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Montreal Canadiens release first practice combinations

Camp will be split into four groups this year.

NHL: SEP 22 Canadiens Camp Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After an on-ice session that included hard skating, the Montreal Canadiens opened up their first regular day of training camp with two scrimmages as the 74 players invited to camp were split into four groups.

Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis said that he didn’t want the NHLers split in two groups with a specific minor league group as he wanted everyone to interact with each other. It may also speak to the synergy that the NHL and AHL teams will have, as everyone is learning the same things with the same emphasis at this point in camp.

With the team’s annual Bell Centre scrimmage on Sunday, and the first pre-season game on Monday, we should get a good sense at some of the potential combinations the team is trying. Keep in mind, however, that there are some key members out including Nick Suzuki, Josh Anderson, Joel Edmundson, and Sean Monahan.

The first group includes Filip Mesar at the #1 centre spot between Cole Caufield and Mike Hoffman, a clear sense that they want a look at what the 26th overall pick can do.

Joshua Roy makes his camp debut after missing the rookie tournament next to Nate Schnarr and Jesse Ylönen.

Justin Barron will also get a long look next to the top left defenceman on the roster in Michael Matheson.

The second group has newcomer Kirby Dach with Rem Pitlick and Emil Heineman, a great opportunity for two wingers looking to push their way into the NHL picture.

Kaiden Guhle starts camp next to David Savard, which indicates his place in the expected pecking order. It will provide him with every opportunity to make the team out of camp and work with an experienced partner.

In the afternoon scrimmage, Juraj Slafkovsky played with Owen Beck and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard. The top line was Evgenii Dadonov with Christian Dvorak and Brendan Gallagher.

On Team D, Joel Armia was with Jake Evans and Jonathan Drouin. Jan Mysak played with Michael Pezzetta and Alex Belzile.

Daniil Sobolev passed his physical, and made his camp debut after being added as the 75th player on the camp roster.