Canadiens Could Consider Bringing Back Some Free Agents
The Montreal Canadiens are continuing their youth movement, but may want to keep some veterans around to shepherd them forward.
The Canadiens were one of the youngest teams in the league down the stretch, with multiple injuries to veterans on the roster.
It gave general manager Kent Hughes a great opportunity to evaluate his club’s prospect pipeline, but also determine what is still needed to bring these youngsters along in a meaningful way.
Throughout this rebuilding process, the Montreal Canadiens have maintained that they’d like to keep a veteran presence in their lineup to support the young and emerging core; to ease the transition and help them develop the right habits as they mature.
With the Canadiens likely needing to move out some bodies under contract to make room for youngsters, it could also provide an opening to bring back some free agents on short-term deals.
After over a decade spent in the AHL, Alex Belzile finally got his shot at a significant look at the NHL level.
And he did not squander it.
The 31-year-old not only played with fire and energy right from his first puck drop, but looked to improve and take on a larger role as the season went on.
Head coach Martin St-Louis praised the AHL veteran’s work ethic and impact in the dressing room, all while Belzile began to light the lamp with more regularity.
Given his importance to the organization as a mentor in Laval and Montreal, it would make a ton of sense to bring back Belzile as a 13th forward to start.
He’s the type of player you can easily slide in and out of your lineup, and he would be a great help to the young players being called up throughout a season.
Things didn’t exactly go to plan for Sean Monahan.
After being acquired by the Montreal Canadiens in the summer and getting off to a hot start, Monahan ran into admittedly avoidable injury troubles that kept him out for the season.
However, during his time in Montreal, him impact was clear for everyone to see; as he was able to help Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach shoulder the responsibilities of being a top-six centreman in the NHL.
Having learned from their mistakes, a healthy Sean Monahan could be a very interesting player to bring back for Kent Hughes, especially on a low-end contract.
He could be of big help to the young core and could easily be flipped at the Trade Deadline should the Canadiens be out of the race.
Although Jonathan Drouin did perform much better as the season went on, it just seems like both parties would do better to simply move on.
For Drouin, his time in Montreal has been rocky at best, while the Canadiens never truly got what they ordered when they shipped Mikhail Sergachev to Tampa Bay.
It would be best for Drouin to look to greener pastures across the league in hopes of rebuilding his reputation and getting back to enjoying the game.
He could still help NHL teams in a more sheltered role with an established top offensive unit; but it seems that it won’t be in Montreal.
Although it does look like Paul Byron’s playing days are indeed behind him, that doesn’t mean his time with the Montreal Canadiens has to end.
Although Byron’s playing career may seemingly be over, the veteran would like to stay with the Canadiens in a developmental role.
Having been an influential veteran for youngsters throughout the years, having a person like Byron, who bleeds Bleu, Blanc, Rouge would be exactly the kind of hockey mind you’d be looking to add to a burgeoning department.
Whether it happens immediately or down the road, keeping Byron within the organization would be a solid move.
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ALEX BELZILE is to old and slow he is great fr Laval maybe being a assistant coach,JONATHAN DROUIN, far his sake he has too go. I hope that a deal for MONAHAN could be worked out, he has great skills, Sign back PERRY if possible he is agreat leader and good coach for the rookies
I love Perry too. He wanted to stay here as well.
Belzile – probably ok
Monahan – hard no for me, that ship has sailed
Drouin – wish him the best, just not with us
Byron – not sure how a guy who can’t walk for a half hour at an amusement park with his kids can help us ON the ice in player development. Perhaps in another capacity?
Monahan for sure if the price is right. He is a smart player snd would be a good mentor snd if he can stay healthy move him to a contender at the deadline
If we can trade 2 or 3 of Armia, Hoffman and Dvorak , habs can try to sign tarasenko or Kane to a 1 yr deal @ 7 to 8 million.
Yes to the trade outs. No to the signing. We are nowhere near being contenders.