The Montreal Canadiens appear close to signing Kirby Dach, but are also reportedly working on other moves in the meantime.
As reported by Montreal Hockey Now earlier last month, the Montreal Canadiens are still looking to make some moves before the start of the season; and this is now what appears to be holding back the Dach extension from being announced. On a recent episode of 32 Thoughts, NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman mentioned that he believed the Dach deal was close, if not already finished, but it was the Canadiens’ desire to continue dealing that seems to be delaying the process.
“I also want to mention Kirby Dach. Eric Engels was on the radio in Montreal last week that he’d been looking into this,” said Friedman on the latest on extension talks between the Canadiens and Dach. “I think Dach is pretty far down the road, if not done. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a four-year deal somewhere around the $3.5M range. I think Montreal might be trying to do some things done before getting Dach officially done.”
It would not be surprising to see the Montreal Canadiens attempt to move a forward before the start of the NHL season, as the Canadiens currently have 15 forwards on the roster, and that doesn’t yet include Dach. Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes recently expressed a desire to continue tweaking his roster, specifically as he looks to add another defenseman to his group.
Who Could The Montreal Canadiens Ship Out?
According to various NHL sources, the three Canadiens forwards being talked about as available on the trade market are Christian Dvorak ($4.45M), Mike Hoffman ($4.5M) and Joel Armia ($3.4), with varying degrees of interest surrounding each player. Out of the bunch, Dvorak is the name that has gotten the most amount of attention around trade circles in recent weeks, as the acquisitions of Dach and Monahan have created a logjam of top nine centres on the club. Armia is also a name to keep in mind, as he increased his stock since the second half of the NHL season, as his play vastly improved under new head coach Martin St. Louis, and he took that momentum with him to the World Championships, where he was a standout for Team Finland.
The Canadiens’ existing excess of wingers could prompt them to move one of Hoffman or Armia instead of Dvorak in an attempt to free up future cap space and a much-needed roster spot for some training camp surprises without hurting their centre depth. With Paul Byron looking unlikely to be ready for camp and Carey Price to be put on LTIR, there may be potential for the Canadiens to carry 14 forwards to start the year; meaning that a move will have to happen if someone like Juraj Slafkovsky or Jesse Ylönen forces management’s hand at camp.
It will be interesting to see how the Canadiens will make room prior to the start of the season, but sources have indicated that the Canadiens do not appear done tweaking their roster just yet.