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Montreal Canadiens with the Most Untradeable Contracts

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There’s a bright side to Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes’ largely unsuccessful trade deadline. He still has contracts he needs to move. They didn’t just disappear because he wasn’t able to trade them, shifting the focus to a (hopefully) busier offseason, during which he might find it’s easier to get something done without the Jeopardy! theme song playing in the back of his mind.

Related: Canadiens’ Quiet Trade Deadline Could Lead to Busy Offseason

Unfortunately, even as individual Canadiens get healthier… with one less season under contract for trade suitors to worry about, there are no guarantees. In fact, in some instances, it’s almost the opposite situation, where Hughes will find it almost a guarantee he can’t move specific deals. Here are five examples, comprising a list of the Canadiens’ most untradeable contracts as 2022-23 draws to a close:

5. Mike Hoffman ($4.5 million cap hit)

In a lot of ways, forward Mike Hoffman is the player with whom the Canadiens would most like to part ways. So, the fact that he takes only the No. 5 spot on this list, which goes in increasing order of unlikelihood of getting moved, is a decent sign.

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Hoffman has clearly been a bad fit from his first games with the Canadiens. However, the same was true of Evgeny Dadonov, who was a pending unrestricted free agent just like the former will be next season. So, if Hughes can get a forward who still has some upside in Denis Gurianov in exchange for Dadonov, he should be able to find a way to get Hoffman’s $4.5 million hit off the books, even if it means retaining some of his salary in the process.

Mike Hoffman Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Hoffman – (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After all, Hoffman’s had a much more productive 2022-23 with the Canadiens than Dadonov, albeit while having been given significant time on the power play (and Dadonov having since picked up the pace with the Dallas Stars). So, it’s more a matter of when than if Hughes trades Hoffman… as long as he keeps expectations low, considering Hoffman’s quasi-respectable 0.5 point-per-game pace is largely the result of favorable deployment, arguably to showcase him for the benefit of all potential trade partners watching.

Hopefully one bites, even if it’s unlikely to be all that hard.

4. David Savard ($3.5 million)

It’s admittedly more so a matter of the Canadiens not necessarily wanting to trade defenseman David…

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