Josh Anderson Canadiens jersey looking dejected
Josh Anderson's future with the Canadiens is uncertain. We analyze trade, buyout, and retention scenarios for the struggling forward.

The Montreal Canadiens are in full rebuild mode, and with that comes difficult decisions regarding veteran players. One such player is Josh Anderson, a power forward whose production has plummeted this season.

TVA Sports pundits Jean-Charles Lajoie and Tony Marinaro have weighed in, voicing starkly different options on the Habs winger’s future.

Lajoie believes it’s imperative for Montreal to sever ties with Anderson. He proposes either retaining 50% of Anderson’s hefty $5.5 million cap hit to facilitate a trade or initiating a complete buyout of the remaining three years on his contract.

Marinaro, on the other hand, suggests demoting Anderson to the AHL’s Laval Rocket, hoping to emulate the turnaround sparked by a similar stint for Joel Armia earlier this season.

Josh Anderson’s Future in Montreal: Trade, Buyout, or Stay?

Whatever General Manager Kent Hughes decides, the clock is ticking. Anderson’s goal output has fallen from 21 last season to a mere nine in the current campaign. He does possess limited trade protection – an eight-team no-trade list this year that shrinks to a five-team list thereafter.

The Canadiens are projected to have over $19 million in cap space next season, even with Carey Price’s contract on LTIR. Yet, Hughes might be hesitant to saddle the team with six years of buyout penalties should he choose that route. This is especially true if he plans to revamp the roster with a free-agent scorer or two. The Habs have been rumored to be interested in Trevor Zegras.

A buyout carries a cap hit of just over $222K next season, but it balloons in the following years, peaking at $3.72 million in 2026-27. Even with the salary cap expected to increase, that’s a substantial amount of dead money to have on the books long-term.

Retaining half of Anderson’s salary is more palatable but still translates to $2.75 million in dead cap space annually for three years. The wisest move for the Canadiens might be to hang onto Anderson for another season, hoping for a rebound in performance, and then reassess his future.

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