There were some significant developments before and after the Canadiens’ practice in Brossard Sunday.
For starters, Alexei Emelin (photo above) was on the ice in full gear with strength coach Pierre Allard before practice. It wasn’t Emelin’s first skate since having reconstructive knee surgery in May, but he was in sweats for his workouts last week. The defenceman is on target for a return in early December.
Douglas Murray, who has a lower-body injury, was also out on the ice early, as was forward George Parros, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Parros was skating for the first time without a non-contact jersey and was part of the regular practice. Travis Moen got a head start as he rejoined the regular practice after missing two days with a lower-body injury.
Also joining in the regular practice were defencemen Francis Bouillon and Nathan Beaulieu. Bouillon has been listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, while Beaulieu banged up his shoulder in practice early in training camp and has yet to appear in an exhibition game.
Eleven players, mostly youngsters who played both games against Carolina, were limited to off-ice training, and the lineup on the ice Sunday was very close to what the roster will look like on opening night Oct. 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.
Tomas Plekanec was on a line between Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta, while David Desharnais was at centre with Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere. The two Gallys – Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher – were with Lars Eller, and the fourth line had Ryan White between Moen and Brandon Prust. Parros was with Martin St. Pierre and Nick Tarnasky.
The defence pairings were P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov and Rafael Diaz, and Bouillon with Beaulieu.
The off-ice group included a few players who are on the bubble: defencemen Jarred Tinordi, Magnus Nygren and Greg Pateryn, and forward Michael Bournival.
After practice, the Canadiens announced that Michael McCarron, the club’s first-round draft pick this year, was being returned to the junior London Knights of the OHL. The Canadiens also returned forward Sebastian Collberg to Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, assigned goaltender Dustin Tokarski to the Hamilton Bulldogs and placed forward Nick Tarnasky on waivers for the purpose of sending him to Hamilton.
The Canadiens are back in action Monday night when the New Jersey Devils visit the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690)
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)