The Montreal Canadiens hit the ice for the first time on Thursday with head coach Michel Therrien experimenting with lines out of the gate.
Two of his lines involved players already familiar with one another, with sophomores Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher centred by Lars Eller and Ryan White in between Brandon Prust and Travis Moen.
"We'll try different lines during the camp," Therrien told reporters afterwards. "But we already have a good idea of what we want to do."
In an interesting move, prospect Christian Thomas - the son of former NHLer Steve Thomas acquired over the summer for Danny Kristo - joined veterans Rene Bourque and Tomas Plekanec, while newcomer Daniel Briere was grouped with long-time linemates Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.
Therrien has big expectations for Desharnais, whose production dropped off in the lockout-shortened season after signing a contract extension. "We want him to compete, to be on pucks, to drive the net," explained Therrien. "He knows that."
Missing from Day 1 were bruising winger George Parros and captain Brian Gionta, who are still recovering from injury.
Parros had offseason rotator cuff surgery and is still targeting Oct. 1 for his debut after Wednesday's medical revealed his rehabilitation is on track. Gionta, meanwhile, is rehabbing from surgery on his left biceps tendon.
"We hope that he'll (Gionta) be ready, but we'll let the medical staff decide," said Therrien.
The head coach's main defence pairings on the first day looked set as well, with Josh Gorges skating with P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov with Raphael Diaz, free agent acquisition Douglas Murray alongside Francis Bouillon and Davis Drewiske with Jarred Tinordi.