Friday, July 12, 2013

Montreal Canadiens: Depth Chart and Player Movements

One week after the opening of free agency, the Canadiens' roster is most likely settled for the beginning of the 2013-14 season, unless GM Marc Bergevin manages to trade a big salary. There won't be many surprises in training camp like last season when both Galchenyuk and Gallagher managed to stick with the team following the lock-out.

The only spot that could open at forward barring a trade, is if captain Brian Gionta begins the season on the injury reserve recovering from a torn biceps. Including Gionta, the Habs currently have 13 forwards slated to begin with the season in the NHL following the acquisition of enforcer Georges Parros last week. Should Gionta's become available, look for the Canadiens to call up Gabriel Dumont or Christian Thomas to fill the 13th forward role.

On defense, the team seriously lacks grit and physicality with Alexei Emelin due to begin the campaign on the injury reserve and miss at least two months recovering from a serious knee injury. Unless the Canadiens decide to sign a veteran free agent to compensate Emelin's loss, rookie Jarred Tinordi is the likeliest candidate to begin the season in the top-6, relegating Davis Drewiske to a reserve role.

Finally, the rumors are swirling that UFA Brenden Morrow is currently talking to the Canadiens about the possibility of signing with the team. In 44 games last season, Morrow, 34, notched 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points with a -3 plus/minus ratio. Morrow recorded 4 points in 14 playoffs games with the Penguins after he was acquired from the Stars at the trade deadline. Morrow, who is married to Guy Carbonneau's daughter, Anne-Marie, has a personal interest in signing with the Habs, but the gritty forward has more than one offer on the table at the moment.

Habs Depth chart:

Left Wing              Centre                      Right Wing
Max Pacioretty      David Desharnais      Daniel Brière
Rene Bourque       Tomas Plekanec        Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk   Lars Eller                  Brendan Gallagher
Travis Moen         Ryan White (RFA)    Brandon Prust
Extra: George Parros

Andrei Markov    Francis Bouillon
Josh Gorges         P.K. Subban
Jarred Tinordi      Raphael Diaz
Extra: Davis Drewiske

Injury Reserve: Alexi Emelin (knee)

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

The Canadiens really improved their AHL depth during the off-season, signing career AHLers Nick Tarnasky and Martin St. Pierre, and adding a few more players from the QMJHL, namely Stefan Fournier, Stephen MacAuley and Ben Duffy.

With the arrival of new prospects, transitioning from Europe and the CHL, Hamilton will be much more competitive than last season. The team still needs to add depth on defense, especially a left-handed defenseman able to mentor the younger defensemen, something that was lacking last season. With the departure of Frederic St. Denis and Jason DeSantis, Bergevin really needs to address that weakness now.

Bulldogs Depth chart:

Left Wing              Centre                     Right Wing
Nick Tarnasky      Martin St. Pierre       Christian Thomas
Patrick Holland        Gabriel Dumont        Louis Leblanc
Mike Blunden       Michael Bournival     Sven Andrighetto
Steve Quailer        Joonas Nattinen        Stefan Fournier
Extra: Stephen MacAuley, Ben Duffy

Nathan Beaulieu   Morgan Ellis
Greg Pateryn        Magnus Nygren
Darren Dietz         ?
Extra: ?

Dustin Tokarski (RFA)
Mike Condon
Robert Mayer

I hope the above gives you a bigger picture of the organization's depth chart and shows you that the team is making every effort to rebuild its pool of quality prospects through the draft and the free agency.

Follow me on Twitter @FredPoulin98 if you want to talk puck and Habs.


A very well written and informative article. Thanks Fred

A few more depth options in Hamilton will surely be nice to add, especially on D. Signing a veteran who can play in the NHL capably would be ideal. Not sure who is sticking around on 2-way deals, but there are always vets willing.

Blake Geoffrion is still considering his options, too. Might he be on the IR or is he a RFA?

It's Patrick Holland, not Peter.

@Leo thank you!
@Nick Blake Geoffrion announced his retirement back in March, but now he's back on the ice: as he is a UFA.
@Anon Fixed

Update: The Habs have re-signed F Ryan White to a one-year contract worth $700,000 to avoid arbitration.

Nice article Fred if you are a HABS fan
i will pass it on to all my habs buddys
that roster cant beat the leafs
we won season series and will win it again this year
i put a jinx on the habs after they beat the kings-

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