While the Montreal Canadiens are in a bit of a rebuild mode, they were after two of the top free agents who were available this summer. 

Unfortunately both of them chose to go elsewhere. 

Jake Gardiner wasn't interested in the Canadiens' three year offer because he wanted longer term and a chance to play in a smaller market. 

What about Matt Duchene?

Duchene confirmed with Chris Johnston of Sportsnet that he only met with two teams this summer, the Canadiens and Nashville Predators. 

"French-Canadian background, and [GM Marc Bergevin] and [owner Geoff] Molson couldn’t have been better when we went to Montreal," Duchene said. "There was definitely something to be said for the history and the tradition they have there. It was pretty cool just to even talk to them, go to that rink, have them [involved].

"It was very humbling."

However much like Gardiner, Duchene wasn't interested in the big city lights and media hype and chose Nashville because it reminded him more of a small Canadian town. 

"I know it’s the south, but I always tell people down there: Small-town Canada, it’s the same thing," said Duchene. "There’s obviously some little differences — maybe the accents are a little different, we say ‘eh’ they say ‘y’all,’ but it’s very, very similar."

Source: Sportsnet