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A look ahead to the opening day roster with Semin and Kassian in the lineup

The Habs have a few new players, but where do they fit in the lineup?

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Now that the Canadiens have acquired a talented winger, it's time to project some of the possible forward lines for next season.

The Habs currently have 14 forwards under contract, which will eventually rise to 15 once Alex Galchenyuk signs his contract extension. They have 9 defencemen that are NHL ready as well, leading many to point out that some sort of trade is on the horizon.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadiens traded one of their auxiliary defencemen, however the forward logjam is partially cleared up by simply sending Jacob de la Rose to the minors. It's not that de la Rose particularly deserves a demotion, but seeing as how he's not eligible for waivers he seems like the likeliest candidate to start the season with the IceCaps. The other option involves waiving Brian Flynn, Christian Thomas or Michael Bournival, a move that would probably result in a quick claim, and a lost asset.

Of course, things can change from here to the start of the season, but let's take a look at some of the potential line combinations the Habs can roll now that they have Semin in the fold.

First off, it's worth noting that not only is Semin capable of shooting the puck with the best of them, he's also an established play maker.

semin passing

(for a glossary of terms that explains the graphic presented above click here)

Here's what the Habs presently have to work with. It's clear that one of the right wingers will have to switch to the left side. There's also the concept of playing Alex Semin on the left wing, however I'm not quite sure how comfortable he is

forwards meme

The first option that comes to mind is immediately slotting Semin on the first line, alongside Max Pacioretty and Galchenyuk.

Option #1

Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Semin,
Desharnais - Plekanec - Gallagher,
Bournival - Eller - Kassian,
Smith-Pelly - Mitchell - Weise,
Thomas, Flynn

A more realistic option may involve switching Galchenyuk and David Desharnais, like so:

Option #2

Pacioretty - Desharnais - Semin,
Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Gallagher,
Bournival - Eller - Kassian,
Smith-Pelly - Mitchell - Weise,
Thomas, Flynn

Seeing as how Tomas Plekanec's defensive prowess is starting to fade, it might be wise to use him on the top line, as to extract some offense from the declining player.

Option #3

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Semin,
Galchenyuk - Desharnais - Gallagher,
Bournival - Eller - Kassian,
Smith-Pelly - Mitchell - Weise,
Thomas, Flynn

Option #4

Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gallagher,
Desharnais - Galchenyuk - Semin,
Bournival - Eller - Kassian,
Smith-Pelly - Mitchell - Weise,
Thomas, Flynn

The last option that I will suggest involves placing Lars Eller on the first line, finally giving him legitimate forwards and tapping into his offensive potential, however this option leaves a glaring hole when it comes to which line will take care of the tough defensive minutes.

Option #5

Pacioretty - Eller - Gallagher,
Galchenyuk - Plekanec - Semin,
Bournival - Desharnais - Kassian,
Smith-Pelly - Mitchell - Weise,
Thomas, Flynn

There's always the possibility that a prospect like Charles Hudon may turn some heads at training camp, and eventually find his way onto the opening night roster.However seeing how there's already plethora of NHL calibre forwards on the lineup, the odds that a rookie starts the season with the Habs is probably quite low.

It's not an earth-shattering forward lineup by any means, but it does look a lot healthier than last year's opening night roster, which included players like Manny Malhotra and Rene Bourque.

Marc Bergevin has focused on adding goals to the lineup, and with the addition of Zack Kassian and Alex Semin, he seems to have done so without spending much in terms of assets. It remains to be seen whether or not the changes are enough to drag the Canadiens out of the NHL's goal-starved basement.

Let us know how you feel about the proposed lineups in the poll below, and if you have a better idea, like the possibility of Semin playing on the left wing, don't hesitate to post your own preferred lineup in the comments.