3 recently traded pending free agents who would ignite the Canadiens in 2024-25

It’s not likely, but the Montreal Canadiens could add some established talent to their team in 2024-25, and perhaps that talent comes from a few recently traded players.
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Ilya Lyubushkin would put forth an underrated yet physical game

As mentioned earlier, the Canadiens were rather physical last season, but that physicality still has room for growth. Jason Zucker is one option for Kent Hughes, but the underrated Ilya Lyubushkin makes for another, and he, too, wouldn’t mind signing a short-term contract and reaching the triple digits once more in hits. 

While the Canadiens wouldn’t sign him unless they either, for some reason, opted not to re-sign restricted free agent Arber Xhekaj or if they (more likely) traded David Savard, Lyubushkin would factor in as an incredible seventh defenseman. When used in the event of injury or to inject more physical play for a game, he will prevent multiple plays from setting up, leading to a few more scoring chances. 

The only downside with bringing in a player like Lyubushkin is that he’s proven multiple times that he shouldn’t be a full-time blueliner. Should Hughes target Lyubushkin and bring him to Quebec, he would still need a contingency plan if injuries hit the rotation too hard. 

Recalling prospects and keeping Lyubushkin as a seventh d-man would work best in the organization’s favor. And when he’s on the ice, Lyubushkin will always bring an unprecedented level of physicality, something we saw during his 19 appearances in Toronto. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)