July Key Dates – It Will Be Fast and Furious!

By JD Lagrange – With the Stanley Cup finals over, seeing our own boy Artturi Lehkonen being a key contributor helping the Colorado Avalanche win, we can now fully move on to the off-season. June is coming to an end in just a few days and July promisses to be hot… in more than one way.

And it all starts with the first buyout window, which will remain open for the first 12 days of the month. With that in mind, here are the key dates for the month of July, which promises to be a very busy and, truthfully, franchise changing month for the Montreal Canadiens.

July 1 – 1st Buyout window opens

Will the Canadiens buy out one of its contracts? The most vulnerable might be Paul Byron. Here’s what the repercussion would be for the Canadiens if they chose to go that way.


The Canadiens might be better off trying to trade him instead. Even if they were to keep half his salary, it would add $1.7 million on the cap (under $200,000 more the first year), but they wouldn’t have the $933,334 on their cap in 2023-24.

July 7-8 – NHL Draft

The Canadiens have the first overall pick. Who will they select with it? Shane Wright? Juraj Slafkovsky? Or do they have something else up their sleeve? At the time of writing this, they also have 14 picks in this draft, 10 of which are in the first four rounds.

July 11 – Qualifying Offer deadline

The Canadiens currently have 10 players eligible for qualifying offers:

  • Alexander Romanov
  • Rem Pitlick
  • Michael Pezzetta
  • Kale Clague
  • Samuel Montembeault
  • Nathan Schnarr
  • Joel Teasdale
  • Josh Brook
  • Corey Schueneman
  • Cayden Primeau

July 12 – 1st Buyout window closes

That’s it for now, no more buyouts!

July 12 – Ability to offer player own player 8-years ends

The Canadiens are unlikely to make any 8-year contract offer this season, based on the current roster.

July 13 – Free agency opens

What will they do? Will Kent Hughes be able to free up enough cap to be a player on the free agency market? And if so, what will he be looking for?

July 17 – Player elected Arbitration deadline

Currently, the Canadiens have five restricted free agents who can file for arbitration:

  • Michael Pezzetta
  • Rem Pitlick
  • Kale Clague
  • Samuel Montembeault
  • Corey Schunemann

July 27 – 1st day of Arbitration hearings

Off those five players, if a contract hasn’t been reached, Arbitrations will be starting. Note that players and their team can reach a contract agreement any time prior to their hearing.

So as you can see, July will be a busy month and, quite frankly, a pivotal month for the Canadiens. If Kent Hughes wants to take a few weeks off in August, he has a race to the finish line by the end of this upcoming month. Expect a somewhat different team when August arrives.

More reading…

A Tale of Two Drafts

By Bob Trask – Mock drafts are appearing with increasing frequency as July 7th approaches. Some limit themselves to the first round, others predict the first two rounds while only a few are bold enough to include all seven rounds of the draft.

One challenge with putting together a draft list for your favourite team is that so many of your choices depend upon what other teams pick. Another challenge is deciding on whose rankings to trust. Do you use those of Bob McKenzie, Craig Button or one of the multitude of draft ranking services?


For the purposes of this draft, I used Future Considerations mock draft tool.

In the first draft, FC picked the players for all teams but Montreal and I chose the players for the Canadiens from those available. In some cases I chose players not on FC’s list but who were available at the time.

In the second draft, I chose the players for the Colorado Avalanche selecting the highest ranked player available at the time. FC chose the players for all other teams including Montreal. The reason I adopted this approach was because Colorado was the lowest ranked team in each round and had only four picks in the draft. In other words, my choices for Colorado would have the least impact on the choices available for FC.

The Results

The results represent the picks for the Montreal Canadiens using two different approaches. Only two players appeare on both lists – Shane Wright and Vincent Rohrer – and it illustrates the futility in trying to predict the choices made by your team in the upcoming draft.

Draft day trades will also impact where the picks for various teams will fall and could impact who is availalble to the Canadiens when their name is called even if they aren’t the team involved in the trade.

Round 11Shane WrightShane Wright
 26Tristan LuneauFilip Bystedt
Round 233Jimmy SnuggerudElias Salomonsson
 62Ludwig PerssonMattias Havelid
Round 366Noah WarrenCole Knuble
 75Vincent RohrerAleksanteri  Kaskimaki
 92Danny ZhilikinVincent Rohrer
Round 498Logan MorrisonJake Livanavage
 127Ryan GreeneNick  Baer
 128Topi RonniWillaim Rosenfors
Round 5130Connor KurthVictor Smeds
Round 6162Daniil IvanovKasper Lundell
Round 7194Ian BlomquistSebastian Aarsund
 216David SpacekDmitri Ivanov


This is not meant to be a mock draft but simply an illustration of how the actual picks can and probably will vary from our own personal choices. Have fun making your own predictions and don’t be shocked if none of your preferred players is chosen.

More reading…