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NHL Rumors: What should the priorities be for the Montreal Canadiens for the offseason


Daily Faceoff: Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna on the offseason priorities for the Montreal Canadiens.

** transcription

Seravalli: “The Montreal Canadiens, Mike, what has struck me about the tenure of Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton as general manager and president of hockey operations, is the series of small victories that they’ve been able to string together.

You make five, eight or ten smart moves, they all of a sudden add up to much bigger moves at the end of it. So much of what they’re building will come down to the drafting and then development. But when you look at Montreal Canadiens, where they finished, the obvious coaching success they’ve had with Marty St. Louis running things on the bench, and the positive direction that they’re heading in the future, what stands out for you as their top, number one priority heading into this offseason. What do they have to get done.”

McKenna: “Well, they still think, Montreal has a belief that they can contend for the Stanley Cup playoffs next year, and I don’t that cause a lot of will come down to health.

If they can get (Cole) Caufield, (Juraj) Slafkovsky, (Kirby) Dach, you expect them to be in the lineup more next season.

For me, I think they’re going to have to shore up down the middle a little bit. Sean Monahan, that ships probably sailed. I don’t expect to see him re-patriot. They need a little bit of depth upfront to be able to supplement some of the younger players.

What’s interesting though Frank, is that at first glance I think they need a defenseman. A veteran defenseman to help out. The fact that they have three entry-level guys – (Justin) Barron, (Kaiden) Guhle and (Arber) Xhekaj, all expected to be there. I don’t think that should happen now that I’ve spoken with a couple players there that think, ‘hey, we can not trade away the three veteran players we have, and we probably don’t need to add either.’

Bottom line, I think there’s still growing pains that these younger players are going to be learning on the job, but (Michael) Matheson, (Joel) Edmundson, (David) Savard, they play a huge part in that mix and (Chris) Wideman will probably slide in this year as six or seven if, depending on health.

So, that kind of surprised me. I think that they need help up front Frank, more than they would on the back end, even though it’s thin there in terms of experience.

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