Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Trade Targets As Cap Brokers This Summer



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens are looking to weaponize their cap space, and there are a few options they could explore this summer.

For the first time in years, the Canadiens will be going into the offseason with some cap flexibility, as they’ll have $8.5M of actual cap space and over $19M in total space with Carey Price placed on LTIR.

With Cole Caufield as the only major player left to sign, and the likelihood of the Montreal Canadiens moving out some salaried players of their own, the Canadiens will have the opportunity to be aggressive yet again this summer.

Last summer, the Canadiens were able to extract a 1st-round pick from the Calgary Flames for taking on the final year of Sean Monahan‘s 6.375M contract, but taking on large sums of money isn’t the only way Montreal could take advantage of the market.

Here are a few of the options available to the Canadiens:

Kailer Yamamoto

The Edmonton Oilers are going to want to shed some cap space next season with only $2.86M in projected cap space available for next season.

Kailer Yamamoto, who’s got one year left at 3.1M could likely be one of the players they’ll be looking to move out in order to gain some cap flexibility and sign some of their bottom-six forwards and burgeoning defenceman, Evan Bouchard.

Yamamoto could be taken on the cheap, or even with a sweetener from Edmonton, depending on the level of desperation, and could either be taken on as another development project or flipped to a rival club at the NHL Trade Deadline with retention.

Yamamoto is a former 20-goal scorer and is still just 24 years old, making him a possible buy-low candidate that general manager Kent Hughes loves to target.

Josh Bailey

Acquiring a player like Josh Bailey would be a very similar endeavour to how the Montreal Canadiens acquired Sean Monahan.

After the New York Islanders threw big money at Bo Horvat, they’re going to want to improve their roster, and Bailey’s contract has been a major impediment in that task over the last few years.

With one year left on the contract, worth $5M per season, the Canadiens could likely ask for a significant return, albeit unlikely to be a 1st-round pick, to take on Bailey’s salary without retention.

The Islanders, who narrowly missed out on signing Nazem Kadri last summer due to insufficient cap space, may feel the heat to liberate themselves this summer and improve their roster immediately, as they look to be in a win-now situation.

The Canadiens could then take on Bailey for the season and eventually flip him at 50% retained as a rental for the playoffs.

The 33-year-old has a wealth of experience, having played 1057 regular season games and 71 playoff games in his career; making him an interesting target for an NHL club, especially at $2.5M.

Think of this as a Monahan-lite type of move.

Kaapo Kakko

The New York Rangers are in a tough spot right now, after losing their 1st-round matchup against the New Jersey Devils.

They loaded up in a big way prior to the playoffs, with many pegging them to rival the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference, but came up short.

With just $11M in cap space, the likes of Vladimir Tarasenko open to returning and youngsters Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller left to sign, it’s going to get very tight for the Rangers.

There has been talk that a member of the underwhelming Kid-Line, comprised of newly signed Filip Chytil, Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko, may be sacrificed in the process of improving the club and saving them space on the salary cap.

It wouldn’t make much sense for the Rangers to trade Chytil, as they just signed him; while Lafrenière is a former 1st-overall pick that could be on the verge of exploding at any moment.

It does feel like Kakko would be the odd man out, which presents the Canadiens with an opportunity.

The former 2nd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has everything the Canadiens would be looking for in a young player; he’s 6-foot-3, shoots left and has a howitzer of a shot.

Capable of playing both wings and looking for an opportunity for more minutes, Kakko could realistically thrive under Martin St-Louis and succeed where players like Denis Gurianov couldn’t.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Wouldn’t a player like Kakko need to play in the top 6 to “thrive”? Those spots are already spoken for on our roster. Kakko has “struggled” in New York because there are players ahead of him on the depth chart and he doesn’t get the quality of ice time most offensive players need in order to rack up the points. We already have too many forwards. Taking on a salary dump player we can stick on the 4th line so as not to take minutes away from our young core and future players could work (or burying the acquired player in the minors), but the idea of taking on a player another team desperately wants to get rid of, and then hoping they break out for us so we can flip them for yet another asset, is great in theory, but far less likely in reality. Just look at Hoffman and Armia on our own team right now. We’d love to dump them on someone else, but there aren’t any takers. And to have to add a sweetener to move either player, just to acquire another similar player with a sweetener for us, is a lateral move.


stay on course, dont chase butterflies

MHN 2023 NHL Draft

MHN in your inbox

Enter your email address and get all of our articles sent directly to your inbox

MHN on Facebook