5 players the Canadiens should absolutely re-sign this summer

Mar 24 2023, 3:18 pm

The Montreal Canadiens have a busy offseason ahead of them.

Along with the NHL Entry Draft and free agency comes a crucial contract-signing period. The Habs, who have their fair share of upcoming UFAs and RFAs, will have some tough decisions to make about who gets a new deal and how much each player deserves.

Some guys are undoubtedly in their final days in the bleu, blanc, rouge, while others will have new expectations to live up to.

Here are five players who deserve a new contract this summer.

Michael Pezzetta

Michael Pezzetta provides the Habs with more than just a sick flow and stash combo.

Over the past year, the tough and gritty forward has elevated his game enough to be considered a full-time NHLer. Pezzetta, 25, may have gotten off to a slow start on the scoresheet in the first half of the season, but he came back with a vengeance in the second half, netting some big goals and imposing his physicality on opponents.

He may never be a 30-goal scorer, but his role in the bottom six is valuable nonetheless. If Montreal can secure him on an inexpensive multi-year deal, they probably should.

Sean Monahan

The mystery behind Sean Monahan’s injury status has been one of this season’s biggest talking points.

And while he hasn’t suited up since December 5, Monahan looked pretty good in the first two months of the season, netting 17 points over 25 games. He also proved to be a dependable, versatile centreman.

Sure, there appeared to be plans to trade him to a contender at the deadline. But since that opportunity has passed, Montreal may be better off keeping him around on an affordable deal ā€” if he has a clean bill of health.

Rafaƫl Harvey-Pinard

Rafaƫl Harvey-Pinard has certainly been a standout this season.

Amid the team’s deep sea of injuries, the 24-year-old took advantage of his ice-time opportunities and stepped up. With 15 points in his first 32 NHL games, he’s proven that he can not only keep up, but also be a difference-maker on the team’s top lines.

Don’t be surprised if the JonquiĆØre native is welcomed back on a multi-year deal.

Denis Gurianov

The Canadiens acquired Denis Guiranov from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov shortly before the trade deadline.

He may have gotten off to a disappointing start in Dallas, but Gurianov has shown nothing but promise in his short time with the Canadiens, scoring five goals and eight points in his first 13 games with the team.

At 25, Gurianov can still develop his game and ultimately hit his stride under the right circumstances. Montreal should take a chance on their new addition if the price is right.

Cole Caufield

Habs fans have been waiting for a Cole Caufield contract extension since the season began.

General Manager Kent Hughes has confirmed that they are close to reaching a deal multiple times. “One thing’s for sure is that we want Cole Caufield with us long-term,” Hughes said at a midseason review press conference. “I think that Cole wants to stay with us long-term.”

At this point, the only questions that remain are how much the young sniper will earn, and if it will be more than linemate Nick Suzuki, who recently signed an eight-year, $63 million deal.

Al SciolaAl Sciola

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