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Canadiens Wrap

Habs Wrap: Canadiens Trade Targets, 2024 NHL Draft, Demidov

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Montreal CAandiens

MONTREAL — There’s always Montreal Canadiens news on tap, but there are only so many hours in a day. 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

  • ICYMI: In the latest Montreal Canadiens Mailbag, we focus on 2024 NHL Entry Draft questions, including the ideal target for the Habs, as well as the possibility they may move up or down in the first round. We also touch upon Lane Hutson’s potential, as well as free agency, and prospect analysis. [Habs Mailbag: 5th Overall Prospect Target, Hutson’s Future, Trades]
  • The NHL announced next year’s salary cap will be set at $88 million, a significant increase that will surely benefit the Habs, as they have plenty of financial manoeuvrability heading into the summer, giving general manager Kent Hughes a bevy of options in trade negotiations and free agency. [2024-25 Canadiens Salary Cap Situation: Summer Of Opportunity]
  • We wrapped up our 2024 MHN Top 16 Mock Draft, making picks for teams No.13 to N0.16.  [2024 NHL Mock Draft – Final Picks, Top 16 Draft Selections]
  • Top salary cap resource Cap Friendly won’t be around much longer. The website has been bought by the Washington Capitals, who are expected to shut down all public access in the near future. Fortunately, there’s already an alternative available.  [Alternative Salary Cap Website After Cap Friendly Goes Dark]
  • It was Formula 1 weekend in Montreal, which always leads to Canadiens-related events, including the gala attended by Arber Xhekaj, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, and their better halves.

Tuesday

  • Russian forward Ivan Demidov is considered the second-most talented player available at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, but there are no guarantees he’ll be drafted early. This works to the Canadiens’ advantage, as they could certainly use an injection of talent in their forward prospect pool.  [Pre-Draft Nerves Improve Odds Demidov Available To Canadiens]
  • The hope that Demidov might be available at fifth overall will grow if teams continue to question whether he’s top 3 material.

Wednesday

  • The Montreal Canadiens are no longer playing, but it’s always entertaining to look back at some of the strong work put together by the team’s top line. Juraj Slafkovsky, Cole Caufield, and Nick Suzuki have created an impressive amount of chemistry in a very short time frame.

  • Finding a suitor for Carey Price’s contract won’t be easy, but once the Canadiens pay his $5.5 million bonus on July 1, it should be a little easier. The Habs don’t necessarily have to trade Price, but freeing up the funds currently tied to the long-term injured reserve (LTIR) would give general manager Kent Hughes more financial flexibility in trades and free agent negotiations. [Why The Canadiens Should Explore Trade Options For Carey Price]
  • Apparently the NHL was not a big fan of Cap Friendly, which is why they never bought the website to ensure it would remain public. The league also considers salaries to be private information, despite putting a salary cap in place. It should also be noted the NHLPA publishes salaries every year.  [Alternative Salary Cap Website After Cap Friendly Goes Dark]
  •  The Four Nations Faceoff tournament is scheduled to take place in Montreal and Boston next year. The Bell Centre will host four games, including Finland versus Sweden and Canada versus the United States on February 15.

four nations montreal canadiens

Thursday

  • According to reports, forward Patrik Laine wants to start anew, which would necessitate a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, seeing as the Finnish forward has two years left on a contract that pays him $8.7 million per season. Of course, Laine’s value in the league has plummeted in recent years, but it should be noted that he maintained a point-per-game pace in 2021-22 and was a few points shy of maintaining the same pace in 2022-23. The Habs certainly need to add offensive talent to the mix, and Laine fits the bill. He also has the type of size that tends to entice Kent Hughes in trade negotiations. And finally, he’s a reclamation project to a certain extent, yet another avenue the Canadiens have explored in depth since Hughes has taken over. With that in mind, what type of offer would you make for Laine? Is he even worth considering?

  • Most expect the Montreal Canadiens to trade the 26th overall pick, which was acquired in the deal that sent Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, but if they do take to the podium at the end of the first round there are several interesting draft targets worth evaluating. [Underrated Canadiens Draft Targets With The 26th Overall Pick]
  • Draft analyst David St-Louis suggests that Beckett Sennecke’s overall value is not that far off from Berkly Catton’s, and that there’s merit to the idea that Sennecke should perhaps be picked beforehand. To be absolutely clear, St-Louis wasn’t necessarily discussing whether the Canadiens should pick one over the other, but it does give us insight as to how impressive Sennecke’s production was in the second half of the season.

  • Belated congratulations to Erin Ambrose for winning Defenceman Of The Year honours in the PWHL. Ambrose, along with Marie Philip-Poulin, was also named to the league’s First All-Star team.

 

  • The Laval Rocket and the Trois-Rivières Lions have extended their affiliation for three more seasons. While the Lions aren’t officially part of the Montreal Canadiens organization, they have provided the Rocket with an endless stream of players when injuries and call-ups came into play. Remember, when the Canadiens set a record for the most man games lost in back-to-back seasons, it’s the team at the end of the ladder that truly takes it on the chin. That team is the Lions.

Friday

  • Two Montreal Canadiens players appear on Frank Seravalli’s top-25 NHL Trade Bait board.  Defenceman David Savard clocks in at No.18 while centre Christian Dvorak is listed at No.23. Both players should garner some interest according to Seravalli, but seeing as Savard is a right-handed defenceman, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a trade partner in a league where they’re in constant demand. As a reminder, Savard is in the final year of a four-year contract that carries a $3.5 million annual average value. [Daily Faceoff]
  • The Montreal Canadiens have a massive selection to make at the 2024 NHL Draft with the 5th overall pick, and we’re starting to gain some clarity over who the targets will be. Since the Canadiens retained their spot in the 2024 draft order after the NHL Draft Lottery, all the talk has been over which player the Canadiens should add to their organization. The clear need is at forward, as the Habs don’t currently have a dynamic offensive prospect in their pool at the moment, with Juraj Slafkovsky and Joshua Roy graduating to the NHL. [Latest Trends Hint At Potential Canadiens Pick At 5th Overall]

 

Saturday

  • According to Corey Pronman at The Athletic, top 2024 NHL Draft prospect Cayden Lindstrom’s injury was due to a herniated disc in his back.  Back issues are incredibly complicated, and without further details (or a medical degree) it’s rather difficult to project whether it’s the type of injury that has the potential to linger throughout his career. The good news is the Habs do have staff with a medical degree, which means they’re sure to do their due diligence prior to the June 28th NHL Entry Draft.[Cayden Lindstrom a Prime Draft Target for the Montreal Canadiens]
  • Lindstrom addressed the injury issues while at the NHL Scouting Combine, assuring everyone that it should not be a concern going forward.

  • The Canadiens are interested in trading for Martin Necas, but they’re far from the only suitors. Half a dozen teams have inquired about the price tag, but so far none of the teams have offered enough to gain the inside track in trade negotiations with the Carolina Hurricanes.  [Montreal Canadiens Among Teams Interested In Top Trade Target]

 

  • Cole Caufield and YouTuber IShowSpeed got together for an interesting off-season skating session. The famous streamer has over 2 million subscriptions on YouTube.