The Montreal Canadiens should look into Carolina Hurricanes winger Martin Nečas and try to acquire him on the NHL trade market if he becomes available in the coming weeks and months.
Nečas, 23, is a restricted free agent and after a poor performance in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, there’s speculation around the Hurricanes and around the NHL that Necas may be traded due to what he could earn on his third NHL contract and a possible rift with Hurricanes head coach Rob Brind’Amour. With the Montreal Canadiens looking to add more young, NHL-ready talent, they would likely at least be interested.
After Nečas and Brind’Amour didn’t exactly give each other ringing endorsements in their end of season media sessions, those around the NHL are wondering if the stingy Hurricanes may cut bait and shop him on the NHL trade market heading into the NHL Draft and NHL free agency in July?
After Nečas racked up just five assists and no goals in the 14 playoff games this spring, he didn’t hold back on his thoughts of how Brind’Amour handled his playing time.
“Me and Roddy, we’ve got to trust each other a little more,” Nečas said after meeting with his coach. “I’ve got to show him I can play in those minutes when it really matters, and that’s what I would like to play. “It was tough. I was going in the lineup like up and down. I had my chances but it was hard for me to get going.”
When appraised of Nečas’ comments, the Hurricanes head coach had this to say:
“It’s good he got the message,” Brind’Amour said. “When you go back to the year you’re always expecting to get better and we expected better things from him and it didn’t happen for him, for whatever reason. It’s on me and my job to get him to play to his best and he didn’t. So I’ve got to figure that out, but he knows he’s got to be better.”
The idea that Nečas’ comments could lead to the Hurricanes putting the 12th overall pick from the 2017 NHL Draft on the NHL trade market seems a bit crazy from here. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound winger had 14 goals and 26 assists in 78 games in the 2021-22 regular season. This was after a 41-point (14g, 27) in 53 games in the 2021 regular season and 36 points (16g, 20a) and 64 in his rookie season in 2019-20. However, one NHL pro scout did have this to say of Martin Nečas.
“He’s got the skills to pay the bills but he doesn’t pay the price. I watched him a lot last season and too many times he didn’t get to that next gear. He needs to be more physical and drive to the net again.”
Note: A scout that uses a Beastie Boys reference in a scouting report is aces in my book!
At this point Nečas going on the NHL trade market is pure speculation but smoke does seem to building as the NHL gets closer to what has become NHL Trade Deadline Part Deux, the NHL Draft. If he did become available, the Hurricanes are likely going to be looking for defencemen. There’s a good chance they could move on from unrestricted free agent defencemen Brendan Smith and Ian Cole, and they have restricted free agent rearguards Ethan Bear and Anthony DeAngelo to deal with. The latter is up for a hefty raise after making the best of a one-year contract with 10 goals and 41 assists in 64 regular season games and then a goal and nine assists in 14 playoff games.