The Canadiens made some moves in the offseason acquiring Sergei Samsonov and Mike Johnson after swapping out Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis and Niklas Sundstrom.
Add the young offensive talent in the Canadiens system and the forward position is looking stronger than it’s been in many years.
What the Canadiens didn’t do in the offseason is acquire a “#1″ defenseman which many believe is one major piece of the puzzle that is lacking for the Canadiens to really compete.
Enter training camp and the situation gets critical after losing Francis Bouillon, J.P Cote and now Sheldon Souray for an indefinite period of time.
The Habs defense was not the strongest to begin with and is now far more porous after the loss of Souray’s ice time.
Or is it? Souray sees a lot of ice but his defensive game was very questionable at times.
The Habs have a few options.
- Waivers – With NHL teams cutting their roster down to the limit over the next few days there will no doubt be players sent down and recalled having to clear waivers. The Canadiens will definitely have their eyes open looking for a ‘veteran’ who might fit in well just like they took a look at Jason Woolley.
- Trade – How better to solve the Kostitsyn/Latendresse/Perezhogin troubles? Include one of them in a deal for a legitimate defenseman. The Canadiens are ripe with young talent right now and many teams have their own holes to fill. The Canadiens also have the goalie card they can play. Are the Flyers really comfortable with Robert Esche as their main guy?
- Youth – The Canadiens might not find the right deal and go into the season as is. Depending on how bad the injuries are they might give the youngsters a few games before making any moves. One has to think Dan Jancevski will stay after they hand picked him. That leaves Andre Benoit and Ryan O’Byrne as the other possibility.
Tonight’s game against the Senators is the last stage for the youth to show what they can do.
Barring a trade or waiver pickup the final roster should be announced for Saturday’s game.