The Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Tanner Pearson from the Vancouver Canucks.
Pearson, 31, currently makes $3.25 million per season, and is in the last year of a three-year contract. He played just 13 games last year due to a hand injury. He scored one goal and four assists. Pearson scored 14 goals and 20 assists in 68 games the previous season.
Given that the Canucks are looking to shed salary, and the Canadiens have plenty of cap space available, especially once they put Carey Price on the long-term injured reserve, you had to assume the price tag on Pearson wouldn’t be very high.
It turns out the complete trade is as follows: the Canadiens acquired Pearson and a 2025 third-round pick in exchange for goaltender Casey DeSmith.
Pearson should be able to fill out the bottom six of the Canadiens roster, though we’ll have to hear what head coach Martin St-Louis has to say once he addresses the media.
Tanner Pearson has been traded to Montreal.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 19, 2023
DeSmith was originally acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade involving defenceman Jeff Petry. He’s on the last year of a two-year contract that counts for $1.8 million in salary cap.
As it stands, the Montreal Canadiens have too many goaltenders are their disposition, which explains why they did not hesitate to move DeSmith.
The options were limited, but general manager Kent Hughes managed to swing, using a 2025 third-round draft pick to absorb the extra $1.45 million in salary.
It’s a smart bit of business by Hughes, who had already promised to find DeSmith a new team the very day he acquired him from the Penguins.
The goalie market in the NHL is rather slow, as evidenced by the numerous goaltenders that have been traded for pennies on the dollar in recent years, which means a goaltender like DeSmith usually holds little to no value in trades.
DeSmith played in 38 games for the Penguins last year, resulting in a 15-16-1 record, a 3.11 goals against average, and a .905 save percentage.