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Withholding salary for Jeff Petry hurts the Canadiens
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
As you know, an NHL club can only withhold salary from three players at a time.

Currently, the Canadiens are withholding salary from three players: Jeff Petry, Jake Allen and Joel Edmundson. The first two have contracts valid for 2024-2025, and Edmundson will be a free agent on July 1.

The result? The Habs GM will arrive at the 2024 draft without salary retention, and will get one on July 1, 2024, for the 2024-2025 season.

Because the Habs were able to part with Joel Edmundson to make room for younger players, and because the defenseman is a free agent this summer, it’s not the end of the world. Because Jake Allen was blocking young goalies, it’s not the end of the world either.

But Jeff Petry? That’s a different story.

I understand that picking up Petry from Pittsburgh and eventually sending him to Detroit (hence the salary holdback) was done to get Mike Hoffman out of Montreal, in the end… but it’s hurting the Habs right now.

Getting Hoffman out was important, let’s face it. It was the first time Kent Hughes had thought more in the short term (getting the veteran out of his dressing room in the name of culture) and it was the right thing to do since Hoffman would have been a distraction in 2023-2024, but we all knew that in the long term, it was going to hurt.

And here we are then.

After all, if the Habs had one more salary retention on their hands (that of Petry, whom Hughes had managed to trade at full base salary in 2023), we might think a little more about having flexibility.

David Savard, Christian Dvorak and Joel Armia are players who will be at the end of their contract in a year’s time and who could more easily leave if the Montreal GM decided to keep a portion of their salary in Montreal. Only one of them (at most) will be eligible for salary retention.

And that’s not counting Josh Anderson… but he’s in a different category.

Speaking of potentially parting with Josh Anderson, I went to Cap Friendly to see what it would cost to buy Josh Anderson this summer.

And as you can see, the cap hit on the mass of $2,222M in 2025-2026 and $3,722M in 2026-2027 hurts. Buying him out wouldn’t be ideal… even if it isn’t an ugly solution.

(Credit: Cap Friendly)

Of course, if Hughes wants to send a message to his players and is fed up with Anderson, he could buy him out anyway. It’s not impossible, at this point, to think it’s a possibility.

But it’s still unlikely. The new administration likes to maximize the value of its players…

In brief

– Blue Jays win last night.

– Sidney Crosby for the Hart? [TSN 690]

– Players don’t care that Kyle Dubas sold at the deadline.[TVA Sports]

– Check out the hands. Wow!

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