Top 5 defensemen the Canadiens should target in free agency

The Montreal Canadiens should have just enough cap space to ink a solid blueliner to a deal who would immediately upgrade the unit.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The Montreal Canadiens have a rebuilding plan in place and not much room from a salary standpoint (without factoring in LTIR) to sign free agents, so any list of free agent signings, whether it’s at forward or on the blue line, probably won’t be so inspiring. But that doesn’t mean they won’t bring value if general manager Kent Hughes wants to sign someone to a deal next season. 

Teams that are still in a building phase could use more than just a few leaders, so rolling with blueliners who are on the back end of their careers would make sense. No, they won’t stay long, and ideally, they wouldn’t get in the way of any up-and-coming player from the Laval Rocket, but you can never place too much value on a strong veteran presence. 

That said, Hughes wouldn’t be looking to upgrade the blue line this summer as much as he could; instead he may find an older player who would help improve what he already has in the system. It may not do much for the Habs in the short-term, but this is a long-term, long road rebuilding plan, and it’s only helped the team since Hughes took over as general manager. 

An experienced blueliner playing third-pairing minutes is ideal for Canadiens 

Thanks to limitations in cap space and that Hughes should be thinking ahead to put those in his system in the best possible position to move up to the NHL when they are more than ready, there isn’t a single defenseman listed in this slideshow likely to sign with the Habs (or anyone) for over a year, or two seasons at most. 

That said, the players listed bring a combined decades worth of NHL experience. And while their best days may be behind them, they will help the current incarnations of Habs players to maximize the primes of their own respective careers.