The Montreal Canadiens may already be having injury troubles this year, but it could provide them with an added advantage this season.
With the injury to Kirby Dach confirmed to be season-ending, the Canadiens’ roster took a serious blow, but their finances just got a nice bump.
The club already has Carey Price and Christian Dvorak on Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) providing them with nearly $15M in relief space. The Canadiens are currently using $4M of that LTIR space at the moment to ice a 23-man roster, with the return of Joel Armia on Saturday morning.
Dvorak is likely due back sometime in early November, with the earliest date being November 4th, so he will be coming off LTIR in consequence. However, with Dach out for the season, he too can be placed on LTIR; meaning his $3.36M salary would be tacked on to Price’s $10.5M for a total relief amount of $13.86M.
Once Dvorak returns and Dach placed on LTIR, the Canadiens will thus have roughly $10M in space, as Chris Wideman is also out indefinitely and eligible for LTIR.
What does that mean? It means that the Canadiens have the flexibility to be extremely active right out of the gate this season.
According to CapFriendly, the Montreal Canadiens currently have the 2nd-most available cap space in the league at this very moment, second only to the Chicago Blackhawks with $11.7M in cap space. Granted, the cap space of clubs not using LTIR will only increase as the season goes on, but, at the moment, the Canadiens are in good company.
There are 11 clubs currently using LTIR, which another 12 clubs with less than $2M in cap space; leaving only nine clubs with some cap space.
Clubs with additional cap space like the Detroit Red Wings and the Buffalo Sabres are saving their cap space for a potential run at Patrick Kane once he’s cleared to return.
The Columbus Blue Jackets already have a roster issue and want to move players out, not acquire other team’s problems; while the Arizona Coyotes are not looking to take on more expenditure as they look to secure their future in the desert.
That leaves the Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and the Blackhawks, along with the Canadiens as the only true salary cap brokers in the NHL. And, as luck would have it, NHL betting odds are predicting that all the aforementioned clubs are in for pretty long seasons.
Time To Strike
With a plethora of clubs antsy to make the moves they couldn’t during the summer or preseason, this provides the Montreal Canadiens and general manager Kent Hughes with some interesting options.
Teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators are all looking to move some significant salary early on this season, and the list of potential suitors is, as mentioned above, rather slim.
The Montreal Canadiens were one of the most active teams during the offseason, after a rather quiet month of July, and used their cap space to broker two Jeff Petry deals that ultimately returned the club 2025 second, third and fourth-round picks.
With even more flexibility to work with now that Price’s contract was placed on LTIR in-season; Hughes will have the liberty to work with his finances yet again to seek out some trades that could benefit the club in the short and long-term.
Names like Anthony Mantha ($5.7M), Mathieu Joseph ($2.95M), Conor Garland ($4.95M) and Adam Boqvist ($2.6M) are just some of the players with bigger salaries that are currently on the block.
Although the Montreal Canadiens are indeed rebuilding and likely headed for another bottom-10 finish – something that remains to be seen – one shouldn’t expect them to be anywhere as quiet as they were last season on the trade front, given their greater flexibility.
*For more NHL betting lines and futures, head over to FanDuel.