With numbers starting to dwindle, here are some last-minute options that the Montreal Canadiens to invite to training camp on a professional try-out (PTO).
The Canadiens will have an influx of young players coming into the fold, and general manager Kent Hughes has indicated that he would be looking for veteran leadership to replace the many vets that have been moved since the start of his tenure. Without the ability to sign players at this junction without going over the salary cap, the Canadiens could buy themselves some time and evaluate some of their options first-hand by making some strategic PTO offers to some of the veterans below:
Stralman would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Montreal Canadiens, as he can still play over 20 minutes a game while providing excellent guidance and leadership to the emerging youngsters in the organization. The soon-to-be 36-year-old would likely look to sign a short-term contract and wouldn’t be used in top offensive situations; leaving that role to younger players like Justin Barron or Jordan Harris to further their development.
Stralman’s $5.5M contract just expired with the Arizona Coyotes and the veteran defenceman has shown he’s not quite done yet. His wealth of experience and knowledge would be indispensable in helping to develop the young crop of defencemen coming into the organization this year.
The Montreal Canadiens are looking for a veteran presence on the backend and, if Anton Stralman isn’t available, Keith Yandle has certainly seen his fair share of hockey throughout his career. Primarily utilized in the role of a 3rd pair defenceman lately, Yandle would be able to handle a lot of the offensive missions and help bring along the youngsters who will be looking to take their offensive games to the next level in the NHL.
He wouldn’t necessarily be there to take ice-time away from the youngsters on the team, but he could be rotated in on a regular basis during camp to see if he could still bring much of the offensive ability that made him such an effective offensive defenceman for so many years.
EDIT: Since the posting of this article, Keith Yandle has formally announced his retirement from the NHL after 16 seasons.
Time is ticking and Subban is still without a destination with less than three weeks until the start of the NHL season. Although some may be against the inclusion of a player like Subban at this junction, it could be an interesting gamble for a team like the Canadiens who will be looking for a veteran that is capable of playing in multiple situations. If we’re talking about experience, there isn’t a player available right now that has the experience that Subban does playing in the pressure cooker of a market that is Montreal.
Edit: P.K. Subban has also just announced his retirement from the NHL.
Ultimately, it likely won’t happen, but he would be a fine invite if only to see if he could still hang in the NHL and perform at a level that could be of value to the club.