Canadiens Focus On Developing Again This Season Dictates Approach To Trades

The Montreal Canadiens haven't been very good the last number of years other than the anomaly that was the 2020-21 Stanley Cup run. For a bad team, they had a lot of money tied up in veterans and diminishing assets. Kent Hughes has done a great job of moving out a lot of those pieces, and in doing so, opened up not only cap space, but room on the roster to bring in a lot of young players and develop them.

The Canadiens aren't rushing anything and even though they got some solid pieces in Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook recently, this is part of the future, not thinking they are going to make a playoff push and compete this season. Hughes said that he doesn't plan on being a major player in free agency soon, and this also means the team won't be adding any more big-time or veteran pieces through trades.

My best guess is that the Canadiens still have 1-2 years before we can firmly say that they are at the point where Buffalo/Ottawa are, a young team that should push for a playoff spot. Breakouts or struggles can either help or hurt the progression of the team, but more young players are on their way and the future is bright for the Canadiens. Very soon they will have a lot of cap space to work with and it is smart to wait and potentially reward players already in the system with contracts rather than bringing in new faces that will require a lot of money.

The Canadiens still have some pieces that they will want to move over the next year. Don't think Montreal will be buyers. They will be sellers to create even more space for their young group. It did well last season with all of the injuries since it provided players like Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylonen with great opportunities that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

Photo credit: © Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports