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Montreal Canadiens

Three Trade Targets To Fill Big Organization Need For Canadiens

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Montreal Canadiens

Despite being comfortable with his current roster, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has openly expressed his desire to add a right-shot defenceman.

After his acquisition of Michael Matheson in July, Kent 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. Here are three realistic targets for the Canadiens that would fit with the young core of the team moving forward:

 

Nils Lundkvist

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.

 

Bode Wilde

The relationship between Wilde and the New York Islanders has been strained over the last couple of years, with the 22-year-old, Montreal-native likely needing a fresh start in a new organization. Wilde plays a very offensive game from the backend, pushing the puck up the ice with ease and has the offensive tools that warrant powerplay usage as well. The 6’3 195lbs defenceman is currently stuck with the Islanders and doesn’t have a realistic shot at the NHL level, with Noah Dobson and Ryan Pulock occupying the two top pairs for the Islanders on the right side. After having spent a first round pick to acquire Alexander Romanov, perhaps moving Wilde to recoup some picks could make some sense for the Islanders; who have picked in the top 64 only once since 2019.

 

Helge Grans

With Sean Durzi and Jordan Spence jumping into the NHL last season and Brandt Clarke turning pro in the near future, the numbers game might not be on Helge Grans’ side in LA, and that could be an option that the Canadiens could pounce on. In a similar avenue that led to the acquisition of Justin Barron from the Colorado Avalanche, the Canadiens could create a win-win situation, as the Kings are looking to start the next phase of their rebuild and become legitimate contenders in the Western Conference. Grans had a pretty impressive rookie in the AHL for the Ontario reign as a 19-year-old and could and has all the tools to carve out a nice career in the NHL. With the Canadiens looking to promote development over results this season, it could be an ideal situation for a player like Grans to get his feet wet in the NHL and become an offensive contributor on an offensively challenged backend.

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John Spearing

I would love to add Lundkvist, but unsure I want to part with draft picks and/or any “good” center prospects to land him and I don’t see them wanting to add any cap, so picks and prospects will be the ask.

Even though he kind of sucks all round and wouldn’t be a long term help, I still think a Hoffman for Tyson Barrie straight up trade makes a lot of sense…. they both have 2 years left with 4.5 mill cap hits so the bad contracts are a wash… Barrie lost his role with the Oilers but would have a good shot to regain his PP specialist spot and even a top 4 role with Montreal – Hoffman is coming off a poor year and he’s no spring chicken, but he’s a proven goal scorer with a great shot, so playing with some elite stars could really bring out his best.
Unless either team can unload these contracts another way, I think this is a trade that is good for both teams but still keeps a bad 2 year contract for both sides 😉

Robert Lee

Good idea about Hoffman and Barrie.

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