Last Season: 29-40-13 71 pts (6th in Atlantic Division; Did Not Make Playoffs)
Key Additions: D Xavier Oullet, F Max Domi, F Tomas Tatar, F Tomas Plekanec, F Joel Armia, and F Matthew Peca
Key Departures: F Alex Galchenyuk, F Max Pacioretty, F Ales Hemsky, and F Daniel Carr
The Habs biggest move they made this off-season is trading Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, and a conditional second rounder in the 2019 NHL Draft. Habs fans shouldn’t be complaining about the return in this deal. Suzuki is a 19 year old center that has proved he can score in the OHL but hasn’t gotten any NHL or OHL experience until his belt.
The Habs were expected to be players this offseason but ended up not doing much to improve the team during free agency. The biggest loss for us may have been Alex Galchenyuk who we traded to the Coyotes for the Maxi Domi. This is a deal as a Habs fan you should like. Galchenyuk never became the true center we needed thus the reason for his departure. Daniel Carr was a player I think the Habs will regret not re-signing. Carr was a streaky scorer and was a guy who could be a solid third or fourth liner without a doubt. He never really got a chance in Montreal which was is unfortunate, Carr will be a 15-20 scorer next year with Vegas.
Top Questions Facing The Team
The Canadiens defence without Shea Weber last year was pitiful and when he did play he had no support. The Habs do have some young defencemen who should help fill that hole. Victor Mete and Xavier Ouellet will be key pieces on the blue-line this year. Mete is expected to play on the first line with Petry to start the year, Petry by far was the Habs best defenseman throughout the year. Once Weber returns expect to see a nice combo of Petry-Weber and Mete-Juulsen which should make a solid top four. The Habs should also look to give guys like Cale Fleury and Josh Brook a shot as the Habs are obviously in a rebuilding mode and should take this time to asses their assets and up and coming assets.
With the loss of Max Pacioretty, Montreal doesn’t have that big 30 goal scorer but they have a ton of guys who can put up 20 goals a year without an issue. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Jonathan Drouin look to score more with the amount of set-up guys the Habs have. Some of the names that you look to have a decent season with montreal are: Paul Byron, Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher.
The Empty Vacancy At Captain
With Pacioretty gone that leaves a vacancy at the captain position. The Guy who deserves to wear the C is Brendan Gallagher. The guy is a gritty player, always looking to protect his teammates and is a fan favorite in Montreal. There has been a debate about giving it to Weber but why give it to a guy who is going to be out till at least the all-star break and is old. Gally is young, his is going to be part of the Canadiens future for a long-time and is an essential part of the Habs current rebuild.