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2014 Canadiens free agency discussion thread

Your open thread for the opening day of NHL free agency which we will keep updated throughout the days proceedings.

Bruce Bennett

It's the most wonderful time of the year to be an NHL player, teams are willing to overpay for your services and no one bats an eye at it. The Canadiens are looking to fill a few holes in their roster including a competent left defencemen and possibly another right wing. With the Habs sending Daniel Briere to Colorado for P.A. Parenteau they already started filling in their line up. You can take a look at the Briere/Parenteau swap right here to see how well Bergevin did in that trade. The other major concern is where Bergevin and captain Brian Gionta stand in terms of a deal, Marc Dumont wrote this article on why Gionta should be back.

If Gionta cannot be re-signed the major name out on the UFA market is Ales Hemsky who was not offered a contract by the Ottawa Senators. Hemsky would immediately replace Gionta in the Habs line up and possibly brings a higher offensive upside to the team. On the defensive side of the team Anton Stralman has become the most intriguing defencemen on the market this year with his outstanding play with the Rangers. It is also worth noting that longtime Canuck and Sabre Christian Ehrhoff was bought out and is on the market right now. Ehrhoff is likely outside the Habs price range but it's free agency and anything can happen.

Finally there are two major RFA's(restricted free agents) on the Habs "to-sign" list and they are Lars Eller and P.K. Subban. Subban has made it clear he wants to be back in Montreal and even with the threat of offer sheets it is expected that he will return to the Habs with a brand new contract. Eller may receive a bridge contract much like Subban did following the NHL lockout and Habs fans everywhere are hoping the Danish centre will be wearing the CH next year.

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