Free Agents: Several realistic candidates for the CH

Kent Hughes will be in his first free agent market as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens starting July 13, having previously held the role of agents. Will he be able to benefit from his extensive contacts within the ice hockey world?

Remember that prior to succeeding Marc Bergevin, Hughes represented several big names at the Bettman circuit including Patrice Bergeron, Kristopher Letang and Anthony Beauvillier.

Though the connection between the Habs’ new staff and the coveted future unrestricted free agents is easy to make; Patrice Bergeron and Kristopher Letang, let’s face it, home runs are going to be tough for the duo of Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton, who have projected space under the just under $2 million salary cap. It is meager, very meager to afford to dream!

Supporters of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, which means we have to forget Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Phil Kessel, Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg, Nazem Kadri, Ondrej Palat and Co. who will be free as air less than one major turnaround, i.e. a transaction that would free up a lot of money. Very unlikely scenario.

With that in mind, here are eight candidates who have Potential to rise in the ranks of Sainte-Flanelle. These are listed in order of most likely to least likely. For practice, here’s Martin St-Louis’ likely line-up for the upcoming campaign.


: Jonathan Drouin – Nick Suzuki – Cole Caufield

: Mike Hoffman – Rem Pitlick – Josh Anderson

: Evgenii Dadonov – Christian Dvorak – Brendan Gallagher

: Paul Byron – Jake Evans – Joel Armia

: Michael Pezzetta – Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – Jesse Ylonen – Ryan Poehling


: Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry

: Alexander Romanov – David Savard

:X – Justin Barron

: Chris Wideman – Jordan Harris – Kaiden Guhle – Corey Schueneman – Mattias Norlinder


Carey Prize

Jake Allen

PK Subban / 33 years old / 77PJ 5B 17A 22PTS / M$9,000,000

Although PK Subban has slowed down heavily in recent seasons, his wealth of experience could certainly help the young defenders in the organization. Ideally, it would be the fifth or sixth defense chair that can still do well on the power play.

So in a role similar to Chris Wideman. For a salary of around a million dollars, and that’s for a single season, he deserves to think about it. This signing would also allow Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and Mattias Norlinder to perfect their American Hockey League (AHL) game with Laval Rocket.

Nikita Zadorov / 27 years old / 74PJ 4B 18A 22PTS / M$3,750,000

In the case of Nikita Zadorov, his impressive 6ft 6in stature and 235lbs coupled with his robust playing style would make the Montreal Defensive Brigade a physically formidable roster. His presence would facilitate and facilitate the robust contribution of Alexander Romanov, who would feel less alone in this area. Given the presence of a healthy Joel Edmundson, this hiring would offset the loss of Ben Chiarot and restore the identity the Habs defense had during their impressive epic of the 2020-2021 season.

Andreas Athanasiou / 27 years old / 28PJ 11B 6A 17PTS / M$2,700,000

In a way, Andrea Athanasiou represents the bet all or nothing. The electrifying speed dealer can do the worst both offensively and defensively. Especially in terms of dynamics and speed, the attacker from CH would make an improved team at “low” costs. As he can thrive both in the center and on the wing, his versatility would be an added benefit.

The one who has already hit the 30-goal plateau with the Red Wings in 2018-2019 could also complete the duo of Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, bringing a touch of pace to the team that Gallagher and Dvorak lack for example. Athanasiou represents one of the candidates, if not the one with the best credentials probable contract talent/salary this free agent market.

Nick Leddy / 31 years old / 75PJ 3B 21A 24PTS / M$5,500,000

The Canadians’ main talents are playing as defenders. You must properly supervise them and be patient. The arrival of an established and mobile defender like Nick Leddy would help CH’s lackluster transitions of the last year and give pilot Martin St-Louis additional scope as Leddy can play on both left and right flank.

After all, the back has 130 postseason games and a Stanley Cup behind the tie, an added value if the two clans can find common ground for a short-term contract.

Mason Marchment / 27 years old / 54PJ 18B 29A 47PTS / M$800,000

Mason Marchment’s record is unlike almost any future free agent. The never-called-up 6-foot-4, 210-pound power forward had a thunderous season that could be described as a breakout season, largely in terms of his offensive performance, during which he had nearly 20 goals and 50 points. After spending six seasons in the minors, Marchment made his way to the Florida Panthers.

The Florida organization has important decisions to make this summer and may have to sacrifice the Ontarian over the salary cap. It remains to be seen what kind of contract the son of former National Hockey League (NHL) defenseman Bryan will have. If the duration and level are appropriate, the CH must judge whether the last campaign was window dressing or if it is some kind of player who just disappears to be repatriated to Montreal.

Evan Rodrigues / 28 years old / 82PJ 19B 24P 43PTS / M$1,000,000

Evan Rodrigues’ name goes under the radar all too often. The one who was never drafted finally made his mark with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, scoring 19 goals and 43 points.

Rodrigues, linemate of one Jack Eichel in the American varsity program, has maintained a .40 point-per-game performance in 316 games played since his Bettman Circuit debut. The Toronto native is an experienced skater, offensively dynamic and versatile as he can be used both in the center and on the wing. He has the talent to be on a ”above 6” when needed and can add an offensive touch to a deep trio.

Because of the many attackers under one-way contracts with the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, he could interest the club after completing a transaction, for example.

Vincent Trocheck / 28 years old / 81PJ 21B 30A 51PTS / M$4,750,000

If this exercise by players was about realism in targeting the habs, Vincent Trocheck is not the ideal candidate given the salary he is being offered. On the other hand, the second floor must find a way to charm him. Why? Because the fast skater would fill the hole left by Phillip Danault last summer in second middle position.

The middle position is usually the most desirable and few are the best free players. The author of 378 points in 555 career games possesses the assets the Hughes, Gorton and St Louis clans aspire to, namely speed, hockey intelligence and dynamism, as mentioned upon their appointment. A centerline consisting of Nick Suzuki, Vincent Trocheck, Christian Dvorak and Jake Evans sounds pretty good right?

Marc-André Fleury / 37 years / 56PJ 28V 23D %.908 AVG: 2.90 / 7,000,000 M$

Will Carey Price return next season? Isn’t he coming back? Cannot be answered at the moment. Despite a more than satisfactory performance by young goaltender Cayden Primeau with Laval Rocket during the AHL playoffs, staff must explore the possibility of adding a goaltender to their ranks should the No. 31 fail to return.

For a season where Primeau has time to gain as much experience as possible before taking the plunge, Quebecois Marc-André Fleury makes an oddly interesting contender. Despite his 37 years, the goalie has put on a performance worthy of the goalie that he is for the benefit of the Blackhawks and the Wild. Why not end such a great career at home in front of family and friends in a duet that positions him alongside Jake Allen?

It is scheduled to follow from July 13 during the special broadcast presented on the airwaves VAT Sports.

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