Two of those players are no longer in the organization. The Canadiens acquired and then bought out Steve Mason early in the off-season in order to add Joel Armia and two draft picks. Two thirds of Mason’s salary will be paid out in equal portions over the next two seasons. Montreal also retained 10% of Max Pacioretty’s $4.5 million contract when he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights, which only applies for this season.
The chart doesn’t include the four-year extension for Paul Byron, but of the 16 forwards currently listed, 11 of them are under contract for next season. The most pressing concerns for new deals before this time next year will be Finns Armia and Artturi Lehkonen, the latter of whom could be due for a significant raise if our pre-season predictions come to fruition.
Carey Price sees his eight-year, $10.5 million AAV contract kick in, as he starts the year with the third-highest cap hit in the NHL.
Shea Weber won’t be taking the ice for at least two more months, leaving the Canadiens without their highest-paid skater for about one third of the season. In fact, if you limit the salary cap usage to just the 23 healthy players currently eligible to play, the opening-night roster is accounting for just $59.7 million of the available $79.5 million teams have to work with; less than $1 million above the minimum a team must commit to player contracts this season.