Canadiens Open Retention Slot Hints To Possible Offseason Trade
The Montreal Canadiens could have used up all their three retention slots at the NHL Trade Deadline, but wisely chose to retain one slot; hinting at a potential move before the NHL Draft.
General manager Kent Hughes could have used up all three slots prior to the March 3 deadline, just as he did the previous season, but wanted to give himself some flexibility heading into the offseason.
It’s important to note that, retention slots get freed up as soon as the contract that was traded expires. In the Canadiens’ case, the contracts of Evgenii Dadonov and Nick Bonino will both be expiring on July 1st; meaning they’ll be back to three retention slots this summer.
That is, unless the Canadiens plan on using their final retention slot heading to the draft to help broker a trade.
With all but four teams left in the NHL Playoffs, now is the time when teams begin to evaluate their needs and where they could look to improve, but, with the NHL salary cap only set to increase by $1M this summer, teams will have to get creative.
This is where the Montreal Canadiens have left themselves a bit of an advantage, as they could use they could have an advantage over other sellers at the draft that used up all their retention slots like the Arizona Coyotes.
The Habs will have the opportunity to use their final retention slot and perhaps rekindle trade talks that were had on certain players closer to the deadline, as teams will have far more flexibility to take on salary, with many contracts set to expire.
With players like Joel Edmundson or Mike Hoffman, who both have one final year left on their contract, it could make a lot of sense to move them at a fraction of their cost in order to extract maximum value before the draft.
It may have been hard to move Hoffman ($4.5M) or Edmundson ($3.5M) in the middle of a season at their current price tags, but, during the offseason, and up to 50% of a discount, they could be worth much more than initially thought; especially in Edmundson’s case.
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