Top 5 free agent forwards the Canadiens should pursue in the 2024 offseason

The Montreal Canadiens won’t have a ton of cap space in the offseason, so big-name free agents at forward won’t come to Quebec, but a few will fit the franchise’s budget.
Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
1 of 6

The Montreal Canadiens may have little going for them in cap space before adding potential LTIR, but they do have a foundation that could at least turn the corner next season. Since they reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2021, it seems as though the Canadiens just cannot get out of the Atlantic Division’s basement, and that could be the case when the regular season reaches its ultimate conclusion. 

Either way, the good news is that they have improved each year since the rebuild began. Following the 2021-22 season, this team finished with just 55 points, but that number improved to 68 last year. For 2023-24, the Habs will end the season with at least 72 points, if not more. A small, albeit an improvement nonetheless. 

One reason this team has gotten better is because the core has built chemistry and gained experience. This makes all signs point to an even more exciting 2024-25 season, especially as we’re closer than ever to identifying who will be with the Canadiens for the rest of the decade. But not every player on that core needs to come from within the organization, or from the outside as ultra-young players. 

It wouldn’t hurt the Canadiens to sign a forward or two in 2024

There are a few routes the Canadiens can take here if general manager Kent Hughes is interested in adding some talent that could cause a stir among the fanbase. He may look toward discarded restricted free agents, and in the following slides, there are three listed. One could easily return to their current team, but during the offseason, the unexpected often happens, so he made the cut. 

There is another player who is older but would provide more leadership, and he also has an accomplished track record in this league. So, who are these players, and what kind of value would they bring to the Montreal Canadiens?