NHL free agency opens today, which means teams like the Montreal Canadiens will be jostling for position to enquire about the services of various players.
As it stands, the Canadiens have a reasonable amount of salary cap space to work with. You can view a detailed breakdown of their projected salary cap situation by clicking here.
They don’t have enough to make much of a splash, and given that their lineup is already close to being finalized, we shouldn’t expect general manager Kent Hughes to go out and sign a premiere free agent.
Besides, the free agency list this year is rather underwhelming, to say the least.
However, the stagnant salary cap may open up a few options for Hughes and Co.
This year, teams decided not to qualify their players more often than any other previous season, leaving a few interesting options for teams like the Montreal Canadiens, who may be shopping for value deals.
In total, 116 players were not tendered qualifying offers, including the two Canadiens forwards who are headed to free agency: Denis Gurianov and Joel Teasdale, as well as two former Canadiens players, Victor Mete and Ryan Poehling.
Two former members of the Seattle Kraken are set to hit the free agent market: Morgan Geekie and Daniel Sprong. Geekie, 24, scored nine goals and 19 assists in 69 games last year, while Sprong, 26, had 21 goals and 25 assists in 66 matchups.
Sprong, in particular, made a significant impact during his tenure with the Kraken.
Letting Daniel Sprong walk is a big mistake. pic.twitter.com/zcaPSbAaSX
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 30, 2023
The New Jersey Devils also opted to let a pair of talented players walk, including Jesper Boqvist, who scored 10 goals and 11 assists in 71 games last year. They also released their 2016 first-round pick, Michael McLeod. McLeod only managed four goals and 22 assists in 80 games for the Devils last season, however, he found his groove in the playoffs by scoring two goals and four assists in twelve games.
Tyson Jost, who was also picked in the first round of the 2016 Entry Draft joins McLeod in free agency, as will Maxim Comtois, the former Anaheim Ducks forward. Comtois scored nine goals and 10 assists in 64 games last year.