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Training camp: with two strikers missing, the U23s can make the club
Yesterday, the Habs decided to trade Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick in a three-team deal. The guys are off to San Jose and Pittsburgh respectively.

In return, only one forward joins the Habs organization – and Nathan Légaré is likely to go to Laval – since otherwise, we’re talking about a defenseman, a goaltender and a pick.

The result? Montreal’s forward congestion looks less imposing this morning.

If the season were to start today, this line-up could be on the Canadiens’ ice. And that’s in a world where Christian Dvorak is healthy to start the season, which is by no means certain.

Caufield – Suzuki – Anderson
Newhook – Dach – Monahan
Slafkovsky – Dvorak – Gallagher
Harvey-Pinard – Evans – Armia
Pezzetta – Ylönen

The good thing is that this doesn’t really change what I see as a potential #1 line-up. I had already raised the possibility of Hoffman being left out for the first game of the season.

Maybe without Dvorak, it would have been different, but hey.

What about Pitlick? He was possibly destined not to start the season with the Habs, so we’re not exactly talking about a heavy loss on the ice.

But it does free up space on the roster, for example.

If Hoffman and Pitlick are gone, that means we’re down to 14 forwards who, logically, should be starting the season in the NHL. But then again, that takes Dvorak into account.

If he starts the season on the sidelines (and the CH has only two goalies and seven defensemen, the club might have room for a prospect. Whether it’s Sean Farrell, Joshua Roy, Riley Kidney, Lias Andersson, Owen Beck, Emil Heineman or whoever, we can expect a fight.

This is obviously very interesting from the point of view that the club is in the hands of youngsters. Seeing them fight for their place in the sun is bound to be a good thing for the Canadian.

So training camp will be important for a lot of the guys. And with so many youngsters in Laval, it’s going to force them to go the extra mile to earn themselves an encore with the Habs (if need be) along the way.

And defensively, this will also have an impact. After all, the arrival of Jeff Petry is a game-changer. And while it’s possible that Kent Hughes could trade him again between now and the start of the season, at the time of writing, he’s still in Montreal.

Mike Matheson, Jeff Petry, David Savard, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Johnathan Kovacevic and Chris Wideman will be battling for available positions.

If the Habs traded Joel Edmundson to make room for youngsters, it’s logical to believe that Jeff Petry’s goal is the same. After all, even though he’s right-handed, the defenseman blocks the youngsters.

But he ensures that the defensive top-4 for the 2021 series isn’t completely gone, after all…

So I expect the defenseman to be on his way to the U.S. by the start of the season. But if not, we’ll see how everyone handles it.

After all, the Petry family is causing a stir in Montreal…


– Not crazy at all. Kyle Dubas likes to have a Big 4.

– Eh boy.

– Jonathan Marchessault appreciates Quebec’s support. [BPM Sports]

– The Penguins are making room.

– Happy birthday, Jake.

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