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Canadiens Talking Trade With Several Clubs, Including Capitals

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Montreal Canadiens

Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is busy working the phones with the ultimate goal of alleviating the current roster crunch by unloading a veteran player.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hughes is one of the busier general managers. There’s a bevy of healthy forwards in the lineup, and with Joel Edmundson’s return, the team was forced to place veteran Evgenii Dadonov on the injured reserve.

“Certainly, on paper, you can see why the two teams want to talk,” said LeBrun. “And I’m told there has been communication with the Habs.”

The Washington Capitals lost the services of right-winger Connor Brown, who was originally placed on the injured reserve, and consequently on the long-term injured reserve due to an injured ACL which required surgery. The injury will keep him out of action for six to eight months. The best-case scenario for his return is early May.

But they’re not desperate to replace Brown via an external source, at least not yet.

“For now, Washington is intent on looking at their internal options,” said LeBrun. “Whether that’s Connor McMichael or Sonny Milano they just signed. For now, Washington wants to look at that.”

LeBrun also mentioned Hughes isn’t waiting for teams to call him, he’s being proactive when it comes to finding solutions for the logjam.

“The Habs haven’t not only reached out to Washington,” said LeBrun. “They reached out to several clubs around the NHL to create a trade market for the glut of forwards. Whether that’s Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin or Mike Hoffman, the Habs have too many guys up front, which is why there’s been some noteworthy healthy scratches every night with the team. We’ll see where that goes, but the Habs are certainly trying to make a move.”

If the Capitals do end up opting for a trade rather than depending on their existing players, they have $3.25 million to work with now that Brown has been added to the LTIR.

And even though the aforementioned players all carry cap hits that are above Washington’s current allotted cap space, the Canadiens can grease the wheels by accepting to retain 50 percent of the outgoing player’s salary and salary cap hit.

For example, if the Canadiens retain 50 percent of Drouin’s salary and cap hit, the Capitals would only incur a $2.75 million cap hit, well within their range. Hoffman’s cap hit would become $2.25 million, whereas Dadonov’s would sit at $2.5 million with 50 percent retained.

Creative Trade Options For Canadiens To Solve Forward Logjam

Earlier today, the Canadiens added Dadonov to the injured reserve as a quick fix, but there’s absolutely no doubt the situation is coming to a head, seeing as agents have already been involved in the process.

The Canadiens could send a player like Juraj Slafkovsky or Arber Xhekaj to the minors, though it would fly in the face of the meritocracy Hughes and Co. are trying to establish in Montreal.

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Dave

Dadanov and Hoffman gone asap. Followed by Byron.
Drouin at the deadline unless he signs a hometown discount. Byron could be brought back in the summer if he would sign 1 year $1.2 million deal.

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