In spite of what fans in Canada's majority French-speaking province would like to believe the reality is that the Montreal Canadiens are still a long ways away from being considered a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in the National Hockey League. Arguably the most successful franchise in the league's history the Habs have been a shell of their former self for several long years now and in spite of some optimism coming from the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season the consensus remains that the Habs are several pieces away from being a real contender.
That being said the Canadiens could turn out to be one of the teams that will see a silver lining coming out of this current global crisis, due in large part to the fact that they currently boast significant cap flexibility. The Canadiens have had some unused cap space for multiple seasons now but with how the shutdown of the current season could impact the salary cap for next season, that constant source of frustration for Habs fans could actually turn out to be a massive asset moving forward. The Canadiens will have far more muscle in the offseason, whenever it actually happens, than several other NHL teams and that could mean first pick of any free agents out there on the market.
So what are some of their biggest needs? Well in a recent article for NBC Sports writer James O'Brien highlighted the need for a quality backup goaltender behind star goalie Carey Price, this in spite of the fact that the Canadiens are already investing a gigantic sum of money into Price. Price has already looked shaky at times, especially over the past 2 seasons, and having a solid backup to ease the workload could be exactly what the 32 year old netminder needs to return to form. O'Brien highlighted a few names that could fit the bill, including one former Montreal Canadiens fan favorite in Jaroslav Halak.
Halak of course currently plays backup for Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and has done an outstanding job of doing so over the course of the 2019 - 2020 regular season. In fact Halak's numbers have been so good that you could easily make the argument that he has what it takes to be a starter, and additionally he currently plays for one of Montreal's most bitter rivals. Not only would Habs general manager Marc Bergevin secure arguably one of the best backup goaltenders in the entire league with Halak but he would also weaken a major rival were he able to do so during the offseason.
Could a Halak return to Montreal be in the cards? It is no doubt an idea that long time fans of the Habs organization would love.