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What's Next for the Montreal Canadiens?

September 5, 2014, 11:23 AM ET [1175 Comments]
Habs Talk
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We're in transition. Time is yawning, but we're just a couple of weeks shy from rookie camps opening and NHL training camps igniting the everlasting hockey season.

A story about Martin Brodeur willing to listen to Marc Bergevin for an offer to back up Carey Price? This one might actually beat RDS' scintillating, late-summer exclusive about the Habs being in "intense" negotiations with Francis Bouillon (by "intense", they mean if Bergevin offers Bouillon a contract, he'll sign it immediately).

Our own Josh Rimer reported this week that former Carolina Hurricane Drayson Bowman has been offered a professional tryout, and there's been odd speculation about Dustin Penner being targeted for one--the latter not being confirmed by anyone credible.

Beyond that, the biggest questions loom--to be repeated ad nauseam until settled: How will Alex Galchenyuk get to the middle of the ice? Who will captain the Canadiens?

I'm not entirely convinced the roster's set. I believe Marc Bergevin's currently working the phone lines to find a trading partner that would give him a scoring winger, and the thought of adding some sizable defensive depth is never out of the question with a GM that values that so greatly.

Could Tomas Plekanec be in play? Hard to image he would be before the season starts, but you better believe he represents one of Bergevin's biggest chips to garner significant return that can help the team now. If Galchenyuk can't be kept out of the middle of the ice after training camp, this is going to get bigger legs, and quick.

Is Rene Bourque going to be around much longer? He represents one of the biggest question marks this team has going into the season. The Canadiens know that if he can be near the player he was in the playoffs, that alleviates a lot of pressure from not replacing Thomas Vanek in free agency or through trade. They know that if he's anything resembling the guy who sleepwalked through the regular season, they won't have much use for him, nor will he hold any value. You have to think Bourque could move between now and opening day.

Travis Moen? Where does he stand? He's a valuable piece in a locker room now absent of Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta. The players love him. The staff loves him. But everyone knows the concussion he suffered last year took the air out of his tires. Can he rebound to be an effective role player on this team? We know Michel Therrien, and we know he's going to ask Moen to provide the grit expected of a player in his position. Can Moen handle the pressure of having to be among the couple of players who must drop the gloves on this team on a somewhat regular basis? Can he beat out players slotted for depth positions this year? His future with the Canadiens is certainly in question.

I'm guessing Bergevin's not rushing to call Martin Brodeur with Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski battling to play behind Price. How this whole thing shakes out is nothing but guesswork for anyone. Can Budaj let bygones be bygones? Does the team still have faith in him? Can they even move him before the season starts, or have they damaged his value too much?

What about Tokarski? Are the Canadiens willing to risk exposing him to waivers? Are the Canadiens going to carry three goalies this season?

Summer's dragging. This is all going to come into focus sooner rather than later. We're all thankful for that. Give me your thoughts on how this all shakes out, and we'll explore these topics in more depth as we lead up to another season.
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