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Montreal Canadiens

Interesting Detail On Canadiens Training Camp Roster



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens announced 74 invited players to their training camp this year, but one detail stood out rather quickly.

When the Canadiens released their training camp roster list on Tuesday night, many were taken aback by the number of players attending camp this year: a whopping 74 players. It is a much larger amount of players than we are accustomed to seeing, as the Canadiens included many players from their minor league system and four invites at the goaltending position alone.

Although the size of the roster may be what caught the eye at first, one interesting detail that has flown under the radar was the health statuses of certain players. Paul Byron, who is still recovering from off-season surgery is listed as injured on the Canadiens roster list, which was to be expected the way general manager Kent Hughes spoke of his status.

However, Sean Monahan and Jonathan Drouin were listed as healthy participants during this training camp. That isn’t to say they’ll be healthy to start the season per se, but if they’re listed as healthy right now, the chances of them being out longer than 24 days or ten games (the qualifying elements for LTIR) are rather slim.

But why is that important? Well, the Montreal Canadiens were projected to have a little bit of wiggle room at the start of this season with their current logjam at forward due to the “grey area” around the health of Byron, Monahan and Drouin. With Monahan and Drouin healthy and likely to play some games, it means the Canadiens will have 15 healthy NHL forwards, and that doesn’t yet include the likes of Juraj Slafkovsky or any other possible surprises at camp.

It certainly explains Montreal Hockey Now’s report earlier this week that general manager Kent Hughes has turned up the frequency of his calls to his peers, as the positive signs in Monahan and Drouin’s health makes the need for a trade even more dire. It would be surprising to see the Canadiens start the season with 15 forwards on their 23-man roster, especially if they wish to carry a 7th defenceman to rotate in and out of the lineup.

With the Canadiens also looking to add a defenceman to the roster, it seems that training camp will be rather determinant in establishing the team’s hierarchy at the forward position; as some youngsters could quite literally force Hughes to move not once, but twice.

With pre-season games just five days away, it will be interesting to see whether Drouin or Monahan suit up for any games; it would be a telling sign of what their status will look like to start the season. With Hughes working the phones and the market likely to shake loose toward the end of each team’s respective training camps, it wouldn’t be surprising to see something go down before October 12.

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I read interviews from both Drouin and Monahan and both said they’re ready to go. Yet several reporters kept reporting that they’d be on injured reserve to start the season. Hmmm.

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