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Gallo: Canadiens miss the boat again, should have went after Eichel



NHL Trade

Franchise centres don’t become available.

Until they do.

Jack Eichel was traded.

The cost was Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, a protected first-round pick and a second-round pick… That’s it.

The blackhole that is the centre position for the Canadiens could have been filled. But they missed their chance at a slam dunk, sure bet solution.


Maybe it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“My reality might not be the same as the Playstation that I play at night,” said Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin back in May of 2015. “I made a trade last night on Playstation , called the GM this morning and he hung up on me.”

Bergevin was extremely forceful that acquiring a centre via trade was an impossibility.

“To get that top centre, I’d love to get him but I don’t see it happening,” said Bergevin. “Do you want me to trade Carey Price? That’s what it costs to get a big centre.”

Well, the Vegas Golden Knights traded for that big centre and didn’t give up a significant piece off their roster.

The Canadiens could have easily matched or even topped the offer put on the table by Vegas. It should have been their top priority. For some reason, it doesn’t even look like they were contenders.

Cole Caufield, Joel Armia, a protected first-round pick and a second-round pick is superior to what Vegas offered.

With a one-two punch at centre of Eichel and Nick Suzuki, Montreal becomes one piece away (a top defender) from being a Stanley Cup contender. Instead, it’s hard to see their direction or end game at that position. The fan base has been starved for star caliber talent and Eichel fills that role too.

Eichel is a game changer and the hardest piece to find. When there’s an opportunity to pounce, good teams find a way. The Vegas Golden Knights seem to be on the prowl every time a new toy is available. And they often pull the trigger.

Do what it takes and figure out the rest later.

The move doesn’t come without risk. Eichel needs disk replacement surgery and will miss up to four months. There’s no guarantee that the surgery is successful or that he immediately returns to form. But that’s the risk versus reward. If it doesn’t work, at least they TRIED.


Montreal Canadiens 2022-2023 project lineup with Eichel:


Mike Hoffman – Jack Eichel – Josh Anderson

Tyler Toffoli – Nick Suzuki – Brendan Gallagher

Jonathan Drouin – Christian Dvorak – Jesse Ylonen

Paul Byron – Jake Evans – Arturri Lehkonen


Joel Edmundson – Jeff Petry

Kaiden Ghule  – David Savard

Mattis Norlinder – Ben Chiarot


The future would have looked bright with Eichel’s name in the Canadiens’ lineup. He’s also under contract for five more seasons.

Instead, the long never-ending quest to find that elusive front-line centre continues.

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Arthur La Riviere

i dont think that giving your better players for 1 person who needs surgery is a good idea

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