Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens Could Revisit Trade Talks With Rangers

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers have been linked in the recent past and are likely to rekindle trade talks regarding one of New York’s defensive prospects before the start of the season.

In a recent report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, former 2018 first round pick, Nils Lundkvist is likely to be traded before the start of the season, as the Rangers seem set on the right side of their defence for years to come. The 22-year-old right-shot defenceman is looking to get his shot playing regular minutes in the NHL, and the Montreal Canadiens could be an ideal landing spot for a few reasons. The Canadiens have already been reported to covet a few of the Rangers’ top prospects in the recent past, and a clear organizational need and an open desire to add a player at Lundkvist’s position makes this a no-brainer for Montreal.

 

Renewed Talks Between Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers

Shortly after hiring executive vice president Jeff Gorton, Montreal Hockey Now reported that Gorton and newly appointed general manager, Kent Hughes, had been eyeing a few of the New York Rangers‘ top prospects leading up to the NHL trade deadline. This information was also corroborated by TSN’s Pierre Lebrun, who confirmed Montreal’s interest in some of New York’s top prospects. It makes a lot of sense for Gorton, who was the general manager of the Rangers from 2015 to 2020 would covet some of the prospects he selected during that time, and it just turns out that one of those prospects is now openly available on the trade market.

At the time, the Montreal Canadiens had interest in Lundkvist and another former 2018 first round pick, Vitali Kravtsov. With the Canadiens drafting both Juraj Slafkovsky and Filip Mesar in the 1st round of the 2022 NHL Draft, their need for talented wingers has now greatly diminished, making Lundkvist a clear target. The Rangers were reportedly interested in the services of Arturri Lehkonen and Ben Chiarot at the time, but couldn’t come to a deal with the Canadiens before the 2021 NHL trade deadline. It’s worth noting that Lehkonen was eventually traded for another young, right-shot defenceman in Justin Barron, showing that the Canadiens have identified the position as one of dire need for the organization moving forward. Acquiring Barron alone isn’t enough, and, with the Canadiens only selecting one right-shooting defenceman in the 2022 draft, the need remains in the short and long term.

Kent Hughes Looking For Right Shot Defencemen

Despite his comfortability with his current roster, Kent Hughes has openly expressed his desire to add a right-shot defenceman. After his acquisition of Michael Matheson in July, Hughes mentioned that he remained on the lookout for a right-shot defenceman on the trade front, and would also look to the waiver wire at the start of the season to see whether the Canadiens could snatch a right-shot defenceman from one of their rivals before the beginning of the season.

“If we can find, and we believe that there will be, either via trade or the waiver process, right-shot D that become available to us, then we’re going to continue to study that,” said Kent Hughes in his desire to add another right-shot defenceman before the start of the season. “In the interim, we feel like, even if we have an injury, we do have the capacity to put one of our guys on that right side.”

Although it is interesting to have first dibs on the NHL waiver wire until November 1, due to finishing last in the NHL standings last season, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Hughes try and get ahead of the curve via trade instead. A player like Lundkvist would be the offensive-minded defenceman on the backend that the Montreal Canadiens currently lack on their right side, outside of Logan Mailloux, who is still many years away. Due to Montreal’s lack of depth on the right side, Lundkvist would have a legitimate shot at playing some meaningful amount of games in Montreal and could be rotated into the lineup and played in powerplay settings to ease him into the NHL with Montreal. A player predicated on skill and skating, Lundkvist fits the bill of what the Canadiens want on their backend moving forward, and, in a no-pressure environment that will focus on development over result, Lundkvist could get the shot he needs to make his mark in the NHL.

 

Montreal Canadiens Not Done Tinkering With Their Defence

 

What The Could Montreal Canadiens Offer

The Rangers are right up against the NHL salary Cap with only $1M in cap space to start the season, meaning any trade for Lundkvist would likely require picks and/or prospects to get done. The Rangers’ biggest weakness in their prospect pool appears to be at the centre position, with only a couple of prospects selected over the last three years down the middle. The Montreal Canadiens have added Kirby Dach and Sean Monahan at centre, while also adding Owen Beck to their prospect pool this past July. The Canadiens could be inclined to sacrifice a prospect like Riley Kidney or Jan Mysak, along with a mid-round draft pick, in order to fill a much greater need on right defence. With NHL analysts and NHL betting odds projecting another low finish for this upcoming season, the Canadiens will likely be able to draft one of the top-end centre prospects at the top of the 2023 NHL Draft.

It would be a calculated move from Hughes and Gorton to try an extract Lundkvist from New York, but, as we’ve seen many times this summer, creativity is the name of the game under this new management group.

1 Comment
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
habbernack

There’s a report that Nils wants to be traded

Montreal Hockey Now in your Inbox

Get the latest breaking news, opinion and analysis from the Montreal Hockey Now team directly in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.