“RHP”, Montembeault … What will be the next big file for CH?

«RHP”, Montembeault... What will be the next big file for CH?


Summer hasn't even started yet, but Montreal Canadiens fans had a great reason to celebrate with the announcement of Cole Caufield's contract. But Kent Hughes' grocery list doesn't stop there.

On a purely financial level, with the energy forward under contract for eight years at a salary of $7.85M, the general manager of the Habs has greatly reduced the space under the payroll. Factoring in Carey Price on the long-term injured list, Hughes will have approximately $11.23M wiggle room this summer, according to CapFriendly. 

Luckily for him, the biggest file was handled. Then, we will have to talk about free agents with compensation. Among the athletes in this category, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard stands out. 

The Quebecer was a breath of fresh air for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge in the second half of the season. The hard worker had 14 goals and 20 points in 34 games in Montreal. He scored as much as Mike Hoffman and Kirby Dach in almost half as many matches. 

Since he does not have much experience in the National League, “RHP” could receive a favorable salary for his team. The 24-year-old left winger wants to prove he belongs with the squad when the infirmary isn't full.

Will they come back?

Among free agents, Jonathan Drouin represents a question mark. The native of Sainte-Agathe has missed a lot of games in recent years and had a lot of trouble shaking the ropes. One thing seems certain, and that is that he will not immediately find a salary of $5.5M. 

Will the Canadiens part with this polarizing player who is nevertheless a excellent ambassador for the community? Of course, it's all on the ice, and with 29 points in 58 games, Drouin is far from useless. 

Then, we will have to wonder if Sean Monahan and Denis Gurianov have benefited enough from their auditions to continue the adventure in Quebec. The second is a restricted free agent and must receive a qualifying offer by July 1. 

Barring any surprises, Paul Byron and Chris Tierney will not be back. In Laval, the names of Alex Belzile, Jesse Ylönen and Nicolas Beaudin will attract attention. Anthony Richard and Joël Teasdale will also achieve autonomy. 

Already Montembeault?

Since his remarkable passage at the World Hockey Championship, the name of Samuel Montembeault often comes up in discussions. In fact, it is a contract extension that is often discussed, since the Quebecer's performance speaks for itself. 

No worries for the 2023-2024 campaign, since the 26-year-old athlete will be in the second season of a two-year contract. He will again get his hands on $1M. A salary increase is to be expected in his case and it may be a file that Kent Hughes will quickly want to settle so that he does not have to think about it anymore. 

Speaking of peace of mind, the DG could also free themselves from the payroll by buying out a contract. Joel Armia, who will receive $3.4M until 2024-2025, is the favorite candidate of many for this. A buyout would save the CH $2.86M. 

A few cases could be settled by the first day of the draft, June 28. Of course, July 1, when the free agent market opens, is circled on all calendars.