MONTREAL - Tough guy Georges Laraque will make his first start for the Montreal Canadiens in the team's NHL home opener on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins.
Laraque, who signed as a free agent last summer, missed all of training camp and the team's first three regular season games on the road with a groin injury.
Coach Guy Carbonneau said team doctors gave Laraque the green light to play.
"He skated the last four days with no pain," said Carbonneau. "I told him when I first talked to him that I don't want him to sit on the bench and then go out and fight, we want him to play hockey.
"We want him to get in game shape. But I saw some things against Philadelphia I didn't like and the same against Boston and he can help in that department."
Winger Steve Begin was expected to come out of the lineup to make room for Laraque.