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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Jansen Harkins developed an edge in Pittsburgh

Sometimes, it takes players a while to find their respective niches in the NHL, but Jansen Harkins discovered his with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in 45 games this season and finished 74 body checks, a decent number, to say the absolute least, for the physical forward.

Overall, he would be a last resort signing if the edgier forwards listed earlier were no longer available. Harkins would also play a similar role with the Habs that he did with the Pens, and that would be as a part-time player who should be in the lineup if either injuries strike or if the team needed an additional physical presence. 

A reunion with Max Pacioretty would be really cool

Another former Canadien, Max Pacioretty was more than just a serviceable player for the organization when he spent 10 seasons and 626 regular season games with the Habs, scoring 226 goals and 448 points in the process. He’s hardly been the same player since and now, the 35-year-old will be in journeyman mode from now until retirement. 

But he’s also spent a lot of time with playoff-bound teams lately, and it would be awesome to see a former longtime Canadien return to Quebec and help the current incarnation of this team in its rebuild. If he signed, it would be for a one-year deal and maybe $2 million at this point, but there isn’t a more experienced player on this list to target in free agency. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)