3 Canadiens players who shouldn’t return next season

The Montreal Canadiens are still a rebuilding bunch, meaning some of their older players will be on the move for the upcoming offseason.

Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The Montreal Canadiens are an organization that should still see plenty of roster turnover on the big club as they continue to look toward the future. This is further confirmed thanks to the fact the Habs have just 68 points on the season and, if it ended today, would find themselves in last place in their division, thanks to tiebreakers. 

Montreal is also the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference heading into the final weekend of March, ahead of only a Columbus Blue Jackets team that may be looking to embark on its own rebuilding quest. Despite the bleakness in the standings, it’s hard to say this season has come without a fair share of success

Nick Suzuki recently hit the 30-goal milestone, and Cole Caufield has shown what he can accomplish when healthy with 20 goals and 55 points. Both players will be cornerstones, as will Juraj Slafkovsky, whose 41 points and 15 goals rank fourth on the team. Slafkovsky still has an outside chance to reach the 20-goal milestone this season, and that will be a significant momentum builder if he hits that number. 

Not all current Canadiens players will see this rebuild through

The hope is that players like Suzuki, Caufield, and Slafkovsky remain Canadiens through most of, if not their entire careers. But for some players in the organization, their respective stints in Quebec should be coming to an end. 

That won’t be the case for the young talent like those players mentioned above, plus most, if not all, pending restricted free agents for 2024 and 2025. Expect bridge deals for some, while general manager Kent Hughes may opt to sign others long-term if they impress him this season or at some point next year. 

But whose time in Montreal will reach the end of the road this summer? Here are three names who must get traded to another club or refrain from returning to the team following a short stint elsewhere.