3 Montreal Canadiens Not Expected Back Next Season

With a new year beginning we flip our calendars and our attention to the 2023-24 NHL season. There's going to be changes for all 32 teams across the league and the Montreal Canadiens will be no different. Here's three players you shouldn't expect to see on the roster next season:

Sean Monahan

One of the more underrated players available on the trade market this season, Sean Monahan has enjoyed himself a bounce-back season in Montreal. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to stay healthy, however once he's back to full strength, expect the trade talks to take off. Monahan has recorded 17 points in 25 games and will have interested teams in the Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Don't expect to hear about any extension talks out of Montreal before the March 3 trade deadline.

Jonathan Drouin

With zero goals and six assists in 21 games this season, pending unrestricted free agent Jonathan Drouin isn't likely back in Montreal next season. With his struggles this season to put up points, his trade market has diminished and it will be tough for the Canadiens to move him without retaining half of his salary. Drouin makes $5.5 million against the cap and holds trade protection against three teams of his choice.

Brendan Gallagher

A name who may surprise some, Brendan Gallagher is being paid $6.5 million per season for the next four and has only three goals and eight points in 24 games. His role with the team has diminished and he's playing less and less. Gallagher has become a buy-out candidate and this could be the route management takes in the summer as his trade market will be quite small unless the team is willing to retain 50% of his salary. Expect to hear some trade talks pick up before the March 3 trade deadline.

photo credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports