5 Biggest Montreal Canadiens Rumors Heading into 2014 Offseason

5 Biggest Montreal Canadiens Rumors Heading into 2014 Offseason

Montreal Canadiens
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After a heartbreaking exit in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers, Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens will be looking to make dramatic improvements to the club before the 2014-15 season. The Canadiens have many contracts expiring, and with plenty of cap space to work with, Habs Nation could see a very different look to this team by training camp in September.

5. Was Lars Eller’s playoff performance enough to earn him a contract?

Lars Eller
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

5. Was Lars Eller’s playoff performance enough to earn him a contract?

Lars Eller
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Lars Eller is a restricted free agent heading into the offseason. Eller struggled during the season, notching only 26 points. The 25-year-old Dane was often found fighting the puck and went through long stretches of anemic offense. His minus-15 rating was the worst on the team. However, Eller did lead all Canadiens’ forwards in points and plus-minus rating in the postseason, but was that performance enough to warrant a contract extension?

4. Will captain Brian Gionta return?

Brian Gionta
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Will captain Brian Gionta return?

Brian Gionta
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Since joining the Canadiens in 2009, Gionta has racked up 97 goals and 76 assists in 303 games with the “Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.” Despite his success, Gionta’s age and injuries have taken a toll on his production. The captain still plays a sound two-way game and is reliable in the defensive zone, but his lack of offense will require No. 21 to take a pay cut. Marc Bergevin must decide if Gionta still fits in the team’s long-term and short-term plans.

3. Could Canadiens’ young prospects replace veterans on defense next season?

Jarred Tinordi
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

3. Could Canadiens’ young prospects replace veterans on defense next season?

Jarred Tinordi
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadiens have an array of talented prospects on defense; names that include Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn. The progression of these young players has raised questions regarding some of the veterans with expiring contracts. Having played only three games in the postseason, it is rumored Douglas Murray is on the way out. Other names that could be wearing another jersey next season are Bouillon and, surprisingly, Markov.

2. Will Marc Bergevin dip his hands into the free-agency pool?

Paul Stastny
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

2. Will Marc Bergevin dip his hands into the free-agency pool?

Paul Stastny
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal has many players with expiring contracts and, with decisions to be made regarding a handful of players, there is a strong possibility some Habs may have played their last game in a Canadiens uniform. This would open up cap space for Bergevin to take a stab at some big fish in the free-agency pool to add some much-needed help up front. Names that have been thrown around include Paul Stastny and Matt Moulson, among others.

1. Has P.K. Subban earned himself a long-term contract with Montreal?

P.K. Subban
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1. Has P.K. Subban earned himself a long-term contract with Montreal?

P.K. Subban
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

When Subban won the Norris Trophy last year, the announcement was somewhat bittersweet for the Canadiens. The trophy was symbolic of the 24-year-old defenseman’s dominance, but it also represented a hefty raise for Montreal’s star. With the cap going up and Subban approaching his prime, the Canadiens must do everything in their power to make the budding star a Hab next season, regardless of the price tag or term.

Ryan is an NHL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rtskilton, or add him to your network on Google

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