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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A Sean Monahan comeback story must not happen

There will always be some of us holding out hope that a familiar face will return after his “rental” status is complete following the season. For the Canadiens, that player is Sean Monahan, who played in just 25 games for the Habs last year and logged 17 points and a remarkable 18 takeaways. 

He was also spectacular this year, scoring 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games, and he also registered nearly half a takeaway per matchup. His performance and the major need for the Winnipeg Jets to improve their depth prompted general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to acquire him for a first-round pick this season and a third-rounder in 2027, adding even more high-end future assets for the Canadiens.

So far, it’s been a win-win for the Habs and Jets, but it would be a bonus if Monahan leaves Winnipeg, perhaps with a Stanley Cup added to his resume, returns to Montreal, and helps lead this team back to respectability. This isn’t happening, nor should it, as the 29-year-old needs to cash in following what has been an ultra-productive year. 

To be fair, it also won’t happen in Winnipeg, but Monahan will earn a more lucrative deal for at least a few years with one of the league’s other 30 franchises. He was valuable to the Canadiens, so perhaps Kent Hughes will parlay that first-rounder into something golden.