Montreal Canadiens Likely To Be Aggresive With New LTIR Space
The Montreal Canadiens will have a good amount of LTIR relief space to play moving forward, and they plan on using it to their advantage.
With the untimely news that Carey Price will be unlikely to play for the 2022-2023 season, the Canadiens will be able to put his $10.5M contract on LTIR prior to the start of the season. As we learned after the acquisition of Sean Monahan, the Canadiens will be able to gain close to $10.5M in LTIR relief with Price unlikely to play this season. As of this junction, the Canadiens are $6.1M over the salary cap after the acquisition of Monahan, but when Price’s contract is moved to LTIR, they’ll have close to $4.4M in relief space to work with to fill out their roster.
Too Many Cooks At Forward, Time To Make A Move
With this newfound relief space, the Canadiens have enough flexibility to do some of the things they wanted to do prior to the start of the season. They could start the process by signing Kirby Dach, whom they acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2022 NHL Draft, to a bridge contract in the $2M range. Once Dach is signed, however, the Canadiens will have 15 NHL forwards signed on their main roster, without counting Juraj Slafkovsky or any other prospects like Jesse Ylönen or Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who will be knocking on the door.
The Canadiens will likely have to move one of those forwards, with Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia and Mike Hoffman being players that general manager Kent Hughes would like to move to free up a roster spot and some additional cap space. With the additional relief fund to play with, the Canadiens will have a little more flexibility to work the lines and continue trading players with term for other players on one-year deals (like Evgenii Dadonov and Monahan). With the Canadiens looking to free up their salary expenditure as quickly as possible, a couple of million in relief space will allow the Canadiens to be creative in their subsequent moves with rival general managers who are right up against the cap.
Montreal Canadiens To Take Advantage Of Waiver Wire
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.
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 proved 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, especially now that they have some extra flexibility with this LTIR relief.
IMO Hughes will need that cap space for contracts that are coming up. Caulfield etc. Harris in a year. It’s the management of the salaries coming up in the years to come.
As stated in the article “continue trading players with term for other players on one-year deals”. That won’t impact the salary cap beyond this season and If those acquisitions play well they will be moved at the trade deadline for prospects and picks. Regardless they are free agents after the season and Montreal will already have acquired prospects/picks in exchange for taking on their salaries.
They have Dadonov, Drouin, Monahan coming off the books for around 16M. I don’t think HUGO has anything to worry about. Especially, if Carey Price is in fact, finished.