Apr 18, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Michael Bournival (49) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) chases in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens Fourth Line Center Next Season?

We are about to wrap up the forward group in our vote to predict the Montreal Canadiens lineup for next season. After picking Dale Weise to play the right side on the fourth line, we only have two more positions to fill up front, before moving back to the defence.

Our lineup currently looks like this:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau

Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher

Bourque – Eller – Sekac

******** – ****** – Weise

Today, we will vote on who will be the Habs fourth line center. There remains several experienced NHL veterans on the Canadiens roster with just two slots left to fill.

Manny Malhotra was brought in this summer as a free agent with a one year contract from the Habs. He is a big center who has bounced around the league over the past few seasons, after suffering a career threatening eye injury while playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

Apr 10, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Manny Malhotra (22) and the Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson (90) get ready for a face off during the game at PNC Arena. The Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Malhotra’s biggest asset is his ability to win faceoffs. He is the faceoff king in the NHL, and because of this, he gets one of the highest percentages of defensive zone starts in the NHL. He wins draws at more than a 60% rate, an area that the Canadiens have struggled with in the past.

Brandon Prust is a versatile bottom six forward who lays it all on the line every shift for the Montreal Canadiens. He blocks any shot, hits everyone in sight, and fights guys way out of his weight class. He personifies the character that Canadiens brass talk about so often.

Prust plays a lot of left wing, but also played center at times in his two years with the Montreal Canadiens. Shortly after Weise was acquired, the Habs used a fourth line of Prust between Weise and Travis Moen, and all three forwards scored in a game against the Colorado Avalanche before Prust was injured once again.

May 14, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Dale Weise (22) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Brandon Prust (8) celebrate after a goal during the first period against the Boston Bruins in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It was a dominant fourth line for a short period, but will the Canadiens use it more often next season?

Michael Bournival is another versatile player for the Canadiens who will be in the bottom six next season. He is a natural center, but has played the wing for most of his NHL career, which only spans one season.

He is an extremely quick and smart player, and I believe his speed and intelligence would be best suited down the middle. Does Michel Therrien agree?

Cast your vote below, will it be the newcomer, the old vet, or the young stallion playing the middle of the Habs fourth line next season?

Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens Fourth Line Center Next Season?

  • Manny Malhotra (76%, 198 Votes)
  • Michael Bournival (15%, 38 Votes)
  • Brandon Prust (9%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 259

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Tags: Brandon Prust Manny Malhotra Michael Bournival Montreal Canadiens

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