Major plot twist as the Montreal Canadiens could acquire two big players with $10 million contracts each, as early as next summer

Published August 13, 2023 at 6:05 PM

Since taking over as the general manager of the Canadiens, Kent Hughes has never really had the chance to spend freely in the free agent market.

It's worth noting that his predecessor, Marc Bergevin, didn't make it any easier, as he handed out generous contracts to players like Jeff Petry, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, and Mike Hoffman, among others, which resulted in the Canadiens consistently being up against the salary cap.

However, as reported by Charles-Alexis Brisebois from, the situation could be quite different in the summer of 2024 for the former player agent.

If Hughes has been relatively quiet for a second consecutive summer in the free agent market, he will have a chance to make a comeback next summer, as no fewer than five players will become unrestricted free agents.

While Montembeault's return is likely beyond the upcoming season, it would be surprising if the other four were to return, and with the salary cap likely set at $83.5 million for the 2024-2025 season, the Canadiens organization will then have the opportunity to spend more money than anticipated.

Here are the explanations from salary cap expert Hart Levine, founder of the PuckPedia database, on the matter:

"With the current salary cap set at $83.5 million for next season, the Canadiens would have $12 million to spend in the summer of 2024. If you consider that the cap should increase by $4.5 million, they would end up with $16.5 million, even without putting Price's name on the long-term injured list. So, hypothetically, we would be talking about $26 million with five or six positions to fill."

Quite intriguing for the future, and if the Canadiens free up money next summer, the same situation will occur the following summer as Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia, Jake Evans, Michael Pezzetta, David Savard, Johnathan Kovacevic, and Jake Allen will all become unrestricted free agents without compensation.

Let's just say that this will free up even more money!

This could potentially lead to a pursuit of top-tier free agents as early as next summer for the Canadiens, with several big names available such as Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck, Jake Guentzel, William Nylander, and a certain Auston Matthews.

The Canadiens might possibly be able to sign two $10 million players; imagine that!

Credit: Puck Media
August 13   |   219 answers
Major plot twist as the Montreal Canadiens could acquire two big players with $10 million contracts each, as early as next summer

In your opinion, should Kent Hughes sign a top-tier free agent next summer?

Yes, Nylander7132.4 %
Yes, Matthews4219.2 %
Yes, Guentzel or other3917.8 %
No6730.6 %
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