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NHL Trade Talk: Canadiens Were Interested in Senators’ Colin White



NHL Trade

Were the Montreal Canadiens close to acquiring Ottawa Senators centre Colin White at the NHL Trade Deadline?

NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman dropped the news in his latest 32 Thoughts blog, stating that the Canadiens had been in advanced talks with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion about White. Friedman pointed to the existing relationship between White and his former agent Kent Hughes, and speculated that it was possible these discussions could start up again in the offseason.

The Canadiens were very active on the phones according to Kent Hughes, and spoke to many teams about many players, but is there really a fit between Colin White and the Montreal Canadiens?


Is There a Fit in Montreal?

The interest toward White has left many fans perplexed, as White has underperformed quite a bit since signing his six-year deal with a $4.75M AAV. As the Canadiens are seeking to unload salary off their books in order to gain further Cap flexibility, acquiring a player like White makes very little sense at the moment, especially with Christian Dvorak still on the team. Dvorak has been the superior player over the last couple of seasons, and thus represents a better value than White at this current stage.

If Hughes had been able to trade Dvorak prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, it could then have been possible to acquire a player like White. However, his near $5M Cap hit still makes it a hard pill to swallow for what is effectively a third-line centre. Unless Hughes and company believe that White’s game is better suited under a coach like Martin St. Louis, who plays a more open conceptual game predicated on speed and skill, It would be difficult to understand the interest.

The Canadiens could likely sign a similar player as a stop-gap for much cheaper on the open market this summer, as the Canadiens will have the ability to load up on centres in the two upcoming NHL Drafts. Strapping themselves in for another three years at that Cap Hit simply doesn’t add up. Unless, of course, The Senators were willing to add a sweetener to make such a deal more attractive to the Montreal Canadiens.

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