One pending free agent the Canadiens can steal from their Atlantic Division rivals

The Montreal Canadiens could have some holes to fill in their lineup next season, so there is a chance they add a few players from the outside.

Oct 11, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Max Domi (11) battles for  the puck
Oct 11, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Max Domi (11) battles for the puck / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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Rourke Chartier, Forward/Ottawa Senators

There is always that one team in a division that has hardly anybody of worth to consider in free agency, so in this case, we are rolling with an organizational depth asset. Rourke Chartier is one of those players, and he’s spent some time with the Ottawa Senators this season alongside their AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators. 

It seems like every time he’s assigned to the AHL, Chartier enjoys a good stint, and his most recent one saw him scoring 10 points and seven goals in 12 games. He also scored 20 goals and 28 points last season in Belleville across 40 games, so it’s easy to see why he’s earned time with the big club at various points in the last two seasons. 

Should Hughes bring in a player in the mold of Chartier - and he will, as you see NHL executives make such under-the-radar signings every year - there shouldn’t even be a shift in his role. Bring him, or a player like him, to the organization, assign him to Laval when the time comes, and if you need him with the big club, he’s there for the taking. 

Chartier would fill the fourth line if he spent time in Montreal. And while he won’t score, the 27-year-old would win faceoffs (52.0 faceoff win percentage in 2023-24) and land body checks.