We have voted on all skater positions to predict the Montreal Canadiens opening night lineup except for the final defenceman. Today we will open the poll to choose who will be the final blue liner to get his name on the opening night lineup on October 8th when the Montreal Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
First, let’s take a quick look at what our roster looks like at the moment:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Parenteau
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Sekac
Prust – Malhotra – Weise
Markov – Subban
Tinordi – Gilbert
Beaulieu – ******
There are still a number of candidates to take on the final roster spot, showing the Habs will have some depth on their blue line this season.
Alexei Emelin has been a regular member of the Habs top four defenders over the past three season. He brings a physical presence and penalty killing ability that will be lacking on the Canadiens this season thanks to the departure of Josh Gorges.
It is Emelin’s penchant for throwing big hits that really makes him stand out on this Habs roster. He is an extremely physical defender and though he struggled at times last season after recovering from knee surgery, I am willing to bet he shows in training camp that he is ready to be a physical shut down player once again.
Mike Weaver was brought in to the Canadiens organization at the trade deadline last season, and though he was mostly unheard of before his arrival, he far exceeded expectations. Weaver became a very valuable member of the Canadiens shorthanded unit, and the 36 year old brings a veteran stability to a blue line that is breaking in youngsters in Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi.
Speaking of young defenders, is it finally time Greg Pateryn gets a shot at the Habs blue line on a full time basis? He finished second in AHL goal scoring among defenders last season, is a right hand shot and is a big players at 6’2” and 215 pounds.
At 24 years of age, Pateryn is not a kid anymore, and I know he will get a chance to play at the NHL level at some point this season. But will he be good enough in training camp to steal a roster spot from Emelin and Weaver?
As always, it is up to you. Cast your vote below and let us know who you think will round out the Montreal Canadiens blue line on opening night.
Who Will Be The Montreal Canadiens Sixth Defenseman Next Season?
- Mike Weaver (39%, 126 Votes)
- Greg Pateryn (31%, 100 Votes)
- Alexei Emelin (30%, 93 Votes)
Total Voters: 319