Once again this season, the Montreal Canadiens’ chances of making the playoffs are slim.
Although the troop of Martin San Luis He fights bravely even with several large pieces amputated, the lack of depth in the attack due to the numerous cases in the infirmary begins to be seriously felt.
If we expect this to be possibly the last year of misery for the CH before seeing the light on the horizon and a real possibility of qualifying for the playoffs starting next year, the DG Ken Hughes could be rewarded this summer.
Hughes, who already owns a Top-10 pick while his team would have the ninth overall pick at the time of this writing, could add another Top-15 pick during the 2024 auction following the trade. Sean Monahan which he did with the Flames two years ago.
Let us also remember that the conditions of the exchange were extremely complex.
To explain in simpler terms the problems of these complex conditions, here is a clear summary made by journalist Mathias Brunet of La Presse a few weeks ago.
“The numerous clauses of this transaction are complex. Let’s try to summarize them in clear language. Initially, CEO Kent Hughes could agree to take advantage of this choice as early as 2024, if it is among the 20my and 32my range. You could bet your house against this scenario as the Flames’ situation doesn’t seem to be improving.
What happens next can be confusing if you don’t stay focused. Should Hughes opt for a pick in 2025, the Florida Panthers’ first-round pick given to the Flames in the Matthew Tkachuk deal comes into the equation. The Flames would thus have the possibility of giving up their choice or that of Florida to the Canadian.
If the Panthers have a difficult year this season or next, the Canadian comes out very advantageous. And this is where we must remain very attentive.
First, if the Panthers’ 2024 pick (go to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Claude Giroux trade) is in the top ten, Florida would have the prerogative to keep it and instead give up its first-round pick in 2025. to the Flyers. which would delay the Flames’ decision until 2026.
Therefore, by only having a first-round pick for 2025, the Flames would be forced to give up theirs to the Canadian.
And this is where it gets really interesting for Montreal. The Flames’ 2025 first-round pick within CH’s reach is protected only in the event Calgary wins the lottery.
If the Flames have a miserable year in 2024-25, after a restart, the Canadiens could find themselves, at best, with a second or third overall pick… for agreeing to help the Flames clear payroll. Even a top ten pick in such a context would constitute a first in National Hockey League history!
However, we must wait collaboration of the Panthers. If Florida makes the playoffs this year and next, other scenarios must be considered. If the Flames’ pick is in the top ten and not the Panthers’, the CHs will get their pick, regardless of rank. But if the Panthers AND Flames options aren’t in the top ten, Montreal will get the more favorable option of the two.
– Mathías Brunet
In short, the Florida Panthers will not have a Top-10 pick this season. (They are currently 6th in the NHL and a decline seems unlikely)The Canadian must now hope that the Calgary Flames, who currently sit with the eighth overall pick, get some wins, enough to get out of the Top-10 of the draft.
This very possible scenario would give CH the Flames pick in 2024 and Ken Hughes You would suddenly have two Top-15 picks available to help you add other top prospects to your already well-stocked bench.
So now let’s hope for a little success for the Flames… But not too much!