Canadiens centreman Tomas Plekanec in his team’s Brossard dressing room.
Stubbs video capture
• VIDEO: Scroll down
• AUDIO: Brendan Gallagher (before he learned he was being returned to junior)
The Canadiens announced Friday afternoon they were returning Brendan Gallagher to the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants and Michaël Bournival to Shawinigan of the QMJHL. Gallagher has been hands-down the feel-good story of the Habs training camp, the best rookie in camp and, on some nights, the best player.
The Habs also announced that forward Joonas Nattinen had been reassigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League.
Montreal now has 32 players in camp, including nine out with injuries: Andrei Markov, Travis Moen, Hunter Bishop, Brendon Nash, Lars Eller, Olivier Fortier, Louis Leblanc, Ryan White and Ian Schultz.
The Habs held a 10 am meeting at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday, stepping onto the ice for an 11 am practice before heading up to Quebec City Saturday morning for that evening’s return engagement against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Then the team flies to Toronto and heads to Collingwood for three days of bonding and practice before returning to T.O. for the Oct. 6 season-opener vs. the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Injured Travis Moen was the only sick-bay skater seen on early-morning ice, working out alone on the rink for maybe 20 minutes.
I sat down at 8:30 this morning in Brossard with captain Brian Gionta for a profile story that will appear in our Hockey Inside/Out season preview section coming Oct. 6.
Gionta said he obviously wasn’t happy with the team’s 1-6-0 preseason record heading into its final game. Then he added: “It’s been a tough preseason but ultimately you have to look at it in a few stages. The first 6 games or so we were kind of feeling out our prospects. We had a lot of half lineups where a lot of young guys were getting good looks. Last night (a 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay) and Saturday are big keys to our preseason.”
If defenceman Andrei Markov meets team doctors today, as announced last night, to get a progress report on the health of his rebuilt right knee, don’t hold your breath awaiting an official update from the club. We’re bound to hear Markov is progressing on schedule and will be introduced to the lineup when he’s ready.