One pending unrestricted free agent the Canadiens can steal from each team in the Metropolitan Division

The Montreal Canadiens can improve their team with a few stopgaps if they look outside the Atlantic Division when free agency rolls around in July.
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Tomas Nosek would be an upgrade over Tanner Pearson

If you’re sensing a trend here, it’s that the players listed won’t bring anything flashy to the Canadiens, but they don’t need to. Kent Hughes has enough of that in his core, and players like Tomas Nosek, Brendan Gaunce, and Stefan Noesen would simply help this team win more games than they did the previous season or provide organizational depth if any of them signed. 

Nosek could be the best and most preferred of the trio, thanks to his 434 games of experience in the regular season and the fact he’s played for multiple elite hockey teams. No, Nosek’s never won a Stanley Cup, but he’s one of quite a few free agent forwards out there who could show a young team how to be consistent. 

Sebastian Aho is another good insurance policy, capable player

While he’s a rather undersized blueliner, Sebastian Aho would provide bottom-pairing awareness and perhaps even a physical presence. Across 58 regular season games in 2023-24, he spent time racking up hits and blocks, something that was rather surprising from such a small player. 

He never saw action in the 2024 playoffs, so Aho’s time with the New York Islanders is most likely finished. If someone like him signed with the Habs, he would be an excellent defenseman to rotate in and out of the lineup or even to provide stellar organizational depth.