After missing Monday’s practice while battling the flu, Louis Leblanc took part in Tuesday’s morning skate in Brossard as the Canadiens prepared to face the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690).
However, on Tuesday afternoon the Canadiens announced that Leblanc was being returned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Brandon Prust didn’t take part in the morning skate, instead having a therapy session, but will play against the Hurricanes. George Parros will take Leblanc’s spot in the lineup, while defencemen Francis Bouillon and Raphael Diaz will be healthy scratches.
TVA Sports reported Monday night that Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin turned down a trade offer from Colorado that would have sent Rene Bourque to the Avalanche in exchange for P.A. Parenteau. However, Francois Gagnon of RDS reported it was the Avalanche that rejected the offer. TVA reported that negotiations between the two teams were ongoing.
Bourque didn’t speak to reporters at Tuesday’s morning skate.
Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens and Justin Peters will be in net for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes, coming off a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night in Carolina, have won four in a row, while the Canadiens have lost four straight. Tuesday’s game will be the fifth in seven days for the Hurricanes.
“The Hurricanes is a team which works extremely hard,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Brossard after the morning skate. “They have two good lines, centred by the Staal brothers. This give two powerful combinations which put a lot of pressure on their opponents.
“Preparation is really important, and I felt that we had a good practice yesterday and a good skate this morning as well, which will help us be at our best tonight,” the coach added. “The NHL is a league with a lot of parity among its teams. Every team has something to prove on a given night, and being well prepared is going to give us the best chance to succeed.”
In eight games with the Canadiens this season, Leblanc failed to register a point. In 36 games with Hamilton, he has nine goals and 11 assists.
Here’s how the Habs’ lines and defence pairings are expected to look against the Hurricanes:
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)