Why the Canadiens will win the Atlantic despite a tough offseason

Despite trading away one of the sport's most electrifying players this summer, the Habs should be considered among the favorites to win their division. Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Saying the Montreal Canadiens have had a tough offseason would be a pretty big understatement.

Montreal fans are still recovering from the shock of trading 27-year-old superstar defenseman P.K. Subban for Nashville's 30-year-old Shea Weber. The Habs also took a beating for signing Russian winger Alexander Radulov after claiming that Subban was part of a "culture" problem.

The signing of Chicago's Andrew Shaw to a six-year, $23.5 million deal didn't go over particularly well either, considering the price compared to his production. To top it all off, the Canadiens were hit hard over parting ways with their analytics guru, who just so happened to "vehemently" disagree with the Subban move.

While it is fair for fans to be upset at some of the changes, the frustration over Montreal's moves -- even the Subban-Weber trade -- should be tempered, as there is a defensible position to take regarding the logic of all of these moves.

Based on the current roster, it would not be a surprise if the Canadiens won the Atlantic Division in 2016-17, for three specific reasons.