Veteran top-six forward may be on the verge of joining the Canadiens

Aaron Itovitch
April 2, 2024  (8:19 PM)

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Habs Eyes on the Prize

The rebuild process begun by the Montreal Canadiens seems to be drawing to a close as the addition of a leading forward, coupled with the emergence of numerous prospects, could allow the organization to finally aim for a playoff spot.

This is notably why expectations are high for the Canadiens' general manager, Kent Hughes, in view of the offseason. Many fans hope he will be able to make a spectacular move to potentially acquire a top-6 forward, whether through a trade or at the opening of the free agent market.
Moreover, while observers have somewhat overlooked the possibility of seeing a free agent land in Montreal, a frankly interesting turn of events could occur soon. Indeed, in recent years, this avenue has been set aside, both because it did not fit with the management's plans and because the Canadiens did not represent a very sought-after destination.
However, according to television host George Stroumboulopoulos, this situation would no longer be quite true. Players in the NHL are aware of the talent within the organization and know full well that the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge is headed towards a much more promising future.
"I don't think it will be as difficult to attract free agents for the Canadiens. At some point, players will want to win here. I've talked to a lot of players and they want to win in Montreal. They simply didn't believe in the organization at the time, but I don't think that's the case anymore.

I think Jeff Gorton is able to handle the pressure, as is Kent Hughes, and Marty [Martin St-Louis] knows how to win and beat the odds. It's a very interesting time for the organization." - George Stroumboulopoulos

Knowing that the Montreal Canadiens have had three disappointing seasons, it would not be surprising if the management attempted to make a "push" this summer to allow head coach Martin St-Louis to have a much more competitive team at his disposal in 2024-2025.
With players like Sam Reinhart, Steven Stamkos, Jake Guentzel, Teuvo Teravainen, and Elias Lindholm all expected, in theory, to test the free agent market this summer, Kent Hughes could potentially find a forward capable of helping the Montreal team reach new heights next year, or maybe even qualify for the playoffs.
Certainly, it's refreshing to hear that the era when NHL players did not want to come to play in Montreal seems to be finally resolved.
2 AVRIL   |   156 ANSWERS
Veteran top-six forward may be on the verge of joining the Canadiens

Who would you like to see in Montreal?

Steven Stamkos2214.1 %
Sam Reinhart5233.3 %
Jake Guentezel3321.2 %
Other4931.4 %
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