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Five questions heading into Habs training camp

Let's talk about Galchenyuk's linemates, the defensive log-jam, handing out contracts, and more

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Can Alex Semin and Alex Galchenyuk find chemistry playing together?

If the first intrasquad scrimmage is anything to go off, Galchenyuk will be playing alongside Alexander Semin and Lars Eller. It's an interesting line, seeing as they all stand at 6'02", weigh over 210 lbs., and have an array of offensive weapons at their disposal.

For those worrying about their defensive prowess, it's worth noting that despite popular belief, Semin can handle defensive responsibilities, and we all know that Eller excels in that department.

The line may not stay together throughout the year; in fact, it may not last through training camp, but it's an interesting proposition nonetheless.

Which defenders will start the year with the Canadiens?

P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, Alexei Emelin, Tom Gilbert, Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Mark Barberio, and Nathan Beaulieu will all be vying for one of the top-six spots on the blue line.

Assuming the Habs will carry at least seven defenders, that still leaves two odd men out.

The Canadiens may attempt to waive Mark Barberio, hoping his $250,000 AHL price tag deters some teams from claiming him, although the situation isn't as simple with Jarred Tinordi.

He's waiver eligible, and I'm not quite sure management sees him as a legitimate top-six defender at this point in his career. Marc Bergevin may attempt to relieve the defensive log-jam by trading Tinordi for future assets, as opposed to risking him on the waiver wire, where I have no doubt he would be claimed. The other option is to carry eight defenders on the team for the time being, as a contingency plan for when the inevitable injury bug hits.

Who will have the better season, Kassian or Semin?

It will come down to whichever player remains healthy the longest. Kassian has dealt with severe back issues in the past, and Semin has had his fair share of health problems, most notably a wrist injury that required surgery in 2014.

All things being equal, Semin seems to have the inside track in terms of offensive production, but Kassian is probably a better fit for Michel Therrien's coaching style.

We'll have to wait and see which player receives more ice time, as that may end up being the deciding factor, but one thing is certain: both players are primed for a rebound season.

Is there space for a rookie to crack the roster?

At first glance, the answer is no. The Canadiens already have an excess of waiver eligible forwards, including Christian Thomas, Michael Bournival, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Brian Flynn. The addition of Tomas Fleischmann to the training camp roster also minimizes the chances of a rookie making the team.

That being said, if a rookie outplays a more established player you have to make space for him. As it stands, I don't put much faith in any of the prospects cracking the roster this season, although I wouldn't be surprised if Charles Hudon pushes the envelope.

It's a big transition year for many of Montreal's top prospects, including Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron, and giving them time to adapt to a professional hockey league is probably the wisest course of action.

Do any of the remaining players on try outs stand a chance at earning a contract?

If we remove Fleischmann from the conversation, Michael McNiven, Angelo Micelli, Jamal Watson, Markus Eisenschmid, and Nicolas Blanchard are the players attending training camp that are currently there on a try out basis.

Eisenschmid impressed during the development camp, scoring several goals during the scrimmages. If he recovers from his current injury in time, he'll likely get an extended look throughout camp.

Jamal Watson and Michael McNiven looked good in recent outings, although I'd have to see more of them before making a statement on their future. Regardless, they did play well in their limited opportunities.

But the player that turned the most heads was definitely Angelo Miceli. His vision was on display throughout the rookie training camp, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has earned an AHL contract once all is said and done.  If he continues his strong play throughout camp, an ECHL deal sending him to Brampton would, at the very least, be in order.