Montreal Canadiens Rumor: There Was Interest In Joel Armia, Could He Be Moved In Offseason?

Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia.
Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia. / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens made a couple of trades this season to unload veteran players and open up roster spots for younger players to step into bigger roles.

This was the case when Sean Monahan was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a first round pick and Alex Newhook got the opportunity to move back to center ice. It may not be where he ends up long term, but the experience will help him grow his two way game regardless.

The Jake Allen trade was the most obvious one that needed to get done. With Allen now in New Jersey, and a third round pick that could become a second rounder if Allen plays 40 games and makes the playoffs next season. The big win in that deal was more playing time for Cayden Primeau who has played third fiddle all year long and hasn't been given much of a chance to shine.

Those two trades were done, and seemed like the two most likely deals to be made this season. According to Kristen Shilton of ESPN, there was some interest in other veterans like Joel Armia and Tanner Pearson but a deal did not get done.

Shilton also mentions Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes can afford to be patient for now and look to tinker in the offseason. This makes sense since Armia is signed for one more year with a cap hit of $3.4 million. The Canadiens elected to retain salary on Allen's deal which means they are now at the maximum of three retentions being used since they are also still paying a portion of Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry's contracts as well.

Shilton's article suggests we could see Armia moved in the summer, and that would be likely to happen on July 1 or later as the Canadiens could then retain a portion of his salary as well.

Armia has played well for much of this season, reminding hockey fans he is still a great defensive winger and can put a few pucks in the net as well. After starting the season in the minors, he appeared to be an afterthought, but now he appears to have some trade value.

Just don't expect that trade to happen before July, when the Canadiens can retain some money and get a asset back, like they did with the Jake Allen trade.