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Canadiens Daily

Habs Daily: Trade Targets, Suzuki’s Evolution, Tij Iginla



Montreal Canadiens Hughes

Here are the Montreal Canadiens news, highlights, and stories you may have missed on Tuesday.





  • Suzuki scored his 31st and 32nd goals of the year, which means he registered yet another multi-point effort. Consequently, he joined a list with some of the most offensively talented Montreal Canadiens players in franchise history.
  • One of the major benefits of having David Reinbacher in North America is easy access to the Canadiens development team. Paul Byron spent some time working with the Reinbacher on Tuesday. As a reminder, Byron was named a Player Development Consultant upon his retirement from the NHL.


  • According to Stephane Gonzales from BPM Sports, the Canadiens are quite interested in 2024 top prospect Tij Iginla. Of course, Iginla will be one of the best forwards available at the NHL’s Entry Draft, but some analysts have suggested there’s a significant discrepancy between his potential and those of other forwards expected to be drafted in the top 10. Much of the decisions regarding his ideal draft position will take place now that Iginla and the Kelowna Rockets are participating in the WHL playoffs. For the record, the talented forward has scored five goals in the first three games of the series versus the Wenatchee Wild.

National Hockey Now Network

  • The Vegas Golden Knights are beginning to assert themselves in the Western Conference playoff race. Wins are stacking up like poker chips in front of Daniel Negreanu. The Golden Knights won their third straight and sent a loud message to their rival, the Pacific Division-leading Vancouver Canucks [Vegas Golden Knights]

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff chances were barely visible to the naked eye before their game against New Jersey at Prudential Center Tuesday night. And they were a whole lot smaller by the time the second intermission rolled around. The Devils had a 3-1 lead then, and could have been significantly farther ahead if not for some inspired work by Penguins goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. [Pittsburgh Penguins]

  • Amid the New Jersey Devils’ awful 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, interim head coach Travis Green benched Alexander Holtz. Ah, yes. Here we are again. The Devils’ former seventh-overall selection has not received the benefit of the doubt from just about anyone this season. [New Jersey Devils]
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Simon Jansson

Hej! What kind of discrepancies are suggested between Iginla and other F prospects in the draft? His ceiling lower/higher?


Montreal has 21 players currently under contract for next season, which is the most of any NHL team.

That’s a lot for a team that’s still in rebuild and barely a threat to make the playoffs next season, never mind being a cup contender.

The team is stuck with 2 contracts, Gallagher and Anderson, that each have 3 yrs to go @ big bucks, that are going to be difficult if not impossible to move. Together those 2 deals eat up $12 m in cap space. The bigger problem though is that that’s 2 roster spots taken up by aging vets that should be going to younger players as part of the rebuild.

Montreal had to retain salary to clear the logjam in net, which I’m pretty sure they absolutely did not want to do that, but in the end, had no choice. Net effect of the Allen trade is that Montreal now only has 1 retention spot left for the upcoming season, which isn’t a position a rebuilding team wants to be in.

Yes, nice to have lots of cap space, but just as important is having spots on your roster for young players to get to play.

Not as simple as just saying look at all the cap space Mtl has.


Which young players aren’t playing that deserve to? The forward group is thin on high end prospects that deserve to be there. A slit or two will ge open if someone earns it next season.

Hutson will play immediately once signed. Mailloux and Reinbacher are being managed properly and if management wants to give them a look, that can get done but likely temporarily. Barron can earn a roster spot buy being better than someone else. I think Hughes is doing a good job with the contracts, cap and development pieces.

I agree goalie situation was less than ideal and using the retention slot was meh, but we don’t really want to take on a lot of bad contracts going forward unless the reward is huge. We will want the cap space for UFA and signing our promising RFA long term like Slafkovsky and Xhekaj


To answer your opening question, those would be the young players the Canadiens might acquire this off-season, as was discussed in an article posted here yesterday Potential Summer Trade Candidates. Necas was discussed.

Perhaps Montreal is going to move 1 of Reinbacher and Mailloux in order to make that trade, if it’s indeed possible. But if not Necas, then somebody else.

Many people, me included, think the Habs might want to poach pending RFAs from those teams who just don’t have the cap space to re-sign them. Or other players who’ve they identified on other teams who might be ready to break out once given the chance.

The Canadiens, I hope, are not thinking about taking on bad contracts like Arizona or another team might do. Can you explain your thinking on that?

Don’t see the benefit of signing Hutson this season to play a few meaningless games at the end of this season and in the process burning a year of his ELC.


My opening question of which guys aren’t playing that should be was in response to your statement that there was a need for roster spots for young players. You are speculating there will be acquisitions that require ice. I hope so. Tanner Pearson or Colin White likely won’t be back. RHP is not irreplaceable nor is Pezzetta. Ylonnen is an RFA and hasn’t proven he is part of the long term plans. Dach will take one spot so there are 4 potential openings there. We could trade a forward to get a forward as well which would create a spot. On D, any spot not occupied by guhle or Xhekaj is open for competition or trade.

As far as taking on bad contracts, I only would for a kings ransom. I’d do a Sean Monahan type deal but I wouldn’t go hunting for one.

Rumors have surfaced that Hutson may not be eager to sign, so one of the negotiating chips is that Lane could burn this and next year off the elc instead of opting to go back to school, which would allow him to become a free agent after that. So real value in burning a year to mitigate the risk of losing him. Agree?


I have already accounted for both Dach and Dvorak returning to play next year, and all 3 of Pearson, White and Ylonen not being re-signed.

Jackeye is RFA and will need a new contract, let’s say an AAV of maybe $1.5 m.

That gets Montreal then to 22 players, leaving 1 roster spot.

That is obviously not what the team wants, so it’s likely RHP and/or Pezzetta is/are moved. Both are depth or role players, and if you can bring in Necas or similar, and you can’t get out from under Gallagher and Anderson, well, then the 2 role players are gone.

Lane Hutson is a very good, if not outstanding, college hockey player. He is also 5′ 10″ on skates and maybe 170 lbs wearing his hockey gear. I do not see him or any other player of his stature just stepping into the NHL and dealing with the 200+ lbs forwards driving to the net.


We have 28 contracts right now. Hughes is aware and able to manage the contracts. I am not even a little bit concerned.

Lane has great potential, but until we see how his game translates to the nhl, all we do is speculate. I want him to play this year so we know. I expect him to be similar to Barron- great skater with lots of excellent offensive plays, but with too many turn overs and some lapses in the D zone. Like makar fox and Quinn Hughes, all of whom he has bettered in college stats , he’s undersized. He grew 1” and added 13 pounds this year and was 5’10” 161 pounds on the scales according to his school. Supposedly, he has a growing disorder but should eventually fill out. Time will tell. He’s done a good job at this level against bigger stronger guys.
Lots of folks seem to think he could be the real deal, so with that potential, I would do all I could to get him under contract.
You dont seem to value him, would you let him walk?


I have heard the comparisons of Hutson to Quinn Hughes, and from a person who has worked with Hutson, so it’s right from the horse’s mouth, if you will.

This person told me I will be astounded when I see him.

I replied I was not astounded by Quinn Hughes when I first saw him play, but I could see he was raw and had potential.

If Montreal feels that Hutson will develop into another Hughes, I am good with that.

But I have not heard that from them.


Montreal seems very high on him and your contact told you he’d astound you, sounds like high praise and the very reason we should not hesitate to burn a year on his elc. Let’s see how his game measures up against nhl competition. Some players make the initial jump well, others it takes time and some never do. He woyld be a very important player for us if he’s anything close to Hughes


And little of what you said relates to the actual article. Or did I miss the part where the writer said everything is perfect in Habs land.
And veterans serve a role on any team and there is no one in Laval being held back by Gallagher.
As for retention slots, they were used wisely to move veterans who won’t be part of the rebuild in exchange for other assets. So pick a lane … do you want to keep all veterans or not?


In 1995, Calgary took Jarome Iginla 11 overall. Of that draft only Shane Doan can make a case for being a true peer. If redrafted today it would be iginla at 1 and Doan at 2. Tij has many of his Dads traits although not quite as physical. He projects as a top 6 goal scorer, but as a late birthdate, it could be a higher ceiling. He has moved up every draft list since last year. He had an excellent second half, looked like he might get 50 goals but ended with 47 but then scored 3 in the first playoff game…


Actually it was Dallas that drafted Iginla and before he played a game, was flipped in a deal for Joe Neuwendyck, with Calgary.


The elder Iginla was drafted by the Dallas Stars but dealt to Calgary that winter in the Joe Nieuwendyk


Iginla scored again last night. Six goals in four games to start the playoffs. Kelowna leading the series 3-1


Have you watched him play? If yes, any insights? I’ve read about him and seen him play 1 time so I’d be interested in your thoughts


I only saw him in one game , the prospects game in January. He looked strong with the puck , smaller than Jarome but I’d say a better skater . He has a dandy wrister and isn’t shy about using it . Looks good along the boards , was picked best player for his team in that game and for the season by his Kelowna teammates.


That’s the game I saw, I live in Moncton and was there. I was more impressed with Catton and Misa and Greentree played great. Iginla didn’t stand out


He stood out to those that picked the game star .


Hard to see everything when you see two teams with players you’re not familiar with. Few guys stand out as excellent and a few guys the other way. I never really noticed him either way. I was sitting next to the Mom and billet of a player that had a rough game so that was distracting as was seeing and identifying many nhl executives etc. I was really focused on Catton and I was disappointed that Lindstrom wasn’t there.