The Montreal Canadiens announced that they had sent out qualifying offers to five players, while allowing three other players, including Rem Pitlick, to become free agents.
According to the Montreal Canadiens, offers were made to forwards Kirby Dach, Nate Schnarr and Joel Teasdale, as well as to goaltenders Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau. Earlier in the day, both Michael Pezzetta and Corey Schueneman both had already signed one-year contracts with the Montreal Canadiens, removing the need to send them qualifying offers.
There were only three restricted free agents who were not tendered offers: Josh Brook, Kale Clague and Rem Pitlick.
During his time in Montreal, the speedy winger put up an impressive nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 46 games, and proved to be one of the best waiver pick-ups in recent memory. However, Pitlick had arbitration rights this summer and would have likely been in line for a very hefty raise that the Montreal Canadiens were likely unwilling to provide him. That being said, the Canadiens can still circle back with Pitlick and sign him to a contract in the meantime, or even after July 13, as it will be easier to negotiate with the fiesty winger without an arbitrator present.
Unfortunately for Clague, his time in Montreal mirrored his time with the Kings, as he was quickly surpassed in the depth chart by Schueneman and then Jordan Harris, after he joined the Canadiens after the trade deadline. With Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Mattias Norlinder and more joining the pro ranks for the Canadiens next season, and his very minimal usage by Martin St. Louis down the stretch, it isn’t surprising to see Clague let go, as the Canadiens simply have too many left-shot defensemen.
As for Josh Brook, the writing seems on the wall for a long while. The mobile right-shot defenceman has been plagued by injuries during his time in the pros and has failed to establish himself as the offensive force that he was for the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. During this past season, Brook split time between Laval and the Trois-Rivières Lions of the ECHL and couldn’t get his game going during that time. He was able to make more of an offensive impact for the Lions in the ECHL playoffs, putting up almost a point-per-game in their seven post-season games, but wasn’t part of the Black Aces that were called up from the Lions to join the Rocket in the AHL playoffs.