetto who were assigned to the AHL on Monday.

  • The end result for the Canadiens opening night line combinations is very similar to what Michel Therrien initially put together when training camp began. [Canadiens.com]

  • As Zack Kassian has entered stage two of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, he has the support of many of his new Habs teammates [Yahoo! Sports]

  • If that's not enough to get you prepared for meaningful hockey action, Nick Myers has put together a great montage [EOTP]

Around the league and elsewhere

  • Who will win the major awards at the end of the season? Sean McIndoe highlights some players who may beat their Vegas odds this year. [Grantland]

  • Joe Thornton has experienced a rough treatment in San Jose in recent years, but there's no denying that he is one of, if not the, best players to ever put on a Sharks jersey. [San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Martin Brodeur will have his jersey retired by the New Jersey Devils in a ceremony on February 9th, 2016. [NHL.com]

  • While Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel have and will continue to claim the spotlight this year, there are several other 2015-16 rookies with the potential to be NHL stars. [NHL.com]

  • Advanced statistics are gaining prominence in discussion about player performance and team strategy.  Amateur statisticians and professional tracking companies are looking to further the understanding of what leads to NHL success, though with different motives in mind [Toronto Sun]