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Canadiens Wrap

Habs Wrap: Free Agents, Trades, Prospects, Most Underrated

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Montreal Canadiens trade target Martin Necas

MONTREAL — There’s never a dull moment if you’re a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, but it’s difficult to keep up to date with all the breaking news. On Sundays, we recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week so that you can stay in the Canadiens loop.

Monday

  • The Montreal Canadiens are at a crucial point in their rebuild, and they could learn from the mistakes of their rivals on what to avoid this summer. Be it from catastrophic trades, poor drafting or a lack of asset management, their rebuilds were plagued by rushing the process too quickly. [3 Mistakes Made By Divisional Rivals The Canadiens Should Avoid]
  • Every coach has their style. Some allow their players the freedom to rely on their instincts, while others choose to have a strict system that everyone must follow. Too much coaching and structure, and not enough freedom, can force you to grip your stick too tight and worry about not making a mistake rather than playing “your game.” [Canadiens Coaching: The Balance Between Structure and Instincts]
  • Prospect Owen Beck had a goal and an assist in Saginaw’s first game at the Memorial Cup, a 5-4 win over Moose Jaw. He was held off the board in Saginaw’s second game of the tournament, an impressive 5-4 come-from-behind win against Drummondville.

  • Kaiden Guhle was not in the lineup for Canada as they faced Sweden in the bronze medal game at the 2024 World Championship. Guhle was injured in Canada’s 3-2 shootout loss to Switzerland.

  • Tomas Plekanec was part of the coaching staff that guided host team Czechia to their seventh World Championship.

  • Cole Caufield continued to have great things to say about his linemate, Juraj Slafkovsky.

Tuesday

  • Introducing our newest series, ‘Habs Fan Votes’. Every few days we will run a new poll to give Montreal Canadiens fans an opportunity to have their say. The first poll centers on the most underrated member of the current NHL lineup. As it stands, with over 500 votes in the bank, players like Johnathan Kovacevic, Jordan Harris, Jake Evans, and Arber Xhekaj are leading the underrated charge. Make sure to cast your vote by clicking on the link following this sentence.  [Habs Fans Vote: Canadiens Awards – Most Underrated Player]
  • We often suggest that certain teams have set the tone for success in the NHL playoffs, but attempting to chase the meta rarely leads to success. By the time a team has caught up, the reality in the NHL has played. Truth be told, building a contender is much more complicated than simply drafting in the top 5 a lot or developing high-end players. [Canadiens Analysis: Lessons From The NHL’s Final Four]
  • Prospect Daniil Sobolev signed a two-year, two-way contract in the KHL with Spartak Moscow. The Habs were unlikely to offer him an entry-level contract. On that note, the Canadiens will still maintain Sobolev’s NHL rights until June 1st, 2025.

  • According to Dans Les Coulisse, Laval Rocket head coach Jean-Francois Houle is expected to sign a contract extension to stay in place as the team’s bench boss. Despite not qualifying for the playoffs, you’d be hard-pressed to argue Houle was working with a full deck given how many injuries and call-ups took place in the last two seasons. [Evaluating Whether Houle Is The Right Coach For The Laval Rocket]
  • Justin Barron is out there living his best life. There’s nothing wrong with heading to the Caribbean for a relaxing vacation, but personally, I enjoy travelling much more than vacationing. To each their own, of course.

Wednesday

  • The discussion surrounding trading draft picks has heated up as we quickly approach the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Every trade should be considered, that’s part of performing due diligence, but the Montreal Canadiens need to focus on quality rather than quantity in the first round.  [Value Of Moving Down & Cost Of Trading Up At NHL Draft]
  • Rather than heading to Buffalo for a prospect tournament, the Canadiens will hold two games at the Bell Centre during their rookie camp. Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will face the Habs in both games. [TVA Sports (FR)]
  • Speaking of prospects, Owen Beck was named to the OHL’s Third All-Star team.

Thursday

  • Daily Faceoff updated their trade target list ahead of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Two Montreal Canadiens players are among the top 20. David Savard and Christian Dvorak. [Daily Faceoff]
  • The Habs agreed to terms on a three-year contract for Laval Rocket head coach Jean-Francois Houle. Houle quickly pointed out the need for a little more leadership in his lineup. [Canadiens AHL Affiliate Missing One Crucial Element]
  • Owen Beck and the Saginaw Spirit put up a strong effort, but the London Knights were the team that punched their ticket directly to the Memorial Cup final. The Spirit will now face Moose Jaw to see which team will have another crack at beating the powerhouse Knights.

  • Lane Hutson’s NCAA coach isn’t worried about his transition to the NHL. Hutson’s intelligence will work to his advantage when it comes to adapting to new situations. [Montreal Gazette]

Friday

  • Montreal Canadiens fans have cast their votes. Centre Jake Evans is the team’s most underrated player, with Arber Xhekaj and a slew of defencemen making the top 10 list. [Habs Fans Vote: Results – Most Underrated Canadiens Players]
  • The Montreal Canadiens already have 39 of 50 contracts accounted for the 2024-2025 season, which means they’ll have some big decisions to make on some RFAs. The start of a rebuild is always fun. You draft and acquire a large number of prospects and young players to build up your bank of future assets with the hope that some pop off and become impact players. However, as the rebuild goes along and these youngsters progress, the business side of the NHL gets in the way and tough decisions need to be taken. [Decisions Looming On Six Canadiens Restricted Free Agents]
  • Speaking of contracts, the Habs are on the verge of losing the rights to Petteri Nurmi, Jared Davidson, Cedrick Guindon, and Miguel Tourigny. The deadline to sign the quarter is June 1. [Five Canadiens Prospects Could Have Rights Expire This Summer]
  • The unofficial start to the off-season calendar has always been the June 1, Must Sign By date.

Below is this years list of players that must be signed to an ELC by 5pm ET on Saturday, June 1, otherwise the team will lose their exclusive signing rights.https://t.co/nXfmDT1fO4 pic.twitter.com/VwClxOUHXC

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 30, 2024

  • Owen Beck and the Saginaw Spirit have one last chance to qualify for the Memorial Cup final. The Spirit will face Moose Jaw to see which team will attempt to take down the powerhouse London Knights in the final. [CHL Schedule]
  • Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki continues to use his time wisely during the offseason. The 24-year-old is once again working with the Asista Foundation, which trains service dogs to help veterans, first responders, and people with autism.

 

Saturday

  • The Montreal Canadiens probably won’t have an opportunity to draft Macklin Celebrini, but there’s plenty of talent on the board beyond the No.1 ranked prospect at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.  Make sure to cast your vote in our latest Habs fan poll to have your say on the potential fifth-overall pick by the Canadiens.  Habs Fans Vote – Available Prospects At The 2024 NHL Entry Draft]
  • Friday was the three-year anniversary of the famous first-round win by the Habs over the eternal sadness that is the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. We take a look back at the series and the impact it had on the franchise. [Canadiens History: The Epic 2021 Playoff Series Versus Toronto]
  • Jared Davidson signed his entry-level contract. The rough-and-tumble forward was used sparingly by the Laval Rocket during his rookie campaign, but picked up momentum as the season unfolded, scoring 11 goals and five assists in 38 games. The deal is set to expire in 2026.

  • Owen Beck and the Saginaw Spirit will have one final opportunity to beat the powerhouse London Knights this season. Saginaw beat Moose Jaw in the Memorial Cup semifinal to qualify for the last game of the tournament. Beck scored a nice goal midway through the game to cement the 7-1 win. Beck’s final CHL game will take place on Sunday, starting at 7:30 pm ET.

  • Former Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Northern British Columbia.

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