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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
Training camp in Montreal kicked off with somewhat of a surprise on Sunday morning with Scott Gomez being notably absent. GM Marc Bergevin announced that the veteran forward had been sent home for the season and that he would be bought out by the club using one of the compliance buyouts from the recently ratifed Collective Bargaining Agreement.
While sitting, Gomez will collect his full $5.5 million salary (pro-rated over the shortened season, of course) while his cap hit will remain in full as well. The reasoning for the decision is that the club did not want to take the risk that Gomez could suffer an injury that would prevent the team from buying him out in the summer.
The move opens up another roster spot at camp up front. With Petteri Nokelainen (back) expected to miss another couple of weeks at the very least, there are only 11 forwards on the roster. Alex Galchenyuk, Gabriel Dumont, and Brendan Gallagher will be vying for those spots while Yannick Weber, who played forward last season, also could be in the mix.
Several other players will be getting recalled in the near future to allow for the team to have an intrasquad game at the Bell Centre on Thursday night. The game will be free to the public, and will include the players currently in camp plus forwards Louis Leblanc, Patrick Holland, Michael Bournival, and Michael Blunden, plus defenceman Frederic St. Denis.
Sunday has been a busy day for the Bulldogs as well. St. Denis, Aaron Palushaj, and Cedrick Desjardins were released from their AHL contracts that they were able to play under during the lockout. These players will have to clear waivers to rejoin Hamilton; Desjardins was waived earlier today. Palushaj is injured at the moment but is likely to be back in the next couple of weeks. The club also signed forward Tyler Murovich to a tryout contract.
The Habs also are parting ways with prospect Alain Berger, placing him on $125 termination waivers. The Swiss-born prospect joined the club as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent all of last season with Hamilton. However, he struggled considerably this year and was assigned to Wheeling. Instead of reporting there though, he signed a multi year deal with SC Bern in the NLA. Termination waivers is a mutually agreed upon process and assuming he clears, he will be released but there will be no cap effect whatsoever to Montreal.