The Canadiens ultimate checklist for a successful 2024 offseason

With just one week to go in the Montreal Canadiens regular season, it’s time to check out what they must do to enjoy a successful offseason.
Apr 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Dvorak (28) and teammate
Apr 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Dvorak (28) and teammate / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Sign reasonable free agents that won’t block potential call-ups

The Canadiens don’t have a ton of space to spend on unrestricted free agents, and that’s a good thing for Kent Hughes since he doesn’t need to be worried about adding too much talent from the outside. Stopgaps and role players who will come in on a low seven-figure deal would be the best option for him and the team in the summer of 2024 since focusing on the core remains Priority No. 1. 

Blueliners who were in town part-time this season, like Justin Barron and Arber Xhekaj, should graduate to full-time status next season. Up-and-comers like Logan Mailloux should also have as little in front of them as possible. 

The same goes for forwards like Joshua Roy and even forwards who have only played a little more than half the regular season games, like Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Alex Newhook. The latter two will be with the big club no matter what, while Roy and Mailloux should at least have a legitimate pathway to playing their first full seasons in the NHL. 

Focusing on the core should pay dividends for Hughes, perhaps not next season, but in 2025-26, Montreal should be one of the teams to beat. And remember, this section didn’t even mention current talents like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, so if you add them to the mix, things are shaping up well in Quebec.