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Montreal Canadiens

Five Hot Takes For the Montreal Canadiens This Season



Montreal Canadiens

With the Montreal Canadiens set to start another campaign, fans have already tempered their expectations, but there could still be a few surprises.

It’s no secret, go to NHL betting lines online or any casinos available in Canada, and the Montreal Canadiens don’t appear destined for greatness this season.

The roster is virtually the same, with the hope that it will be able to remain healthy; but the problems in goal-scoring and defensive ability still remains, as well as major question marks in the goaltending department.

But, with all that uncertainty comes the opportunity for some pretty hot takes for this upcoming season.

Let’s take a look:

Kirby Dach Outproduces Nick Suzuki

With the way Kirby Dach has improved over the last year, there’s little doubt that he’s going to be able to establish himself as a bonafide top-six center this season.

But his rare combination of size, speed and playmaking ability may see him eclipse the Montreal Canadiens captain down the line and establish himself as the top center on the team.

Cole Caufield Scores 50 Goals

After Cole Caufield’s season was cut short as he was sporting a 47-goal pace through the half-way point of the season, he should bounce back in a big way this season.

If the Montreal Canadiens’ power play improves even marginally, Caufield could even see an uptick in goal-scoring this year, vaulting him among the elite scorers in the NHL.

Samuel Montembeault is Traded

Samuel Montembeault had some inspiring performances for the Montreal Canadiens last year, as well as an impressive showing at the World Championships for Canada.

But the pending free agent has one year left on his deal worth $1M, and, should general manager Kent Hughes can’t get him under contract by early March, it could be used to the team’s advantage.

Teams would likely pay top dollar for a goaltender like Montembeault on such an affordable deal at that stage of the season; and, short of having a team-friendly extension in place, the Canadiens could be tempted to pull the trigger.

Juraj Slafkovsky Finishes the Year With 50 Points

It’s been a slow process for Juraj Slafkovsky to find his bearings on the ice after having missed nearly nine months of hockey, but he’s starting to turn the corner playing next to Kirby Dach.

The 19-year-old’s progress is perhaps the biggest question mark of the upcoming season; but you can rest assured that the club looks like they intend to give him every opportunity to succeed this year.

After spending a majority of the season last year on the fourth line, a permanent spot in the Canadiens’ top-six will help him hit the 50-point mark.

Mike Matheson Hits 50 Points, Becomes Trade Bait

The Canadiens are littered with left-handed defenseman in the NHL, AHL and beyond; meaning they’ll have to move some out real soon.

If healthy for the whole season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mike Matheson hit new career highs in points, and that could be good news for the Canadiens in more ways than one.

Matheson could quickly become trade bait, as his contract has two years remaining after this season at just $4.875.

With the like of Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, William Trudeau, Mattias Norlinder, Lane Hutson and Adam Engstrom all vying for spots on the Canadiens’ blueline in the near future, it could be best for the Canadiens to strike while the iron is hot.

Matheson would be their best trade chip in being able to bring in top-end offensive help, just as the young Canadiens get ready to take over for the 2024-2025 season.

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Re: Montembault. The market for goaltenders is sketchy, with lower returns than expected several years ago. A player who has yet to prove himself (even if he has a good season this year) to fetch a solid return? Barring Primeau having a breakout year, there is no way this happens.

Re: Matheson. He is one of only two real veterans on D and the closest thing to a PP QB we have. Signed for 3 more years at a reasonable <$5MM, there is also no way he gets moved this year. The return would have to be exceptional (MAJOR prospect from a team desperate to win). Next season or the one after: sure. Also, he is a Montreal native. We have enough problems attracting people who want to be and stay here. Why trade one?

Dach could outproduce Suzy in a year or two, but 1) until he improves faceoff %age, he will start on D too often (Monahan take faceoffs for him?) and 2) he doesn’t have a sniper like CC on his wing so I don’t see it happening this year. Long term? Certainly possible.

Slaf could hit 50, but I again think you are a year early. We can dream, though, can’t we?

This probably reads more negative than I want it to, Marco. Keep on writin’. I enjoyed the piece. Prognostication is hard. Much easier to sit back like me and critique the predictions of others. 🙂


Considering the fact that HuGo are very conscientious about the image being portrayed to players around the NHL, I’d be surprised if Matheson were to be traded despite the overcrowding on the left side. A hometown boy and former client of Hughes who loves being a Canadien. As tempting as it might be to cash in a mega chip like Matheson, I don’t see him going anywhere any time soon.


What do you mean? How does keeping Matheson help the habs’ image? Is it cuz, as you put it, he “loves being a canadien” and you think trading him would look bad? Or am I missing something? I definitely like matheson, but he could potentially bring us another 1st in this draft. I really want draft capital in case we have to trade up for a celebrini or something (not that others would trade that pick but dare to dream). I like how the prospect pool is shaping up but I want another elites forward. I think Hughes might want this as well and matheson is a big asset to help us get one. I just don’t know if “he loves being a canadien” is enough to stop a great trade, especially since it would likely be to a team matheson could compete for a cup with.

But if I misunderstood, please correct me!


Hughes brought a former client into town, put an A on his jersey and now Matheson has become somewhat of a poster child for “Montreal is a fantastic place to play and put down roots”. If they turn around and flip him for a pick, they’d undo all the great PR they’re getting from this player (in 2 languages as well) for potential free agents of the future. Considering we took a loss on the last Petry trade in the name of positive PR for Montreal as an organization that looks out for their players and does right by them, if we now dump Matheson (who is a star btw) for futures (that have zero guarantee) would be quite a 180° for management. I just don’t see it happening. Next to Caufield’s elite shooting, Matheson is the only other player we have with an elite skill (skating) that we have. Now, talk to me in a few years when Matheson is an impending UFA. The likelihood of a trade would be more plausible. Having said that, I don’t think it is a forgone conclusion that we move him at that time either. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we actually resigned the guy.


Hmm, I get what you’re saying, but it’s not the same. The league knew petry wanted out, if he kept him it’s “oh wow he’s forcing him to play there after he wanted out, already traded him, then brought him back and is making him stay?!” But with matheson, if he got traded, it would likely be to a contender. The league isn’t sitting around right now like “wow matheson wants to be there, what a terrible Org mtl is if they trade him!” It’s just not the same at all. And Hughes knows he can’t keep taking losses in value just to make ppl happy. You’re definitely right that he’s more likely to be traded in 1-2 years than now. But there’s a ton of high upside kids in the pipeline, we still have organizational holes, and matheson could help fill them via trade. If he gets a good offer he’ll trade him. Kids on ELCs or small bridge deals with potential that fits our timeline are worth more than matheson. We’ll have guhle and Hutson prob on the left, and if NONE of the other LHD work out (some more will be good) there’s no place for matheson. I just think the open D spot, $ saved, younger players, and filling a hole of an elite fwd mean matheson will be traded. If not this year, soon


I guess we’ll have to just wait and see, but I would be absolutely shocked if he were traded this season.


1st picks aren’t worth thst much unless they are top 10. Minimum top 15. I’m not trading a good player for that. I would take a teams high end prospect who is 20-22 years old.


Completely disagree on may fronts. Trading a top player (questionable since he has been hurt a lot) for a top prospect is business as usual. Not sure HoGo gives a darn about what people think if it is a good/great deal for the habs. The hometown thing is probably over blown and MM is NOT kris letang or even erik Karlsson. Last year his 34 points were his highest ever and you expect he will get more on an offensively challenged rebuilding team. AND at 29 he is outside the window cause he will be 31 before this team is ready to challenge for anything more than a good draft pick.
I LIKE MM but lets not over-rate this dude.


Just wait. This guy is going to be amazing this season. I agree that his age doesn’t line up with our core, but every champ has a core group plus supporting vets and younger players too. And for the record, I’m not saying we should never trade the guy. I’m saying I would be shocked if it happened this season.


Don’t think Matheson is traded earlier than 2025 off-season. Half the guys you listed haven’t played an NHL game and the other half are sophomores. Slow your roll and make sure they have the quality they think they do, also rolling out a D core exclusively 25 or under feels like bad news…


Matheson will not be traded this year or next year. He will be the best dman on this team for a long time. It will take Reinbacher/Mailloux/Hutson a few years of playing in the nhl to get to the level that Matheson is at today and he won’t be declining for at least another 3 years. He’s also a leader who will be there to help get those kids to where they need to be and is essential to the building process

Montembault literally can’t be traded unless we get another promising goalie. (Short of Cayden Primeau coming out of nowhere and proving he can be that guy, but that doesn’t seem to be the case). An aging Jake Allen and prospects like Fowler and Dobeš won’t be enough to get us through the next 2 or 3 years when you’re trying to build towards playoffs.