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Montreal Canadiens Focused On Building Trade Market For Vets

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens continue to look for ways to create a market for their veteran forwards, and their recent play could be a big help.

On a recent episode of Insider Trading, Hockey Insider Pierre Lebrun mentioned that general manager Kent Hughes has been hard at work on the phones, looking to build up a market for his veterans in order to free up some space on the roster.

It’s a known fact that the Canadiens and Washington Capitals had been talking for a little while now, but the Capitals have seemingly put talks on hold to gauge whether their current roster pieces could withstand the mounting injury count, or whether they needed help.

“Well, certainly on paper you could see why the two teams would at least want to talk and I’m told there has been communication between the Caps and the Habs, but it hasn’t gone very much past that. And the reason is, despite the fact that Connor Brown is gone six-to-eight months and the Caps do have his $3.6 million cap hit to play with,” said Lebrun.  “For now, Washington is intent on looking at its internal options, whether that’s Connor McMichael, or Sonny Milano [who] they just signed and recalled. So for now, Washington wants to look at that.”

That being said, the Canadiens have a plethora of potential partners available to them, and their current LTIR relief flexibility will allow them to get as creative as possible to get some deals done.

In the meantime, the priority seems to be to build up a market for them on the ice, as well as over the phone; with players like Jonathan Drouin, Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov coming to mind.

“The Habs have not only reached out, I’m told, to the Washington Capitals, they’ve reached out to several clubs around the NHL trying to create a trade market for their glut of forwards, whether that’s Evgenii Dadonov or Jonathan Drouin or Mike Hoffman and beyond,” said Lebrun regarding Hughes’ plan moving forward. “The Habs have too many guys up front, which is why there were some noteworthy healthy scratches every night with that team. So, we’ll see where that goes, but certainly Montreal is looking to make a move.”

With the recent positive performances of Mike Hoffman as of late, as well as Evgenii Dadonov’s strong underlying numbers, despite a lack of offensive success, could be helping them to trend in the right direction once teams start looking for help this season.

There’s still time for the Canadiens to continue to build up their value, as they waived Rem Pitlick earlier this week and sent him to Laval. That move effectively bought them time to have their vets find their game and increase their value to rival clubs.

Montreal Hockey Now has heard that the calls continue on a daily basis, as waiving Pitlick hasn’t stopped Hughes from looking to maximize the value of his players, and their improved performances as of late could help him in this endeavour.

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