Breaking Down The Four Forward Lines

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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