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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Joel Armia could fill the lower lines of a contender

Few current players on the Montreal Canadiens have stuck around for as long as Joel Armia, as the 30-year-old has been with the team since the Habs acquired him in the 2018 offseason. In those six years, Armia helped Montreal reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2021, appearing in 21 playoff games with five goals and eight points to show for it. 

During his time with the Canadiens, we have often seen him logging middle-six minutes, but filling the lower lines may be more appropriate for Armia at this point in his career. He hasn’t been as physical over the past two seasons, but he is still good at using his stick to disrupt plays and to take back puck possession. 

Armia is also effective on the penalty kill, and he’s amassed 165 minutes at 4-on-5 this season, the first time he’s reached triple-digits since the 2016-17 seasons when he was with the Winnipeg Jets. 

While his 48.4 Corsi For at 5-on-5 is nowhere near the best of his career, Armia, if playing for an offensive-minded team, will still create chances in the offensive zone. His 92.1 on-ice save percentage at 5-on-5 also implies his defensive abilities remain sharp, and it provides further evidence that the lower lines should be his forte from 2024-25 and onward. 

Armia could remain in Montreal as he has another year left on his deal, but he’s still productive enough to move for a mid-round pick if the right team sees value in him. 


(Statistics and data provided by Hockey-Reference)