Five of the top six are pretty much set in stone. There have been a few reports indicating that Bonk's role will be to replace Juneau as the checking line centre. That's somewhat of a relief, to have his role defined rather than having him and Ribeiro duke it out for the second 'scoring' line.
Bulis is mentioned as a natural linemate of Bonk, as that has been his role for a couple of seasons. However, I think Bulis still has some untapped offensive potential and it would be nice to see him get some opportunities on the top lines.
Hossa and Sunny find themselves in the top 12 only because of age/contract issues. They, and Dagenais, should bust their butts to earn a spot.
The Habs have a logjam of skilled young forwards looking for spots: Plekanec, Perezhogin, Higgins, Kostitsyn, Hossa, Latendresse... Too many to all make the NHL with this club. It's a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless - no one wants to see one of these kids turn into a star for another team.
I have Vandermeer in the top 12, because it's very likely we'll see the team carry an enforcer. Whether it will be Vandermeer, time will tell.
Again, five of the six are set in stone. My pairings are a guess. Only Francis "Bubble" Bouillon has a chance of losing his job to Hainsey and/or Streit.
With the rule changes I think it would be wise to carry an extra defenseman or two on the roster. With the obstruction crackdown and limit on goaltender puckhandling, they may be on the receiving end of more big hits. In fact, they're more likely to get into penalty trouble as well, so having seven on a game sheet wouldn't be a bad idea either.
With Huet out until 2006, the fight for the backup job is a little more interesting. Is either Danis or Halak really ready for the big leagues?