MONTREAL - Juniors P.K. Subban and Olivier Fortier were among 18 players cut from the Montreal Canadiens camp on Monday as the NHL club trimmed its roster to 32 players.
Subban will return to the Belleville Bulls of the OHL and Fortier will resume his duties as captain of the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL. Both were impressive in camp.
"I learned that I can play at this level," said Subban, a strong puck-moving defenceman who is a candidate to play for Canada at the world junior championship. "The NHL is so fast, but I learned that it's a lot easier playing at this level.
"Everyone's in the right position. You just have to move the puck, especially as a defenceman. So I'm looking forward to my opportunity next year."
Those who eluded the cuts included goaltender Marc Denis, defencemen Yannick Weber and Alex Henry, and forwards Max Pacioretty, Ben Maxwell, Kyle Chipchura, Gregory Stewart and Matt d'Agostini. Defenceman Mathieu Carle, who is recovering from a concussion, also was not cut.
Those assigned to the camp of the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs in St. John's, N.L., included goaltenders Cedrick Desjardins and Loic Lacasse; defencemen Pavel Valentenko, Shawn Belle and Chad Anderson; and forwards Brock Trotter, Ryan White, James Wyman, Mike Glumac, Olivier Latendresse, Yanick Lehoux, Ryan Flinn, Mathieu Aubin, Ryan Russell, David Desharnais and Thomas Beauregard.
The Canadiens have three pre-season games left to play - Tuesday against Detroit, Wednesday against Boston and Saturday against Minnesota - all at the Bell Centre.