Habs GM Marc Bergevin spoke with the media on Sunday on the opening day of training camp. Here is a roundup of some of the more notable tidbits.
Wingers Tomas Tatar and Corey Perry are the only players who aren’t expected to take part in the opening day of on-ice drills on Monday. Both still have two days remaining in their mandatory quarantine period. Beyond that, the team is fully healthy heading into camp.
As has been speculated for a while, Bergevin confirmed that the team won’t be able to carry 23 players on the active roster to start the season due to their cap situation. With the creation of the taxi squad for this season, he also mentioned that there would be plenty of daily shuffling. I touched on this a couple of weeks ago as to how much shuffling the waiver-exempt players can save. If they add a veteran or two to the mix, the savings could even be higher. Don’t expect many days to go by without a transaction of some sort.
No More Changes Coming
While there will be plenty of daily shuffling, don’t expect anything else from Montreal in terms of roster additions as Bergevin expects that this will be the roster that starts the regular season. He also speculated that trades will be less frequent around the league this year due to the quarantining requirements. (I’d add the fact that a lot of teams don’t have cap space as another factor.)
Bergevin confirmed that Cole Caufield will be heading back to college once the World Juniors are done and won’t be turning pro just yet. That makes the end of his year with Wisconsin the next date to watch for. (Their last regular season game is March 6th before tournament play.) The uncertainty surrounding the CHL could also pave the way for prospects like Kaiden Guhle who normally wouldn’t be able to have anything to do with Laval could at least take part in their training camp but he expects that emergency recall rules would apply if they wanted to recall a junior-aged player.
When Tyler Toffoli signed, he acknowledged he had been asked about playing his off-wing. Bergevin indicated that he expects the veteran will spend time on both wings this season. The same can be said for defenceman Joel Edmundson as Bergevin stated that he will play both the left and right side this year.
While training camp officially started today, it was all off-ice work. The first on-ice sessions will begin on Monday with the roster being broken into two groups.