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Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
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We now know when Kent Hughes will make a massive splash

Published April 21, 2024 at 12:37
By: AARON ITOVITCH
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Aaron Itovitch
April 21, 2024  (12:37)
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Another important season for the rebuilding of the Montreal Canadiens has just ended, and it's time for an assessment within the organization. It will be another big summer for Kent Hughes.

The leaders, as well as the CH players, all shared the same vision for next season—they all hope that the team will be in the mix until the end to battle for a playoff spot.

To achieve this, Hughes and Jeff Gorton will need to find solutions to improve their lineup, especially by adding offensive firepower. A "Kirby Dach style" trade is eagerly anticipated again this year.

The free agent market remains another tool to enhance a roster by adding talent, but this option wouldn't be ideal for the Canadiens, at least not this year, according to Vincent Damphousse.


The former NHL player asserts that most of the major changes and significant additions will occur in the summer of 2025.

Damphousse mentioned on the show "L'Antichambre" that few contracts are ending this year, leaving little room for the general manager to make big moves. However, as he pointed out, several contracts and millions of dollars will be freed up at the end of the next season.

Here is a summary:

- Christian Dvorak: $4.45M
- Joel Armia: $3.4M
- David Savard: $3.5M
- Jake Evans: $1.7M
- Rafaël Harvey-Pinard: $1.1M
- Michael Pezzetta: $0.812M
- Johnathan Kovacevic: $0.767M
- Retained salaries of Jeff Petry and Jake Allen: $4.29M

Although there will be contracts to re-sign with several good young players by then, including Kaiden Guhle, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Arber Xhekaj, the Canadiens will have about $49M to spend under the projected salary cap of $92M in 2025, with Carey Price's contract on the LTIR.

This astronomical sum will be at Hughes's disposal to build a team capable of contending for the Stanley Cup for Martin St-Louis, even if Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher, and Michael Matheson are still with the CH.

Moreover, unlike this year where the free agent class is not particularly attractive for making a big splash, the 2025 class promises to be extremely interesting.

Here are some names that could become available at the end of the next campaign:

- Leon Draisaitl
- Mikko Rantanen
- Sidney Crosby
- Mitchell Marner
- Victor Hedman
- Brock Boeser
- Travis Konecny
- Claude Giroux
- John Taveres
- Pavel Buchnevich
- Nikolaj Ehlers
- Shea Theodore

I completely agree with Damphousse on this matter. It is clear that the moment to "open the floodgates" for the Canadiens in terms of the free agent market is definitely in 2025.

Until then, the Canadiens will possibly conclude a promising transaction by bringing in another young player to join the core for next year, and the team will land a top-6 talent in the next draft.

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21 APRIL   |   181 ANSWERS
We now know when Kent Hughes will make a massive splash

Should the Canadiens sign a big-name free agent next summer?

Yes13675.1 %
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