Could Joel Armia be most valuable at 2025 Trade Deadline?

Joel Armia posted a career-high in goals and proved to be an important piece of the Habs forward core.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Few Montreal Canadiens player’s surprised management this year as much as Joel Armia.

After a rocky 2022-23 season and a less-than-desirable start to the 2023-24 campaign, expectations for Armia weren’t very high. He stumbled out of the gate and looked like he was chasing the puck most of the time. A demotion to Laval was in order and Martin St. Louis pulled the trigger. 

With hindsight being 20/20 we know how effective stints in the AHL have been for Canadiens players. Arber Xhekaj came back looking like a completely different player after his stint. Joshua Roy played the majority of his year in the AHL and when called upon he was prepared for his opportunity.

Back to Armia, though, we can wholeheartedly agree that his time with Laval was just what the doctor ordered. Armia played eight games with the Rocket and was their best player for the most part. After posting six goals and three assists he was called back up to Montreal. 

He worked his tail off, and then when he returned to Montreal he never looked back. Armia emerged as one of the club’s best penalty killers, hounding opponents for the puck, protecting the puck masterfully and seemingly always being in the right position. If this Armia shows up at training camp, there is no telling how good his season may go. 

With that said, he is heading into the final season of his contract and the 30-year-old hasn’t had much of a taste of playoff hockey. The way he plays the game would almost certainly be endearing to a team primed for a deep run come the 2025 Trade Deadline. And with his contract coming off the books next July, he wouldn’t be a long-term investment. 

Kent Hughes has been known to work the phones and his reputation speaks for itself. Perhaps he could work some magic; retaining a bit of Armia’s $3.4 million cap hit for a little sweetener. Both sides win and Armia moves on to a contender, while the Canadiens open up a spot for one of their future hopefuls. 

It’s just a thought, but I think that Armia is suited for playoff hockey. His penalty-killing prowess could be reason enough for teams to inquire about his services. This is precisely why I believe Armia will be most valuable to the Canadiens at the 2025 Trade Deadline.

But it won't be as a part of the Canadiens, but because of the return he could get the Habs.