The Montreal Canadiens are still interested in making changes to their roster throughout the summer and into training camp, and an early season rule could help them do just that.
Due to finishing last in the NHL standings during the 2021-2022 NHL season, the Montreal Canadiens will have priority in the waiver selection process all the way up to November 1. That means that, if a team were to put an interesting player on waivers at the start of the season or shortly thereafter, the Canadiens would be able to swoop in and add said player to their roster immediately, giving them the depth they need at a position of choice. In the past, we have seen some good players unfortunately put on waivers due to the numbers game on very deep NHL rosters, and that could be an opportunity for the Canadiens to bolster their lineup accordingly and potentially get even younger. Unlike fantasy hockey, the Montreal Canadiens wouldn’t lose their priority if they were to select a player on the waiver wire, meaning they’d retain that advantage up until November 1.
Despite general manager Kent Hughes being comfortable with his current roster, he still wants to make a few tweaks to his roster. During his latest press conference, Hughes acknowledged the advantage of the waiver process to help plug some holes on the team. He noted that he would also look to the waiver wire at the start of the season to see whether the Canadiens can snatch a right-shot defenceman, for example, from one of their rivals for free.
“If we can find, and we believe that there will be, either via trade or the waiver process, right-shot D that become available to us, then we’re going to continue to study that,” said Kent Hughes in his desire to add another right-shot defenceman before the start of the season. “In the interim, we feel like, even if we have an injury, we do have the capacity to put one of our guys on that right side.”
The Montreal Canadiens have done well with some waiver pickups in the past, as Paul Byron and Rem Pitlick went on to prove their doubters wrong after being snatched up by the Canadiens over the years. It’ll be interesting to see if some younger, talented players might find their way to Montreal.