The Montreal Canadiens are the next up in our series. The Canadiens will be looking to improve on their Conference Finals result from last season, which saw them lose the series 4-2 to the Rangers.
Use the below Tabs to view Canadiens info for this upcoming season, as well as some numbers from last year.
2013-14 record: 46-28-8, 100 points
Where they finished: 3rd in the Atlantic; 4th in the East; tied for 9th in the NHL; lost 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers
Player Salaries: $66,210,000 (23)
Cap Payroll: $66,348,333
Forwards: $33,253,333 (14)
Defensemen: $25,195,000 (7)
Goalies: $7,900,000 (2)
In: Daniel Carr LW, Jiri Sekac C/LW, Joey MacDonald G, Manny Malhotra C/LW, PA Parenteau RW, Tom Gilbert D
Out: Brian Gionta RW, Daniel Briere C/W, Devan Dubnyk G, Josh Gorges D, Louis Leblanc RW/C, Mike Blunden RW/LW, Nick Tarnasky LW, Robert Mayer G, Thomas Vanek LW/RW
2014-15 Team Outlook:
Despite finishing the regular season behind division rivals Tampa Bay and Boston, in the playoffs Montreal matched up against and defeated both of them en route to a series against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Although they ended up losing the battle against New York four games to two after star goalie Carey Price went down with an injury, the Canadiens made a name for themselves as a force to be reckon with heading into next season.
During the offseason the Canadiens made a few low-key signings that should have a positive impact, while allowing UFA’s Thomas Vanek to leave for the Minnesota Wild and captain Brian Gionta to leave for the Buffalo Sabres. Montreal also traded Daniel Briere to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for fellow francophone P-A Parenteau to help support the top-six forward group.
Offensively the Canadiens will be led by a first-line of 39 goal man Max Pacioretty on the wing, David Desharnais at centre, and either Brendan Gallagher or Parenteau on the other wing. Rounding out the top-six will be Alex Galchenyuk (who at age 20 heading into his third pro season might be ready to take a giant step forward in production), Tomas Plekanec, and whoever doesn’t make the first-line between Parenteau and Gallagher. The bottom-six group will be similar to the one from last season, with a third-line consisting of Michael Bournival or Dale Weise, Lars Eller, and Rene Bourque and a fourth-line of Brandon Prust, newcomer and faceoff wiz Manny Malhotra, and either Weise, Travis Moen or Bournival. Other players who have outside chances of making the team are Charles Hudon, Sven Andrighetto, Christian Thomas and Patrick Holland. Another player worth noting is Jiri Sekac, a 22 year old winger from the Czech Republic that was signed by Montreal this offseason after going undrafted in 2010 and 2011. It was rumored that Sekac had as many as a dozen teams trying to bring him onboard after scoring 11 goals and 28 points in 47 games for Prague Lev of the KHL last year. Sekac has a chance to make the team on the right-wing, although being on a two-way contract while also competing against the likes of Gallagher, Parenteau, Bourque, and Weise for said spot will be no easy task.
Looking at the defense, it also appears to be nearly identical to last year’s defensive corp. After months of negotiations, the Canadiens were finally able to bring back star defenseman P.K. Subban on an eight-year, $72 million deal that has a $9 million cap hit annually. Subban will once again be paired with Andrei Markov on the team’s top pairing. One notable absence from the second-pair is Josh Gorges, who was the victim of needing to shed salary and was very publically shopped and eventually dealt to the Buffalo Sabres. Filling Gorges’ empty spot will be Tom Gilbert, who the Canadiens signed as a free agent after amassing three goals and 28 points during 73 games with the Florida Panthers last season. Lining up beside Gilbert will be Alexei Emelin, while the third-pairing will likely be 22 year old 6’6” 227 lbs. Jarred Tinordi and Mike Weaver. Other defensemen that will be getting a long look at camp with the potential to crack the squad are Greg Pateryn (who scored 15 goals in the AHL last season) and top prospect Nathan Beaulieu.
Last year Carey Price blossomed into one of the top goalies in the world, leading Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal while also posting career highs in goals against average (2.32) and save percentage (.927) during 59 games for Montreal. On top of that, going into next year Price will be 27, so this is just the beginning. Behind Price the Canadiens have as much depth as anyone. Solid backup Peter Budaj we will start the year with the team, however should Price or Budaj get injured, Dustin Tokarski will be called up from the AHL to fill the void. Tokarski appeared in three regular season games for the Canadiens last year, starting two while posting a 1.84 goals against average and a .946 save percentage, and five playoff games, starting all five and posting a 2.60 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Montreal has an insane amount of goaltending depth, and we haven’t even mentioned 19 year old Zach Fucale. Fucale, who was the starter for the Canadian World Junior team this past winter, is one of the top goalie prospects in the NHL. He is likely to return to Halifax for another year in the QMJHL this season, but is worth noting just so you can see how set Montreal is in the goalie department.
While the Canadiens didn’t really improve much from last year during the offseason, they did do some re-tooling that should help them out. The additions of Malhotra, Parenteau, and Gilbert will help out the special teams, while the continued growth of Eller, Gallagher, and Galchenyuk should help pack some offensive punch. Montreal isn’t weak in any one area and should be in line for a top five finish in the East, followed by a deep playoff run in 2014-15.
Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.
The depth chart listed below was taken from NHL.com’s 30-in-30.
Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher
Rene Bourque – Lars Eller – Michael Bournival
Dale Weise – Manny Malhotra – Brandon Prust
Jiri Sekac – Travis Moen
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin – Tom Gilbert
Nathan Beaulieu – Mike Weaver
|Brandon Prust||L||6′ 0″||194||16-Mar-84||LONDON, ON, CAN|
|Brendan Gallagher||R||5′ 9″||180||6-May-92||EDMONTON, AB, CAN|
|Tomas Plekanec||C||5′ 11″||196||31-Oct-82||KLADNO, CZE|
|PA Parenteau||R||6′ 0″||193||24-Mar-83||HULL, QC, CAN|
|Rene Bourque||R||6′ 2″||217||10-Dec-81||LAC LA BICHE, AB, CAN|
|Manny Malhotra||C||6′ 2″||220||18-May-80||MISSISSAUGA, ON, CAN|
|Dale Weise||R||6′ 2″||210||5-Aug-88||WINNIPEG, MB, CAN|
|Alex Galchenyuk||C||6′ 1″||203||12-Feb-94||MILWAUKEE, WI, USA|
|Travis Moen||L||6′ 2″||210||6-Apr-82||STEWART VALLEY, SK, CAN|
|Michael Bournival||L||5′ 11″||196||31-May-92||SHAWINIGAN, QC, CAN|
|David Desharnais||C||5′ 7″||170||14-Sep-86||LAURIER-STATION, QC, CAN|
|Max Pacioretty||L||6′ 2″||217||20-Nov-88||NEW CANAAN, CT, USA|
|Lars Eller||C||6′ 2″||215||8-May-89||RODOVRE, DNK|
|Jarred Tinordi||6′ 6″||227||22||20-Feb-92||BURNSVILLE, MN, USA|
|Nathan Beaulieu||6′ 2″||194||21||5-Dec-92||STRATHROY, ON, CAN|
|Mike Weaver||5′ 10″||183||36||2-May-78||BRAMALEA, ON, CAN|
|Alexei Emelin||6′ 2″||224||28||25-Apr-86||TOGLIATTI, RUS|
|P.K. Subban||6′ 0″||217||25||13-May-89||TORONTO, ON, CAN|
|Tom Gilbert||6′ 2″||206||31||10-Jan-83||BLOOMINGTON, MN, USA|
|Andrei Markov||6′ 0″||201||35||20-Dec-78||VOSKRESENSK, RUS|
|Peter Budaj||6′ 1″||192||31||18-Sep-82||BANSKÁ BYSTRICA, SVK|
|Carey Price||6′ 3″||212||26||16-Aug-87||ANAHIM LAKE, BC, CAN|
|Dustin Tokarski||5′ 11″||195||24||16-Sep-89||WATSON, SK, CAN|
A look at the Montreal Canadiens top prospects heading into this season. Each source may use different classifications as to if a player is deemed a prospect or has graduated on from a prospect.
|Dobber Prospects||Hockeys Future||The Hockey News|
|1||Jacob De La Rose||Jacob De La Rose||Nathan Beaulieu||Nathan Beaulieu||Jacob De La Rose|
|2||Nikita Scherbak||Artturi Lehkonen||Christian Thomas||Jarred Tinordi||Zachary Fucale|
|3||Jiri Sekac||Nathan Beaulieu||Nikita Scherbak||Nikita Scherbak||Jarred Tinordi|
|4||Michael McCarron||Nikita Scherbak||Sven Andrighetto||Sven Andrighetto||Nikita Scherbak|
|5||Zachary Fucale||Martin Reway||Jiri Sekac||Zachary Fucale||Michael McCarron|
|6||Charles Hudon||Jarred Tinordi||Charles Hudon||Charles Hudon||Artturi Lehkonen|
|7||Sven Andrighetto||Charles Hudon||Artturi Lehkonen||Jiri Sekac||Charles Hudon|
|8||Tim Bozon||Zachary Fucale||Jacob De La Rose||Michael McCarron||Sven Andrighetto|
|9||Artturi Lehkonen||Sven Andrighetto||Dustin Tokarski||Jacob De La Rose||Martin Reway|
|10||Dalton Thrower||Daniel Audette||Martin Reway||Artturi Lehkonen||Greg Pateryn|
* Dobber Prospects – Prospects based on relevance in a fantasy-hockey keeper league, not actual talent on the ice.
Montreal Canadiens Draft History from the past five years
|1||26||Nikita Scherbak||LW||Saskatoon (WHL)||6′ 2″||174|
|3||73||Brett Lernout||D||Swift Current (WHL)||6′ 4″||206|
|5||125||Nikolas Koberstein||D||Olds (AJHL)||6′ 1″||180|
|5||147||Daniel Audette||C||Sherbrooke (QMJHL)||5′ 8″||175|
|6||177||Hayden Hawkey||G||Omaha (USHL)||6′ 1″||180|
|7||207||Jake Evans||C/RW||St. Michaels (OJHL)||6′ 0″||172|
|1||25||Mike McCarron||RW||NTDP-18||6′ 5″||227|
|2||34||Jacob de-la-Rose||C/W||Leksand (SWE)||6′ 2″||185|
|2||36||Zach Fucale||G||Halifax (QMJHL)||6′ 1″||180|
|2||55||Artturi Lehkonen||RW||KalPa (FIN)||5’10”||163|
|3||71||Connor Crisp||LW||Erie (OHL)||6′ 3″||225|
|3||86||Sven Andrighetto||RW||Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)||5′ 9″||175|
|4||116||Martin Reway||LW||Gatineau (QMJHL )||5′ 8″||158|
|6||176||Jeremy Gregoire||C||Chicoutimi (QMJHL)||6′ 0″||190|
|1||3||Alex Galchenyuk||C||Sarnia (OHL)||6′ 2″||185|
|2||33||Sebastian Collberg||RW||Frolunda HC (Swe)||5’11”||174|
|2||51||Dalton Thrower||D||Saskatoon (WHL)||6′ 0″||195|
|3||64||Tim Bozon||LW||Kamloops (WHL)||6′ 0″||183|
|4||94||Brady Vail||C/LW||Windsor (OHL)||6′ 0″||195|
|6||154||Erik Nystrom||LW||Modo Jr (Swe)||5’11”||176|
|1||17||Nathan Beaulieu||D||Saint John (QMJHL)||6′ 3″||191|
|4||97||Josiah Didier||D||Cedar Rapid (USHL)||6′ 2″||200|
|4||108||Olivier Archambault||LW||Val-d’Or (QMJHL)||5’10”||164|
|4||113||Magnus Nygren||D||Farjestad (Swe)||6′ 1″||191|
|5||138||Darren Dietz||D||Saskatoon (WHL)||6′ 1″||193|
|6||168||Daniel Pribyl||C||Sparta Jr (CzRep)||6′ 3″||190|
|7||198||Colin Sullivan||D||Avon Old Farms (HS-CT)||6′ 1″||196|
|1||22||Jarred Tinordi||D||USA U-18 NTDP||6′ 5″||205|
|4||113||Mark MacMillan||F||Alberni Valley||6′ 0″||150|
|4||117||Morgan Ellis||D||Cape Breton||6′ 1″||197|
|5||147||Brendan Gallagher||RW||Vancouver||5′ 9″||163|
|7||207||John Westin||LW||Modo Jr.||6′ 0″||183|
|Martin St Pierre||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|