Breaking News: Just In Canadiens GM Hughes’ Breaks Silence On Top Priorities for 2024 Offseason…

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes has shared insights into his top priorities for the 2024 offseason, setting the stage for potential roster adjustments and strategic moves.

Unlike last year, the Canadiens face a comparatively quiet offseason, with no significant unrestricted free agents to re-sign. However, heightened expectations for the 2024-25 season prompt Hughes to evaluate potential upgrades and adjustments to the team.

While free agency remains an option this offseason, the focus may shift towards unloading defensemen rather than adding to the roster. Despite the possibility of trading 30-year-old Mike Matheson, his cost-effective cap hit presents a valuable asset for the team. In the goaltending department, upgrades are considered, but available options may not match the caliber of current starter Samuel Montembeault.

Attention turns to the forward lines, with potential opportunities for enhancement, particularly on the second line. Former Canadiens player Tyler Toffoli emerges as a compelling option, despite his previous trade from the team. Hughes weighs the strategic implications of reintegrating Toffoli into the roster amidst broader considerations for the team’s direction.

As the Canadiens navigate salary cap constraints, Hughes prioritizes roster adjustments to optimize team dynamics. Trading non-top-six forwards, akin to previous moves involving players like Mike Hoffman, remains a strategic focus for reshaping the team’s composition and salary cap allocation.

Jesse Ylonen’s impending restricted free agency presents a complex decision for the Canadiens. While acknowledging Ylonen’s potential as a top-six forward, Hughes considers alternative scenarios, including the possibility of parting ways with the player to address roster needs.

Defenseman Justin Barron’s contract renewal emerges as a key decision point for the Canadiens. Despite Barron’s underwhelming performance, his potential and positional value warrant consideration for a contract extension.

Montreal Canadiens Must Find Permanent Spot for Justin Barron

With the NHL Draft looming, Hughes emphasizes the importance of drafting a forward with the team’s first-round pick. Acknowledging the team’s defensive depth, Hughes underscores the need to prioritize offensive talent acquisition to address scoring deficiencies.

At the forefront of Hughes’ agenda is the re-signing of defenseman Arber Xhekaj, who has emerged as a vital component of the team’s defensive core. Despite logistical challenges and roster considerations, Xhekaj’s contributions and potential future impact underscore the importance of retaining him within the organization.

As the Canadiens navigate the complexities of the offseason, Hughes remains focused on strategic decision-making to position the team for success in the upcoming season.


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