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The Canadiens will have (a lot of) money this summer, but some housekeeping will have to be done
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Montreal Canadiens have been on vacation since last Sunday. The guys are mostly down south, but Nick Suzuki, who has to be in Toronto to represent the Habs at the All-Star Game, has had the most to do.

And when I say that, I’m talking about the players only. After all, there’s a certain Kent Hughes who’s been working.

All that to say, it’s tomorrow again, for the Habs. At 2 p.m., the guys will hit the ice for a training session in preparation for the 2023-2024 season.


Training on Sunday… training (surely) and travel on Monday… game in Washington on Tuesday… it’s going to start again fast.

So it won’t be long before the boys get back into the swing of things. And of course, they’ll have to do so without Sean Monahan, who was traded to the Jets yesterday.

With the deadline approaching (in less than five weeks), things are going to be moving fast for the Habs. Yes, Monahan is gone, but there are still some files on the GM’s desk.

Of the lot? The sacrosanct ménage à trois.

Time will pass quickly, and eventually we’ll find ourselves at the end of the season. And that’s when Kent Hughes’ real work begins.

After all, we know just how much the Habs will need to use the club’s many picks and prospects to bring in big reinforcements. What’s interesting, however, is that the club will have the financial means to match its ambitions.

Why do I say this?

Because, as reported by Marc-Olivier Beaudoin, this summer, the Habs will have about $19 million to spare… without having to break the bank for a current club player.

Two years ago, Nick Suzuki’s contract came into effect. Last year, it was Cole Caufield’s turn. And in 2025, Juraj Slafkovsky and Kaiden Guhle will be up for renegotiation.

But what about this year? Now that the Samuel Montembeault case is behind us, there’s still (among the notable cases, let’s say) Jesse Ylönen, Arber Xhekaj and, if we go to Laval, Justin Barron to renegotiate.

Tanner Pearson and Chris Wideman will be uncompensated free agents. Joel Edmundson (salary deduction) and Karl Alzner (contract buyout), who are on this year’s payroll, will also leave the salary envelope this summer.

Let me simplify this for you: taking the nine healthy forwards under contract and the three injured, adding the six defensemen under contract, the three healthy goaltenders and the dead money, the Habs will have about $18.5 M in the pot.

Note that this amount takes into account the fact that Carey Price’s salary can be used as a long-term injured player.

We’ve established that there won’t be any big compensated free agents within the organization to sign this summer, which means the Habs will have plenty of money to sign good players.

But with just about everyone under contract, some guys no longer eligible for the waivers, and some youngsters on the rise, it’s clear that there’s going to be a big turnout. We’re going to have to pull some guys out to make room for new blood.

It’s going to take some exchanges to get rid of the “dead wood” and make room for top talent. That will be Hughes’ challenge… and he’ll have the resources to meet it. To progress, it will take different players, so as not to have the same results.

In bursts

– Well, well.

– Free Chipotle” not so free.

– He’s going to play a lot, yes.

– Clearly.

– Nice outing for the Habs prospect. #JeuBlanc

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