Pierre McGuire, "The Canadiens will be going big game hunting this offseason."

Prominent NHL analyst Pierre McGuire stated his belief during an episode of The Sick Podcast - The Eye Test, that the Habs were hoping to land a big fish this summer.
2012 NHL Awards - Red Carpet
2012 NHL Awards - Red Carpet / Isaac Brekken/GettyImages

A lack of offence has been synonymous with the Montreal Canadiens for some time.

Last season was no exception, aside from the top line, the Habs have been starved for goals. Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky drove the offence, with contributions from the blueline helping out. However, a lack of scoring depth was one of the primary factors for the team’s success. 

Prominent NHL analyst Pierre McGuire believes Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes will go ‘Big game hunting’ this offseason, as he put it. The past two offseasons Hughes made a splash bringing in impact forwards. 

Unfortunately, Kirby Dach missed 80 of 82 games in 2023-24, after a career year in 2022-23 despite not playing the full year. Alex Newhook, the Canadiens 2023 acquisition, missed time because of an ankle sprain. But upon returning to the lineup he played some of his best hockey, giving hope for next season. 

With the top line, Dach and Newhook all healthy in the lineup next year, there’s is a belief that the Canadiens should produce more goals. Lane Hutson will certainly contribute to that and with Joshua Roy pushing to be a regular and Emil Heineman gunning for a roster spot, increased goal production seems likely. Hughes isn’t about to stand pat, however, with assets to acquire a big fish, he knows the team will benefit from another impact player. 

There are many options, some unrestricted free agents that might be logical adds. But there are a few teams that have an array of forwards, with others trying to stake their claim. Looking to them to facilitate a defenseman for forward trade could make a ton of sense. 

Perhaps that isn’t the workings of a trade for Hughes to offer, but if McGuire believes something is brewing, we will soon find out what all the talk is about. With the draft a little over a month away, draft picks could be sought out and deemed as important as roster players. With that said the Canadiens have more than enough to entice a club looking to beef up the defence or draft assets.

There are differing opinions about McGuire, his thoughts about the Habs drafting Carey Price in 2005 were questionable. But he knows an awful lot about hockey and has worked in a variety of roles. Given his knowledge of the league and experience behind the scenes, he may just know something we don’t.