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
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Lukas Reichel may not wind up back in Chicago

The third pending restricted free agent on this list, Lukas Reichel’s career with the Blackhawks has been nowhere near what everyone expected, and it could prompt general manager Kyle Davidson to forgo the opportunity to bring him back. 

Unlike Mittelstadt and Kakko, although one took a while to get going and the latter has yet to break out, Reichel has been so ineffective at times that he’s bounced between the NHL and the AHL. Last season, Reichel looked like he was coming around in the 23 games he played for the Blackhawks, tallying 15 points and seven goals, with top-six minutes to go along with it. 

This year, he didn’t take a step forward, and you can argue he took a few steps back, with just four goals and 14 points in 61 games as of April 11th. Reichel’s average total ice time decreased by over two minutes, and like Kakko, there is a chance the bottom-six and a defensive-oriented game could be his ceiling. 

But once again, for an organization that should be at least another year outside of playoff contention, it also shouldn’t hurt to try and sign Reichel and to see if he’s a good fit if he’s available. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)