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Canadiens Trade Talk

Canadiens Must Address Mounting Anderson Problem



Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson

The Montreal Canadiens had a golden opportunity to maximize one of their assets last season, an opportunity that Kent Hughes failed to recognize.

With several teams interested in acquiring Josh Anderson due to his physical prowess and affinity for scoring goals, the Canadiens received offers from around the NHL, including from teams like the Calgary Flames.

Back in November 2022, I suggested the Canadiens would be wise to trade Anderson soon. It wasn’t because he was playing particularly poorly, but it was clear he did not fit into head coach Martin St-Louis’ offensive strategy.

More than anything, the logic behind trading a player such as Anderson is that his perception in general manager circles exaggerated his actual value on the ice.

The risk was that Anderson, who is a streaky scorer, may not be able to sustain his offence. His underlying numbers suggested that there were no guarantees as to his ability to maintain his production level.

Montreal Canadiens Declining Asset

Fast forward a year later, and not only has Anderson failed to register a goal after 17 games, but his trade value throughout the NHL has surely taken a significant hit.

And yet, St-Louis continues to use Anderson on the top line alongside the team’s best player, Nick Suzuki.

It’s a logical approach, at least on paper.

Playing him with Suzuki ensured Anderson would enjoy an uptick in scoring chances, and hopefully put an end to his scoring drought.

But at this point, it’s quite clear that Anderson isn’t just unlucky when it comes to finding the back of the net. He’s actively hurting any line he plays on, and to make matters worse, he’s a significant drag on the team’s defensive play.

We’ve reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to giving Anderson chances.

Consider this, when Anderson plays with Suzuki, the Canadiens have only managed to control 45 percent of the shots and 44 percent of the expected goals.

But when Suzuki is on the ice without Anderson acting as an anchor, the Canadiens have controlled almost 51 percent of the shots and 49 percent of the expected goals.

You can repeat the same experiment with his various teammates, and you’ll see the same results.

When Anderson plays with Alex Newhook, the Montreal Canadiens control just 34 percent of the shots and 38 percent of the expected goals. But once Anderson is removed from the equation, the Habs control 48 percent of the shots and expected goals.

Not only is Anderson struggling to score, but he’s also a significant drag on his teammates’ production.

Locker Room Health.

It’s important to ensure teams have a healthy locker room, and trying to get a veteran like Anderson going will usually be seen as a positive action by the various players looking for promotions.

But now that the season is over 20 percent complete, the attitudes toward St-Louis’ strategy may change.

If a player like Jesse Ylonen, who scored more goals against Vegas in a few shifts than Anderson has all year, continues to see his teammate receive prime powerplay minutes and top-line usage while he struggles to earn ice time on the fourth line, the locker room health will surely suffer.

Of course, the orders may be coming from the top, and that would explain why St-Louis is hellbent on giving Anderson minutes regardless of his production, but we must also consider that forcing a square peg into a round hole may not be worth it for a limited return at the trade deadline.

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The four best forwards on the Canadiens are Suzuki, Caufield, Monahan and Ylonen.


Something may be wrong with Monahan with 1 assist in the last 4 games and 44% on face-offs where the previous 4 games had 1 goal and 3 assists and 63% on face-offs. Also Gallegher is a -11 in the last 7 games, which translates in a -128 at that rate for a season!


I do understand why the habs didn’t move Josh Anderson last year. This definitely a head scratcher. MSL is giving him every opportunity to break out and he not scoring. Hopeful against Boston he gets his first one.

Last edited 11 days ago by Jimmy

Anderson is having a tough go, but he’s a good player on a bad streak. His team mates love him, and his speed and size are a rare commodity in this league.


I’m not overly concerned. He’s definitely been snake bitten so far this season, but he’s getting his chances. If he was doing nothing at all on the ice, then I’d be very worried. Having said that, I’m a big proponent of giving Ylonen more opportunity, especially if it’s in the top 6. I’d like to see Ylonen and Anderson swap spots in the lineup. Not only would it put Ylonen with skilled offensive players, but maybe Anderson can get a spark playing with Evans & Pezzetta. Their line has often brought a lot of energy and unexpected offence so far this year. Maybe they have the magic elixir to get Anderson going?


Interesting idea


And now its too late. I had been trumpeting an Anderson trade for over a year now…and nothing happened. HE should have been the one dealt – not Toffoli!

He is so overrated, I’m over it. He’s closing in on 30 yrs old, and only once in 8 full seasons has he ever gone above 32 pts! Think about that…32 pts! That’s a third line winger. And I doubt he goes above that mark this season.

Every season we have “baggage” that weighs us done. But this one is going to be the worst of this season. Oh, and he is under contract for 3 more seasons @ $5.5M per. Just lovely…


Thank you Bergervin!!! Dumbest twit in NHL.

Habs guy

If you trade Anderson, who is going to take his place? I hope starts scoring goals for sure , he is an exciting player!! The thing is there is a lot more to being a necessary part of the team than just scoring goals. Canfield can score the goals but without someone like Anderson providing options , Coles production will go down and he may just get run over as well