That's somewhat of a surprise. Rumour has it that Vandermeer was signed to a one-way deal, but lost his job to Raitis Ivanans. Three weeks ago, I would have bet that Mark Streit would make the team as the #6 or 7 defenseman. When camp started, he struggled while Ron Hainsey looked OK for a change. Then it came to light that Hainsey would have to clear waivers before he could be assigned to Hamilton, leading me to think they would go with Hainsey instead. Turns out I was right in the first place. It remains to be seen whether Hainsey will remain with the Habs organization.
Also making the cut were Chris Higgins, Alex Perezhogin and Tomas Plekanec. That leaves us with a roster of 23 - 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. The additional forwards give Julien some flexibility, being able to go with skill (Perezhogin, Plekanec) or grit (Begin, Ivanans) depending on the opposition. Keeping a couple of hungry forwards around might motivate guys like Dagenais, Sundstrom, Ribeiro and maybe even Kovalev to put in a full effort every night.
In the "Where Are They Now" department, the Nashville Predators have taken a flyer on Yanic Perreault's faceoff-winning, corner-picking, springtime-disappearing talents. I wish him the best of luck. Perreault's signing with the Habs coincided with the team's emergence from it's darkest period in history - the reign of Tremblay and Peanut. Andre Savard had arrived from Ottawa, and there was hope. The second-line centre was the biggest FA to come to Montreal in a long time - pilfered from the Leafs, no less.
Lastly, TSN has published their first "Power Rankings" of the season. "Power Rankings" are silly. Why would the media stoop to printing these college-football-type standings? Don't they realize that, unlike college football, real, actual standings are available for NHL teams? Actually, power rankings are even worse because they're typically the opinion of one journalist rather than the compiled votes of a bunch of journalists. Anyway, they have the Habs at twelfth. Strangely, the Boston Bruins are immediately after the Sens in second place, to which I can only say "HUH?" It seems Brian Leetch continues to fool hockey writers everywhere.