The Montreal Canadiens' annual golf tournament took place Tuesday and that can only mean one thing - hockey season is right around the corner.
The Habs open up the 2013-2014 NHL season at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 1 and even though camp doesn't start until September 11, all players were on hand with the exception of Tomas Plekanec and Davis Drewiske. Plekanec's father passed away over the weekend and Drewiske was with his mother who is ill.
This was the first official Canadiens event for newcomers Daniel Briere, George Parros and Douglas Murray. One of the questions going into this season is where will Briere fit in the Canadiens lineup.
Briere, a centre who was bought out this past offseason by the Philadelphia Flyers, realizes his role on the Habs will most likely be playing on the wing. "That is not an issue at all," said the 35-year-old Gatineau, Quebec native said this morning at Laval-sur-le-Lac golf club. "I can play the right wing, the left wing, in the middle."
Another question surrounding the Habs' lineup this season is will Alex Galchenyuk make the move to centre?
Head coach Michel Therrien said Galchenyuk will take on more responsibility this season, but would not say if that means having him play down the middle. "Time will tell when Galchenyuk will be ready to be a centreman," Therrien told the media.
Tough guy George Parros and captain Brian Gionta are questionable for the start of the season. Parros underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder at the end of May and Gionta is recovering from a torn biceps tendon in his left arm, he was operated on in May as well. Both players are hoping to be ready for opening night but if not, they are expected to join the team shortly afterwards.
Also, Alexei Emelin is not expected back from his knee injury until after late November at the earliest. The team's rookie camp is the next stop on the agenda for the Canadiens, taking place from September 5-9.