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Expect Mike Hoffman (and one pick) to leave this summer

Now that the Canadiens’ season is over, it’s time for the club to think about what’s in store for the off-season. After all, last year, Kent Hughes was very active, and again this year, we can expect to see the Tricolore moving around quite a bit in the coming weeks.How much? I don’t know, but if they’re serious about raising expectations a bit next year, it could be substantial (but hopefully not excessive).

To get there, they’ll have to end up packing in some dead wood. Many up-and-coming autonomous players won’t be back, but the CH could also make transactions to pack out veterans who no longer fit in. Of the lot, there’s Mike Hoffman. He’s a good shooter, but that’s about it. And let’s just say he hasn’t necessarily been scoring a ton since coming to town, so he’s expendable.

Eric Engels is relatively confident that Hoffman will be traded over the summer. On the other hand, it’s not impossible that the Habs will have to withhold salary, but what’s even more likely is to see the club add a mid-draft pick (possibly in the fourth round) and pass him on to another team, ashe explains in today’s paper.

After all, the Tricolore currently holds three fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft: its own, the Penguins’ and the Golden Knights’. What theylack isn’t quantity, it’s quality in the club’s youth bank.

So, passing on a guy like Hoffman with a fourth-round pick could be a good idea. I’m well aware that the CH doesn’t need to free up $4.5 million of its payroll in 2023-24 (and that the maverick’s contract expires at the end of next season), but if the opportunity presents itself, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to do. Especially sinceit would free up space for a youngforward.

And speaking of guys who could leave, Engels wouldn’t be surprised to see Denis Gurianov head to the KHL this summer. He’s also fairly confident that Joel Edmundson, who has a more advantageous contract ($3.5 million for another year), will leave sometime this summer.Joel Armia would be less likely, though.

In short, these will obviously be issues to keep an eye on over the summer, but expect Kent Hughes and the Habs to be active in the weeks to come. The rebuild is well underway, but the next steps will be important to keep the process moving forward.


– The Lightning are stirring after a tough loss.

Things got a little chippy at the end of the game in Toronto.

Just like in New Jersey.

– Jets without Nikolaj Ehlers tonight.

– I’m very surprised to see Adam Fantilli in fifth place.

– Adin Hill is back in uniform.

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