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The Canadiens could (and should) lose the rights to four prospects this summer

It’s going to be a busy summer for Kent Hughes. Decision time is approaching for the CH general manager, who has a number of issues to deal with in the coming months.

Yes, there’s the Cole Caufield signing, but I hope I’m not upsetting you too much by saying that the 22 won’t be the focus of attention all summer. Hughes will have other things to worry about if several players find themselves out of contract before too long.

Marco D’Amico (Montreal Hockey Now) has analyzed the situation of autonomous players within the Montreal organization and has proposed the names of four prospects who are not expected to re-sign in the city.

They are Joe Vrbetic, Frederik Dichow, Tony Sund and Jack Gorniak. I’ll have more to say about them later.

What’s interesting is that the Habs could (and should) lose the rights to four prospects this summer.

Hughes would have the opportunity to gain more leeway by “freeing up” four of the NHL’s 50 contracts, and that can’t be ruled out either.

As of today, the Canadiens have 48 signed contracts (out of 50).

It all makes sense, since Vrbetic and Dichow are both goaltenders, and with the club’s depth at the position, chances are they’ll commit elsewhere for a better opportunity to play in the NHL or AHL.

At least, it’s a bit congested in the CH organization chart when you consider that Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen, Cayden Primeau and Jakob Dobes should all have a role with the Habs and their club-school.

Vrbetic has proven himself to be a good ECHL goalie, and the time has come for him to move on. If there’s no room in Laval, he should sign a contract elsewhere to further his development.

Dichow, on the other hand, comes from Europe and could be looking for a definite job in the AHL. Like Vrbetic, perhaps there just isn’t enough room at the Rocket.

The other two cases are rather logical too, since Gorniak has just finished his college career without making a name for himself (12 points in 37 games this season in Wisconsin)… While Sund is a defenseman who has never played in North America, even at the age of 27.

All this to say that the players in question aren’t exactly untouchable, and we expect to see them leave the organization this summer. It’s true that in Dichow’s case, it’s a shame, because he’s shown great promise as he’s progressed.

But that’s part of the game, and that’s why making such decisions can be difficult. After all, the Habs can’t keep them all either…

In gusto

– No surprises.

– He’ll have to be healthy before making a decision.

– Where will Matt Dumba play next year?

– He was excellent, Mike Matheson.

– Nice read on the elimination of the Gatineau Olympiques.

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