Kent Hughes will soon have the chance to hit a home run and greatly improve the Montreal Canadiens.

Published August 13, 2023 at 4:58 PM

As Kent Hughes mentioned during the Canadiens' end-of-season review, he no longer intends to finish at the bottom of the standings. The results will have to come from the next campaign onwards, and he is well aware that he has work to do.

Since then, he has acquired Alex Newhook and signed him to a handsome three-season contract. He also signed Cole Caufield to an eight-year deal, got rid of Mike Hoffman and may well add more assets by trading Jeff Petry and Casey DeSmith.

Although placing Carey Price's name on the long-term injured list will leave him with some space under the salary cap, that should be it for now. However, the scenario will be different a year from now.

With only four free agent players to sign next summer (Samuel Montembeault, Arber Xhekaj, Jesse Ylonen and Justin Barron), Hughes will have around 11 million left. Add to this the supposedly significant salary cap increase scheduled for 2024 and Price's contract on the long-term injured list, and the GM could benefit from over 21 million to sign players.

Here's the list of players who will be as free as air next summer, according to CapFriendly, if they don't sign contracts before July 1.


We agree that Steven Stamkos and Auston Matthews shouldn't be available, but players like William Nylander, Elias Pettersson and Mark Scheifele could well attract Kent Hughes.

With the new administration, Martin St-Louis as coach and the future full of promise, it's very realistic to believe that impact players could be interested in coming to Montreal.
August 13   |   72 answers
Kent Hughes will soon have the chance to hit a home run and greatly improve the Montreal Canadiens.

Which player would you most like to see in Montreal?

William Nylander2636.1 %
Mark Scheifele811.1 %
Elias Pettersson2636.1 %
Other1216.7 %
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