Last chance for rookie McCarron to impress Habs coaches?

The Canadiens held a workout at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard Friday morning before the 20 players who will face the Carolina Hurricanes in Quebec City Friday night (7:30 p.m., RDS) boarded a bus for the provincial capital.

The Canadiens’ lineup for Friday’s game includes 10 NHL players, but the focus will be on a group of players who might be getting their last chance to impress the coaches before being sent to the minors or, in the case of Michael McCarron, back to junior.

The lineup includes nine players who have spent the past week working out away from the main group and they’ll try to demonstrate why they deserve a longer look. That group is headed by Gabriel Dumont, who  played 10 games with Montreal last season. He said he wasn’t surprised  not to be included among the 15 forwards in the main group because he didn’t play well in his first exhibition game.

Swede Sebastien Collberg has an opportunity to shine as he plays on a line with veterans Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. Alex Galchenyuk will be at centre between Brandon Prust and Christian Thomas.

The Carolina lineup includes a couple of former Habs – forward Aaron Palushaj and defenceman Mike Komisarek. Palushaj signed with Carolina as a free agent after splitting last season between the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs and the Colorado Avalanche. Komisarek signed with the Hurricanes after he was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here are the Canadiens’ lines and defence pairings for Friday’s game. 

LINES

Collberg-Desharnais-Pacioretty
Prust-Galchenyuk-Thomas
Bournival-Holland-McCarron
Tarnasky-Dumont-Blunden

DEFENCE

Gorges-Subban
Tinordi-Pateryn
Dietz-Nygren

GOALIES

Budaj
Tokarski

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

527 Comments

  1. on2ndthought says:

    new thread, my first first

    “a cannonading drive”

  2. JF says:

    We’ve all enjoyed at different times vilifying Pierre Gauthier and his regime, but it can’t be denied that he knew something about hockey. He certainly seems to have won the Halak trade, and it’s now looking as though he also won the Ryan O’Byrne to Colorado for Michaël Bournival trade. Bournival seems to be the complete package – skates well, has a good shot, seizes his opportunities, and above all never stops working.

    You could throw in as well the Cammalleri trade, much as it was ridiculed at the time for the way it was done. Rene Bourque in the single game he played looked like last year’s version, and Patrick Holland is turning into a smart, responsible player. Throw in the draft pick – was that Jacob de la Rose? – and these trades have resulted in the addition of a lot of valuable depth.

    • Da Hema says:

      Pierre Gauthier’s tenure as general manager of the Habs cannot be described as anything but a failure — for a range of reasons. I’ll concede the trades you identified were acceptable, but he also saddled the team with undesirable salary such as with Tomas Kaberle.

      There are two central reasons why I think Gauthier was a dreadful general manager. First, from an administrative perspective, he simply continued the Bob Gainey philosophy of trying to run a one-man show. The fact Bergevin had to hire so many new people to fill basic positions such as a Director of Player Development revealed Gauthier knew absolutely nothing about building an organization from within. Second, Gauthier was literally and single-handedly sucking the very life out of the Montreal Canadiens as an institution. The organization began to look like he does: pallid and lifeless. The team’s on-ice performance declined under his watch, and his creepy efforts to control the Habs — even preventing employees from communicating with the media — set a tone for the organization that alienated the team from its stakeholders.

      In short, Gauthier was a poor general manager. He was in way over his head.

      • JF says:

        Totally agree. He was a failure as a GM, but, nonetheless, he knew something about hockey. Aside from the overall failings you mention, my biggest complaint about him was that he seemed to have no plan. He was always improvising and applying bandaids, one of which was Tomas Kaberle.

  3. Danno says:

    Tomorrow night I would expect the Canes to try to make a statement of some kind. Stay tuned…

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  4. jols101 says:

    McCarron to London for a couple of years is an absolute must. He is way ahead of what I thought he would be when we drafted him. I was thinking a 4-5 year prospect but he looks like he is 2-3 years away. Two years in London under Hunter’s guidance will be a wonderful thing for his development.

  5. jols101 says:

    Great problem to have but Bergevin is going to have to make some decisions regarding our D corps. Gorges is the only one under contract after this season. Tinordi, Pateryn, Beaulieu, Dietz and Nygren all will be knocking on the door either some time this year or next year for sure. The only no-brainers are locking up Subban and Emelin to long term deals, every thing else seems up in that air.

  6. RC-51 says:

    I’d say send McCarron to London and let him play for D. Hunter for 2 years, give him a year in Hamilton then see where he is then…


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