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Montreal Canadiens To-Do List Prior To NHL Trade Deadline



Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes will be busy working the phones before the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline, with some pretty clear goals he’d like to achieve.

The Canadiens are firmly in the “sellers” category, but that doesn’t mean they’ll simply be looking to move out some impending free agents for draft capital.

Yes, players like Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson will generate a lot of interest, but that might not be where it stops for the Canadiens.

Hughes has shown a penchant so far to get creative with his trades and seek out other ways of extracting value from deals, and one could expect more of the same in the month of February.

Here are some of the biggest things on the Canadiens’ “To-Do List” prior to the NHL Trade Deadline:

1st-Round Pick

Hughes has been adamant about wanting to capitalize on the quality talent in the 2023 NHL Draft class. Already owning two 1st-round picks, their own and that of the Florida Panthers via the Ben Chiarot trade, Hughes has been outspoken at several points this season about acquiring a third 1st-round pick in this year’s draft by way of trade.

“Ideally, yes,” said Hughes in an interview with TVA Sports when asked about his desire to acquire a third 1st round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. “We have some good youngsters within the organization and it would be important to get our hands on some quality assets that will be able to keep up with them in the future.”

The Montreal Canadiens are already trending toward a very high pick, and the Florida Panthers are currently projected to miss the playoffs per recent betting odds; but adding a third shot at the top-32 of this year’s class might be too attractive an opportunity to miss out on.

Given the talent set to be available in the late half of the 1st-round, having a shot at selecting four top-end talents within the first 40 picks could be a game-changer for the Canadiens organization, as it would be the biggest influx of top talent the organization has seen in decades.

Acquire More Youth

If the Canadiens are indeed able to get that coveted 1st-round pick, they could also look to spread the wealth of their riches by then targeting NHL-ready prospects.

Similar to the Arturri Lehkonen trade that saw the Canadiens substitute the inclusion of a late 1st-round pick with former 1st-round pick Justin Barron, the Canadiens could be looking to bringing in some prospects that are further along in their development.

A similar trade, perhaps for a scoring forward in this case, could be more beneficial to the Canadiens right now, as there is a bit of a gap in age between their NHL-ready prospects and their recently drafted youngsters.

Bridging that gap with more talent could help the Canadiens create a consistent flow of talent among their ranks.

That being said, one shouldn’t rule out a goaltending prospect being targeted either, as the Canadiens will likely want to shore up that position; having only three goaltenders signed to NHL deals right now.

Move Out The Excess

On top of the known players rumoured to be in play for the Montreal Canadiens, there are a few extra bodies the organization would need to move out.

If this last month has shown the Canadiens and their fans anything, it’s that they have prospects that are hungry and ready to take the roles of veterans who are simply not living up to expectations.

Players like Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Justin Barron have looked stellar for the Canadiens since their recent recall; and making room for these players on the roster should be in the cards.

Moving on from contracts like those of Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin, Joel Armia and Mike Hoffman would help alleviate the  roster crunch in the Canadiens’ forward ranks and allow for younger players to crack the roster.

By proxy of moving out some of the above veterans, the Canadiens could also liberate themselves of considerable amounts of salary, thereby allowing them to be more flexible in other, bigger trades and perhaps extracting more value from cap-strapped teams looking to gain flexibility.


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Brian Chandler

The Habs have drafted at least 4 goaltenders in the last few years they need goal scorers not more goaltenders.


We dont have the depth we’d llike to think in net.
Dobes is less productive then Primeau was .
Dobas is ranked 16th and 18th in Sv% and GAA
Primeau was top 10 in every regard both his years in College.
Primeau was top 10 as a rookie then won the Mike Richter award his 2nd year.

Dobes isnt even in the top 10 rankings for the award Primeau won before making the leap to Pro in Laval . He’s good but i’m pointing out like Primeau he faces a long road and needs a lot to go his way to succeed in MTL

Dichow’s Legit but needs 2 years SHL where he’s the 4th best tandem goalie with a good mentor you’d want him to stick with. He’s still just 21 so by 23 he’ll be in Laval where he’ll likely need a year to adjust to NHL/AHL rink size. His biggest issue was he kept growing now he’s 6’5 and seemingly has found a balance despite his numbers his 6-4-0 record says he may let in 3 goals but he keeps his team in it .

Primeau is a mystery as he heats up carrying half an ECHL team to game 6 of ECF with the only real change was adding Abbadanato i believe from ECHL and Matt Moulsons Cousin from i dont know where . They offered things the team lacked with Condotta becoming Primeau’s Crease Cop. Same Dynamic this year and he’s playing well enough but its like somethings missing . I

The rest are the longest of shots
Michal Hrbal and Trey Augustine fall late 1st to early 2nd round.
IMO i’d go after Hrbal as he’s a giant who’s already adjusted to his size early and playing amazing hockey that’s consistent. Everything about him says he’s got the potential to be a Ben Bishop or Better and most important i want him lol.


It wasn’t that long ago, we had a # of goalie prospects but imo, that’s dwindled. Recall Fucale? He’s only one of a # of former goalkeepers no longer with the club. I think we could use a few more goalie prospects. They take longer to ‘25’ is not unusual before a goalie to establish himself and many are not 1st round picks. So a few more isn’t going to hurt. Realistically, we don’t have a bonafide starting goalie like Price. We’ve been spoiled for a long time but I think the goalie cupboard could be restocked. If we end up with several quality prospects, they’re also great trade chips just because there’s not many of them.


No real rush to move out guys with term until the summer.
Then it starts to be an issue during camp when no one’s making deals.

I think draft day once we see if we’re getting PLD via trade, UFA or if he’s gonna re-sign with WPG long term. After that make your moves with guys like these as teams like DAL are just as desperate to move out Faksa and if unlucky they’ll just consider a swap or paying a low amount to lets say take a Hoffman at RS to shave a year off the term.

Armia has a fit in EDM and im still convinced he’ll be in a deal for Puljujarvi with some picks being exchanged like a 4th for a 7th round pick or something. MTL has just been waiting for EDM to cave. They still wanted to try and recoop a decent pick but that ship sailed when they kept a player who wanted out after he asked to leave and both suffered for it. its why we moved Petry at a loss despite it messing up our LD rotation when he’s not on IR

The rest will be traded in Drouin and Dadanov or they’ll be buried .
We only played them as there was a chance they could gain interest of other teams looking for a cheap gamble for low cost. Dadanov i think plays well enough that at 2.5m after RS that he’ll get a 4th round pick from a contender who missed out on their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices.


I think we should try to sign drouin to a one year at 3.5 million or less. His value is low and then we can decide to sign him or trade him at the next trade deadline. Move out Hoffman and Armia as soon as possible.


Drouin has had plenty of time to show his stuff. Unfortunately, it’s not consistent and he’s fragile. He is the poster boy of what happens when we obtain a French player just because he’s French. Move him for whatever you can get, along with a few others. I wouldn’t demote him though. That would add insult to injury and just rub salt into a poor trade. Let him make that decision.


When healthy, he’s productive. And that’s without a proper Center, his whole time here.


Are you crazy? Drouin has been the biggest bust trade in Habs history. Not only eating up $25 Mill salary, but costing us one of the best defenseman in the last 10 years.


0.60 points per game with habs with no legit centre on his line. A healthy drouin could have helped vs Tampa in the finals as well. He’s had injuries and other things effecting his stats the last 3 years especially. Their is no harm if he agrees on 1 year deal @ around 3Millon. We are not contenders and we could deal him at the next deadline for a better return. Not to mention a lower cap hit would boost his value.

Priority should be to deal long term contracts that are not part of our futures. Starting with Hoffman and Armia. Then maybe Dvorak.


The problem with obtaining goalie prospects is where are they all going to play? The NHL isn’t a place to develop them. That leaves the AHL and ECHL. There’s only 2 spots in each location and the ECHL isn’t really ideal because the level of competition is quite a step down. The other alternative is choosing goalies in the NCAA so we own their rights longer and we get more time to see what we have. The other issue with goalie prospects is how much of a gamble they are on whether they turn out or not. I’m more in favour of using our stocked cupboards to pry a good one from another franchise that is overstocked or trending in a different direction. I coveted Demko for years, but once he broke out, I thought we’d lost our shot at ever getting him. But if the rumblings out of Vancouver hold any truth, I would jump at the opportunity to grab what I still believe will be one of the top goalies in the league in the future. Vancouver is looking to restock their cupboards. We’re overstocked imo. Let’s use that capital to acquire a critical piece of our rebuild. Another option is Hellebuyck is also a UFA in the summer of 2024 when Dubois is. His age doesn’t quite fit our rebuild window as well as Demko’s does, but you would be hard pressed to find a better goalie available at the right time when we should be turning the corner in the rebuild where we will be expecting some results. I wanted to grab Spencer Knight in the Chiarot trade by adding to the deal, but that ship has sailed, so to me Demko is the best option for the future.


The real window doesn’t open for another 3-5 yrs. Think about it. We have some very good prospects and some high picks to come. First you have to remain healthy and develop at either the junior or NCAA level or pro euro level. Then you have to try to make the team which almost never happens without a stop for a yr or 2 in the A. Then you “might” make the big club but it will take a good 2-3 yrs before you are established AND producing consistently at an NHL level. It’s a 3-5 yr process for most players. You might get one or two exceptions to the rule but that generally doesn’t happen. Guhle was this years exception. Maybe jackeye too but not at the level of guhle. There’s really no reason to keep all of the fluff players who won’t be here in 3 to 5 years. People always talk about development suffering if there’s not enough veterans, but I think with one or two key veterans, and maybe a free agent we sign, the kids who have superior skills are going to develop regardless. I say let them play together develop together lose together learn together and move forward together. As for goaltending- we could always sign someone sufficient down the road. Drafting one more goalie with high potential wouldn’t hurt. We should be moving monny andy eddy or savvy along with allen. They all are worth decent returns. Losing them will also help us draft higher. The other fluff needs to either go for whatever you can get, or just let them go in the summer. We don’t need future D. We’re good. We could use a true 1c if it presents itself, so suzy or dach could be properly slotted in, and if we can’t get that or draft that, we win by committee with suzy dach or a will smith. We desperately need talented top 6 wingers.


Will Smith? Well, isn’t that a slap in the face??


if the big 4 are gone in this year’s draft, we have to go Smith Benson or Cristall.

later 3rd round 4th round steal? ryan mcallister.

under the radar guy already in the system? simoneau.

Last edited 1 month ago by jon

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