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Source: If Canadiens Remain Patient, Dvorak’s Value Will Improve

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have had discussions about moving Christian Dvorak, but haven’t found the right value to warrant moving him.. yet.

After the acquisition of Sean Monahan last week, the Montreal Canadiens have a surplus of centres, which is never a bad problem to have. However, given that competitive teams have spent to the limit already and the salary cap remains flat for at least another season, there isn’t much room to move bigger salary players with term at the moment. After multiple reports from Montreal Hockey Now regarding the Canadiens’ desire to move Dvorak, it seems like the market isn’t optimal at this time for moving a player like Dvorak, who’s set to earn $4.45M for the next three seasons.

Bad Timing For Montreal Canadiens

One source confirmed to MHN’s Jimmy Murphy that the return they’d offer for Christian Dvorak straight up would be very underwhelming for Canadiens fans and especially Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes.

“Third round pick if they’re lucky, but I’d say a fourth rounder sounds more on target,” the first source said. “I know he started to play better under Marty [St. Louis] but he is what he is, and on a Stanley Cup contender, that’s a third line centre.”

However, it’s worth noting that a second source interviewed by Murphy was shocked regarding the above statement; believing Dvorak to be worth more than a simple third round pick.

“If he is playing a 200-foot game then he can be really effective and I think, rotate between the second or third slot up the middle,” the source said. “I hope your other source is right, though, and we don’t have to give up more than a third for him.”

Evidently, the lack of consensus regarding Dvorak’s value on the trade market speaks to how executives view the rugged center’s ability and his upside on a competitive team. Dvorak had a lot of hype when the Canadiens acquired him almost a year ago from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 1st and 2nd round pick, but a lot of that hype was diminished due to the poor start to his tenure with the Canadiens last fall.

Patience Will Help Secure A Better Return

Interestingly enough, the second source mentioned that, when Dvorak is playing a strong 200-foot game, he can be extremely valuable to a competitive club in the NHL. That’s precisely what Dvorak was for the Canadiens when he played under head coach Martin St. Louis.

Under St. Louis, Dvorak began to play a more physical game and started taking more shots at a much faster rate, resulting in more successful shot attempts and scoring chances. His quicker decision-making helped him rack up the points despite playing with an ever-changing cast of linemates. In the 21 games he played under St. Louis, Dvorak quietly put up four goals and 13 assists for 17 points and a 58% faceoff percentage. He was one of the most improved veterans on the team under St. Louis, putting up a 65-point pace during that time, while alleviating Nick Suzuki’s defensive responsibilities.

When discussing the viewpoints of the two previous sources interviewed by Murphy, a third well-placed source brought some balance to the discussion; stating that Dvorak’s value is likely not as low as mentioned above, but has the opportunity to get even better if the Canadiens remain patient.

“If the Canadiens aren’t taking on any salary, I could see a 2nd round pick being the price, given how tight the market is right now from a cap perspective,” said the source when looking at Dvorak’s value in the current market. “But the Canadiens aren’t desperate for cap space and could likely move out other forwards to make room in their lineup. They could get a better return if Dvorak plays this season like he ended the last one. If he’s able to continue his momentum and the Canadiens remain patient, Dvorak’s value will improve down the line.”

With the Canadiens looking to continue playing a high-tempo offensive game moving forward, the Canadiens can continue to place Dvorak in favourable offensive situations to help him pick up right where he left off last season. In showing executives across the NHL that the first half of the 2021-2022 season was an aberration and not a sign of things to come, interest in his services will undoubtedly pick up and offers will begin to enter the sphere of acceptability for Hughes and the Canadiens. With the Canadiens general manager’s mantra of “buying low and selling high”, the goal will be to help Dvorak continue his momentum from last season by putting him in the right position to play his game at an optimal level. Time will tell.

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habbernack

Hard to show what you can do playing dump and chase. You fight hard to get possession of the puck and then when you get to the blue line dump it in and fight to get possession again. Everything is around the perimeter. Back to the point and hope for a rebound. What a waste of a lot of ice

Brian Chandler

Dvorak would be one of the last players that should be traded.

Habsnow

Since when did dvorak become a veteran? Lol…these rumors make no sense (especially coming from its source) . trading dvorak would leave habs reliant on monohan who is older, may cost more and who is injury prone…makes zero hockey sense

Curtis Ault

The beauty of acquiring Dvorak off the back of not matching the offer sheet for Kotkaniemi was that he will be a tradeable commodity for the next 3 seasons. Now is not the right time, but there will be a right time. The protected 1st and 2nd round pick were a high price to pay to make the best of a bad situation, however, there will be return that should mitigate that at a future point.

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