3 pending free agent forwards the Canadiens must avoid in NHL free agency

Cost-effective free agents may be the types of players Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes will target in NHL free agency, and there are many to stay away from.
Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages
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There are quite a few forwards the Montreal Canadiens could sign in free agency, and cost-effective deals would be the way to go this season unless general manager Kent Hughes likes someone enough to bring them in on a lucrative deal. But there are a few players he should exercise caution with if he reaches out to them when free agency begins in July. 

The following three forwards aren’t bad players, and they could offer value to the Habs, but there are more reasons to target others this summer. For one player, it’s sheer uncertainty if they can parlay a strong 2023-24 season into something greater in 2024-25, and the other two have far too many question marks. 

Warren Foegele, Edmonton Oilers

Warren Foegele could be one of the hottest names on the market this season, and one look at his numbers shows why. He ended the year with 41 points and 20 goals, maintained a two-way approach, and Foegele has been beyond physical for the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs. 

He’s a player who solidified his status as a prime middle-six forward, and since it’s only his age-27 season, he could fit into a long-term plan for a team like the Habs and add more of an edge to the team’s identity. 

If Kent Hughes signs Foegele, Habs fans should be happy, but the buyer beware is also something to be mindful of. It’s great to see a player put up career-bests numbers-wise, but the issue is whether he would duplicate that in a place like Montreal. The Canadiens aren’t the Oilers, and Foegele, at this point, could have benefited more from a great team forced to show a sense of urgency early. 

It would be great to see the Habs bring in a long-term free agent or even one for a more manageable multi-year deal. But if Hughes goes in that direction, he must be certain they will help the team and avoid being a liability. Right now, someone like Foegele can be a good player on a great team, but can he remain a good player on a rebuilding team?