Connect with us

Canadiens Analysis

Canadiens Projected Lineup And Salary Cap With/Without Petry



Montreal Canadiens Jeff Petry 3

Things have gotten interesting for the Montreal Canadiens from a salary cap point of view.

They have several options when it comes to Jeff Petry, including keeping him in the lineup indefinitely, trading him without retaining any salary, and, of course, retaining more salary to entice teams to offer a better return.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the projected lineup with and without Petry in the lineup, as well as the salary cap implications of various scenarios.

Montreal Canadiens Projected Summer Roster

Now that Rem Pitlick and Mike Hoffman are no longer with the team, the forward lineup is starting to take shape. Thankfully, there should be ample ice time available for younger players such as Juraj Slafkovsky and Rafael Harvey-Pinard. Removing two forwards from the equation also allows the team to keep a player like Michael Pezzetta in the NHL.

MUST READ: Canadiens Youth Movement Enriched By Recent Trades

In this scenario, we are sending defencemen Chris Wideman and Justin Barron to the Laval Rocket of the AHL, where their contracts will be below the league threshold, and will not count against the salary cap. Casey DeSmith has also been sent to the AHL, however, his salary exceeds the threshold.

Once again, the positions in our projected lineup aren’t as important as making sure the right players are included for salary cap purposes. I have Christian Dvorak, Michael Pezzetta, and David Savard listed as healthy scratches, but there’s a strong possibility that a player like Savard will be in the starting lineup.

We are using CapFriendly’s roster-building tool to project the available cap space as well as the lineup.

Here’s what the opening-night lineup could end up looking like if the team decides to keep Petry in the mix.

Montreal Canadiens scratches with Pe


Montreal Canadiens Salary Cap Situation With Petry

With 23 players on the roster, the Canadiens will carry a salary cap hit of $75.3 million. That includes $1.17 million in overages, Karl Alzner’s buyout, Joel Edmundson’s salary retention ($1.75M), and the long-term injured reserve funds provided by placing Carey Price on LTIR.

With the salary cap set at $83.5 million next season, the Canadiens will have $8.17 million in available salary cap space. As a reminder, given the team is using LTIR relief funds, that number will not accrue throughout the season.

Without Petry In The Lineup

The team is very similar without Petry, as you’d simply slide Savard (or your seventh defenceman of choice) back into the lineup. It would also mean either Barron or Wideman would no longer be sent to the AHL.

Montreal Canadiens lineup without Petry

Montreal canadiens lineup without petry scratch

The team may look vaguely the same with a clear downgrade in talent on the right side of the defence, but there are significant salary cap implications depending on the hypothetical trade terms.

Without retaining any salary in a Petry trade, the Habs would be almost $12.1 million under the salary cap in our projection.

If the Canadiens retain 25 percent of his salary cap hit in a trade, they would then have $10.92 million in salary cap space available.

If the Canadiens retain 50 percent of his salary cap hit, they would have $9.75 million in available salary cap space.

Brass Tacks

We have to keep in mind that teams only have up to three retention slots, and as it stands, the Canadiens are already using one to retain 25 percent of Joel Edmundson’s salary. By using a second retention slot, they’d be limiting their options when it comes to absorbing bad contracts at the trade deadline.

However, those slots are only valuable if you use them, and Edmundson’s retention comes off the books as of next season, which mitigates the risk that the Canadiens would miss an opportunity to acquire quality assets for an expiring deal.

Regardless of whether the Habs decide to keep Petry or move him, there’s one thing that is becoming apparent; Kent Hughes has ample salary cap manoeuvrability heading into next season, which is a rather impressive feat given he was gifted several bloated contracts upon taking over as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.

All Montreal Canadiens salary cap information and roster building via CapFriendly.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I would rather have Savard play with Guhle, then Xhekaj.I am sure that to get maximum value for Petry would be at next season’s trade deadline, thus not rushing Barron, Reinbacher, etc. I am not convinced that Xhekaj is a long term solution as he absorbed a lot of punishment last season, and cannot continue to do so to have a long career. Also he looks several years older than Guhle, Barron and Harris as well.


You’d probably max out Petry’s trade value if he were moved this year because the team you trade him to wouldn’t just be getting a rental. They could have 2 runs with with. Also, with the salary cap expected to rise, teams will have a tiny bit more wiggle room next year so retaining salary may not be worth quite as much. I don’t think Hughes will want to retain for two full years, but that’s probably the way to get the most/best assets back as it maximizes the cap issues caused by Covid before the cap jumps. Considering the other bad contracts that will be hard to get rid of, I’d retain for 2 years and maybe use the extra assets (the difference in the return between retaining and not) to move off the longer bad contracts like gally. We won’t be contenders for a few years so a clean cap these next 2 isn’t a massive priority. We have to pay armia, Dvorak, Allen, and savard for 2 more years anyway and we prob can’t trade all of them. I’d use the retention slots on petry and Dvorak this year, then the third next year on savard, this should maximize the return on the bad but tradeable short term contracts, and then we’d have extra assets to dump gally in our contention window to maximize cap space.


We’d have to just eat Armia’s and Allen’s contracts but so what? They have the least value, and we aren’t going to contend for a couple years anyway. By retaining on the lowest value ppl we minimize the value of the retention slots. A two year retention on petry should get a 1st and maybe a 3rd, a two year retention on Dvorak may get a 1st or second, a deadline retention on Savard next yr should get a 2nd or third. And in both years we’d still have the space to take on a bad short term contract for more assets. We can afford to do that already. Shedding half of those salaries lets us do even more.

Hughes is great at maximizing value and trades and finding things others haven’t thought of, so I’m sure he’ll do something different than this. I have faith he’ll make the best choices. But I think what I’ve outlined really gets us the most back while opening slots for young players and getting assets. We’d counted 3 yrs from now, and onwards

Arthur chilli

Did you not watch guhle and savard together last year? They were among the worst in the league when paired together! Even their underlying numbers say so

William O'Neill

Insert Dvorak and delete Armia. How did Armia get that contract?? Does he do anything to merit that type of money? Seriously anything.


Not that it matters, since this post was mainly about cap implications with/without Petry, but:

No way is Gally playing on the 4th line! You can’t have a guy with a cap hit of $6.5M playing on the 4th line. He’s no lower than the 3rd line.

RHP is a hard worker and a good player but likely lacks the talent to be on the top line. I know there is no clear cut first line winger on this team right now (other than CC), but I see either Newhook or Andesron as being the temporary top line winger – until a better UFA is signed next summer. Of course, if Slaf hits it big this season…..

Notwithstanding, Slaf should be on the second line. If he remains on the third line, that’s a bad harbinger…

As much as it pains me to say this, you can’t “sit” Savard (2 yrs left at $3.5M per). He either has to play or get traded or bought out. So, with Petry, I say carry 2 extra D and one extra forward. Wideman is gone either way. Make it a revolving door, changing every other game or so, between Arber, Savard, and Kovac. Or, send Arbor to the minors to start – problem solved.


I just wonder about the idea of using the excess salary cap space to do another Monahan type deal. We already have too many players at all positions to play the ones we have right now. We may have cap space to make another Monahan deal, but we don’t have any roster space. Where are we going to fit this hypothetical player if we do a deal like that? The primary job that needed to be done this off-season was clearing out excess bodies in order to open spots for the kids to play and gain experience now, while expectations (and therefore pressure from fans/media) are low. HuGo managed to cut the forwards down by 2, but we still need to move at least one more. The defence already needed to cut 2 bodies (Savard & Wideman) in order to create spots for all 5 rookie D last year to have a full time spot in the lineup. The Petry trade now increases that to 3 extra bodies. That trade also added to our extra goalie issue with the addition of DeSmith.


I completely get where you’re coming from and I generally agree. However, just because those young kids played last year, doesn’t mean it was ideal. They played well, but they obviously didn’t outplay the veterans early on because some of them only made it to nhl games because of injuries. As much as we want them to get nhl experience, we also don’t want to rush their development. Putting some of them back in Laval to play a ton of minutes in all situations is best for several of them. Since we got rid of Pitlick, Hoffman, and edmundson, and will probably get rid of another player or two before the season starts, and because some of the young kids would be better served with top minutes in Laval, that’s why taking another contract back is just fine… as long as the return is good. A first/second or A-/B+ level prospect is well worth that roster spot. But it has to be with the right players getting traded out, brought in, and the correct players sent to Laval/junior.


The kids on D definitely outplayed the vets (other than Matheson) as the year wore on though. I’ve always been a proponent of letting kids marinate and learn their trade in the minors, but the way this team is composed, I think having them go through the growing pains in the NHL with St. Louis as coach, probably works for speeding things up a little bit without taking short cuts.


Sending Justin Barron to the minors is ridiculous. He’s well on his way to being a solid Top-4 D-man and he certainly acquitted himself well as a 21 year old rookie on a poor team. The Habs are better served with him in the lineup rather than Kovacevic or Xhekaj. The media seems to love guys like Xhekaj who were undrafted and still managed to make their way to the NHL. And they should. But to win, you need guys with talent. Sitting Dvorak and playing Armia is dumb too.

john harmsworth

Marty will want to compete this year. We should be close to a playoff spot if we can stay healthy. I don’t think we will make it, but I do think we will be in the chase, at least until we move out players at the deadline. Marty has to be able to play his team the way he wants, and to win. Playing time for the kids is important as well, but being in the hunt is very, very good for their development.
That’s just the zone of development we’re in. Conflicting priorities, and some have to give. Personally, I’d like to see Dvorak moved, as well as Armia. I’d like to see Monahan complete his comeback as a Hab, but he will have strong value if he stays healthy and I think we will have to cash in on that.

Bob Jack

RHP on the top line would be great. The under 6 ft top line could be part of history if it succeeds. Kovacevic as a top line defender from a waiver wire pickup is a nice rags to riches story.