Montreal Canadiens: Examining the Four Forward Lines

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Well, all of the preseason games have been played and all of the cuts have been made. There are some surprises still here, namely Ryan Poehling, who had a lackluster preseason, and the addition of the interesting Adam Brooks.

There are a few things to be said first of all. Mike Hoffman, the prize offensive acquisition of the offseason, has been injured for the entirety of the preseason, and will miss a couple of regular season games if the predictions are correct. He has started to skate on the ice, but still looks a little ways off.

He just signed a three year, $4.5 million contract this offseason. It would be hard to see him not in a top 9 role, even though he has some questions about production 5-on-5, he still is an effective threat on the powerplay, which Montreal has lacked for a long time.

Paul Byron is also out for the time being, at least until December. He has been an effective, if very overpaid, bottom 6 forward who is a very good penalty killer, and threat to score on shorthanded breakaways. There could very well be a spot for Byron once he returns, depending on how well the fourth line gels and performs.

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