The NHL’s holiday roster freeze is in full effect, which means the Montreal Canadiens cannot make a trade from Dec.19, until Dec.28, at 12:01am local time.
But that doesn’t mean their professional scouts cannot continue to explore trade options and establish value in the mean time.
With that in mind, two Canadiens scouts were in Boston on Monday night at TD Garden, to watch the surging Boston Bruins obliterate the struggling Florida Panthers by a score of 7-3.
The Canadiens currently own the Panthers’ first overall pick in 2023.
Montreal sent Billy Ryan and Gordie Clark to the game, and though it’s perfectly normal to see scouts at an NHL game, the team itself is clearly among the most active clubs on the NHL’s trade market, which adds a little intrigue to the scout visits.
Billy Ryan was hired as the Director of Player Evaluation for the Canadiens this summer, along with former Boston University head coach Albie O’Connell, who focuses on amateur scouting as well as being Ryan’s assistant.
Ryan was formerly part of the Florida Panthers organization, and oversaw their Draft strategy prior to former Canadiens executive Shayne Churla’s arrival.
Clark is a longtime hockey executive, who was recently the Director of Player personnel for the Rangers.
It’s also worth noting the Canadiens have had several teams send a bevy of scouts to their games. Most notably, the Ottawa Senators sent over five members of their organization to a recent game, not to mention general manager Pierre Dorion is not an unfamiliar presence at the Bell Centre.
Josh Anderson and Sean Monahan are currently among the most discussed names on the NHL’s trade market, and though the Canadiens are not in a hurry to move the aforementioned forwards, the dearth of talented forwards on the market may lead to a trade sooner than later.
Montreal Canadiens roster information regarding the NHL’s holiday roster freeze is provided via CapFriendly.