3 UFAs Canadiens Must Let Walk In Free Agency

The Montreal Canadiens' depth was once again really tested this season as many of their players got injured for long stretches of time. In a season where it was unlikely they could push into the playoffs anyways, it should work out for them in the long run.

With all of the injuries, the Canadiens got a great look at a number of players that were stuck in the AHL and found a few gems in the rough. This, along with certain performances, will help shape the team for next season and make UFA decisions a little easier. Among the UFAs on the Canadiens this summer, here are three that the team shouldn't bring back.

Jonathan Drouin

Letting Jonathan Drouin hit free agency is a no brainer as he hasn't been anything like the team hoped for when originally acquired. The Canadiens were in search of a number one center for a while and thought Drouin was the answer. It turned out his career went downhill once he got to Montreal and injuries played a huge part in struggles over the past few seasons.

Drouin played a lot of games this season without a goal and was even a healthy scratch at times. He was overpaid the entire time in Montreal and with young wingers on the rise, the Canadiens can get more value for much cheaper.

Paul Byron

Paul Byron's contract is finally coming to an end and although he has been a part of the team for a while, he really hasn't contributed much. He didn't play a game this season due to injury and only got into 27 games in 2021-22. Over the past five seasons he's only dressed for 158. At age 34 and with lots of health concerns, the team is lucky Byron is off of the books and it won't be difficult to fill his spot in the bottom-six.

Chris Tierney

Chris Tierney did his job as a waiver claim this season, but there isn't much of a need for him next season. When the new season kicks off, the Canadiens should have everyone back healthy and in the lineup. This would make it so there is absolutely no room for Tierney and he would likely start the season in the AHL at best. My best guess is he's looking for an NHL contract and to continue playing in the best league he can. He is capable of still being an effective bottom-six player, but it will be on a team that doesn't have such a full and capable roster.

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