Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Montreal Gazette

Superstar on the Verge of Joining the Canadiens? Insider Reveals the Team May Be After the Next Artemi Panarin

Published March 9, 2024 at 10:41

As is well known in the Montreal media scene, patience is not necessarily considered a virtue by many observers, journalists, or fans.

We have just witnessed this again, as veteran journalist Réjean Tremblay has once more openly criticized the Canadiens organization on the radio about a topic he didn't even take the time to analyze, during a recent appearance on BPM Sports.

Even though everyone knew that the Canadiens' rebuild would take several years, for Tremblay, it's time to move on and expedite the process. He publicly wishes that the CH cut corners by targeting a star in the free agent market this summer so that the Canadiens "can be serious next year."

"With the current six million hole and the three million freed up by Allen's departure, Jeff Gorton could replicate the Artemi Panarin move with the Rangers. Bring a real star to Montreal, a veteran, a gifted player, to signal that the team has no more excuses. That the time has come to work hard and win.

The end of complacency, that signal must be given in March.

If we want to be serious by next October." - Réjean Tremblay

Instead of just throwing words into the air and demanding things from the CH, Tremblay could have done some research before shouting that a Panarin needs to be sought during the offseason.

Here's the top 5 best free agents for this year:

1. Matt Duchene (33 years old)
2. Steven Stamkos (34 years old)
3. Jonathan Marchessault (33 years old)
4. Joe Pavelski (39 years old)
5. Sean Monahan (30 years old)

As you can see, there's no NHL star player testing the market this year at the age of 28. While Duchene and Stamkos are good players, they are not in the same category as Panarin, and they are five years older than he was when he signed long-term in New York.

Even though I like Stamkos, he is on the decline and no longer the prolific scorer or offensive star of the past.

It would have only taken Tremblay 30 seconds to realize that the market does not allow the Canadiens to hit a home run this summer at all.

The opportunity may come in the next few years when we'll see Hughes active in acquiring a coveted free agent, but we are far from there, and anyway, 2024 is not a good year either.

We might rethink this in the summer of 2025, if a player of Leon Draisaitl's caliber was testing the market at 29, but otherwise, it's time to forget about it for now.

For now, the offensive revival of the organization must come through a major trade involving a young forward who fits with the team's core, as well as an acquisition through the draft with the CH's high pick, which will be in the top 8 this coming June.

March 9   |   368 answers
Superstar on the Verge of Joining the Canadiens? Insider Reveals the Team May Be After the Next Artemi Panarin

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