So Stevens has stated that he wants to keep three offensive pairings intact - Giroux and Briere, Richards and Gagne, and Carter and Hartnell. This would indicate that the team plans to run three talented lines instead of the front-loaded two that had been endlessly discussed here (by myself included). The defensive pairings that Stevens appears to like are Timonen/Coburn and Pronger/Carle, with Parent and Jones probably filling out the third pairing. So with Emery/Boucher in net, the only question marks remaining are the fourth line and ALL the right wings.
The only real NHL right winger on the roster is Arron Asham. While I like the guy and his play, he doesn't belong on the first or second lines regardless of how 'balanced' the offense. Beyond him, you have players out of position or lesser lights indeed. Either Briere or Giroux may play right wing on their line, so that opens a slot for a left winger like Carcillo, Maroon, Bell, or (later in the season) JVR. Laperriere can play any position, as can Powe, but neither have the offensive prowess that you'd ideally like paired with Richards or Carter. Lukas Kaspar plays the right side, as does Dave Laliberte ... maybe there is your option to fill in? I really don't have any good answers - does anyone at this point? Maybe someone can fill me in on the current line combinations from practice?
Another good thing to note is the presence of Blair Betts in camp. Everyone here acknowedged the need for a gritty, penalty-killing faceoff center - maybe Betts can fill that role on the cheap a la Dowd or Metro? Ryan Dingle and Darrol Powe don't have the faceoff skills, and given the lack of wingers I see Lappy in that role instead of 4th line center.
Does Cote have a roster spot at this point? With the plethora of talented left wings, including a few that can also fight (Hartnell, Carcillo) is there any room for a pure pugilist?
And finally, everyone send your best wishes to the legacy player Tomas Sinisalo, on tryouts with the team. Those who remember his father Illka Sinisalo can only hope that the son is as talented.