Canadiens Potential Salary Cap Moves This Offseason
The Montreal Canadiens will finally be going into an offseason with cap flexibility, but there is potential for even more.
The Canadiens have quite a few high-priced contracts they like to rid themselves of this summer in order to gain more flexibility and weaponize their cap space.
The Habs currently have $8.536M in projected cap space going into the summer with the likes of Cole Caufield and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, amongst others, still left to sign.
They’ll also have the option to add an additional $10.5M in LTIR space due to Carey Price still being on the books.
The Canadiens have indicated that they’ll want to use their cap space to their advantage yet again this summer, after extracting a 1st-round pick from the Calgary Flames last season.
In order to seek out a few more of those trades this summer, the Canadiens may have to make a few moves of their own first.
Here’s a few options available to them:
Trades, Trades, Trades
The Montreal Canadiens have a few players that could be clear trade options for them.
Joel Edmundson makes the most sense from a cost and value perspective. The veteran defenceman was in trade rumours all season and likely could have been traded in March had he not sustained another back injury that kept him out for many weeks.
Having finished the season on a positive and healthy note, interested teams are likely to circle back in the offseason, when his $3.5M cap hit is far easier to swallow.
Another option is Mike Hoffman, who also has one year left on his deal valued at $4.5M.
The enigmatic winger could be of interest to other teams, given his goal-scoring history and his improved even-strength offence with the Canadiens.
The Canadiens kept one of their three retention slots going into the summer to give them some flexibility to make some moves and using it on Hoffman could make a lot of sense.
Lastly, Christian Dvorak, who generated some interest on the trade market leading up to this year’s NHL Trade Deadline, could be a player to watch for.
With two years left on his contract value at $4.45M, the rugged centre could be a player the Canadiens could be interested in dangling in the future.
The Canadiens also have many mid-round draft picks in the 2023 NHL Draft that could be sacrificed to entice clubs to take on more salary early on.
General manager Kent Hughes has mentioned that he’d prefer not to use draft capital to move out contracts, but it could make sense in this scenario.
In the end, the expectation is that at least one of the above trio will be moved by the summer, with the potential of more being on their way out.
If the Canadiens are unable to move certain contracts out, there’s always the buyout route.
One such player that could be in danger of facing the cut would be Joel Armia.
The Montreal Canadiens would save over $3.36 million next season, as well as $2.36 million in 2024-25.
Armia’s buyout would then cost them $1.43 million over the following two seasons, ending in 2026-27.
The final two years of the buyout could be written off as a wash, with the salary cap expected to increase exponentially by then.
By buying out his contract, the Canadiens would save a total of $2.86 million, the vast majority of which would be available upon the first year of his buyout.
And unlike burying him in the minors, which would lead to a negative perception throughout the league, the Canadiens would also free up a contract and roster spot.
MHN 2023 NHL Draft
MHN Post-Lottery 1st-Round Mock Draft
4shares Share Tweet Comment! Reddit FlipAll but four picks have yet to be determined in the first round of the...
MHN 2023 NHL Mock Draft: Pre-Lottery Edition
13shares Share Tweet Comment! Reddit FlipThe 2023 NHL Draft Lottery is just a few days away, and we did a...
Goodbye Edmundson, he was a great player 2 years ago with Petry. He makes more mistakes now in one game (or shift) then he did the entire 2020-21 season. It is sad the decline in his play as he was a +28 2 years ago and this past season a -29 (a difference of 57 goals)! Giving him icetime when Matheson, Guhle, Harris & Xhekaj (hopefully Struble) are ahead of him on the left side in Montreal.He is only 29 but certainly to me looks and plays a lot older than that.
The team was not good and neither was his health.
YES, to all 4 of those offseason moves!
I’d consider adding Anderson to that mix, if he is as “treasured” as everyone thinks he is. But I’d wait on that move…for this:
Lets say Habs do offersheet PLD from WPG. I’d assume WPG would not match, because the return haul of a 1st + a 3rd is likely the most they could get for him at any point from now until the trade deadline. So, since we would lose a 1st to WPG, then Anderson becomes more expendable and can fetch a 1st to make up for the one we have to give to WPG. I’d wait for next season, perhaps even at the TDL, to make that move – especially if ANY of these young players pan out as a replacement winger who can match the same production as Anderson, but at a fraction of the cap hit:
X from #5 Pick (if a winger)
Offersheat is highly unlikely. It was a disaster the last time they tried and HuGo want to keep good relationships with other GM’s. If they offer sheet PLD expect someone to do the same with Caufield.