June 10, 2023
Montreal Canadiens

Potential trading partners for Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is actively working on a deal over the phone with some teams, but who wants a deal right now?

Based on information Montreal Hockey Now has been able to gather across the league, the Canadiens are one of at least five teams actively attempting to make early-season transitions.

Here are four teams recently linked with the Canadians:

Ottawa Senators

The Senators were dealt a major blow last week when it was announced that center Josh Norris could be out for the entire season with a recent shoulder injury.

The Senators have seemingly stumbled out of the gate so far this season, sitting bottom in the very competitive Atlantic Division.

Although Derrick Brassard has played admirably in an extended role, Ottawa has struggled with its defensive play of late and is keen to relieve Shane Pinto of some defensive responsibility.

Enter Christian Dvorak.

Multiple sources confirmed to Montreal Hockey Now that the Ottawa Senators had a keen interest in Dvorak over the summer.

General Manager Pierre Dorion was in Winnipeg last night to watch the game between the Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets and sources confirm Dvorak is still a player they like.

Nothing seems imminent, but the Senators are at a crucial point in their rebuild and missing the playoffs just isn’t an option.

Philadelphia Flyer

That Philadelphia Flyer hurt right now, with Sean Couturier will be out for three to four months after an operation on her back.

Add to that the fact that Ryan Ellis is unlikely to play this season and James Van Riemsdyk is expected to be out for six weeks and the Flyers will have a time to maintain their preseason success if they don’t use their extra space to add to their roster, especially in the middle.

After recently acquiring Sean Monahan, the Montreal Canadiens have a surplus of centers, while the Flyers would have Kevin Hayes as their No. 1 center without Couturier. Monahan has proven to be an effective center for the Canadians throughout his stint so far this season, and perhaps the opportunity to lead his own line could help spread the offense further for the Canadians.

This could allow the Canadians to dangle Dvorak in a trade.

Despite being slow on offense so far this season, Dvorak continues to excel in two areas where the Flyers struggle: penalties and faceoffs.

As we speak, the Flyers are ranked 26th in the NHL in the faceoff circle, averaging about 46%, while Dvorak continues to be his dependable self with a 53.7% win rate this season.

With one win in their last five games, the Flyers appear to be cooling off from their sizzling start to the season, and general manager Chuck Fletcher will feel the pressure to make a move sooner rather than later.

Washington Capitals

With the recent news, the general manager KentHughes been working the phones lately, Washington Capitals General manager Brian MacLellan appears to have been one of his more substantial callers.

With forward Connor Brown recently lost to a season-ending injury, the Capitals need another top-nine forward with experience to add to their lineup. They’re currently testing youngster Connor McMichael and free-agent signing Sonny Milano in that role, but if neither can hold out, they’ll be stepping up to the horn pretty quickly given the Metropolitan Division’s incredibly competitive landscape.

For the Montreal Canadiens, a player likes to move Evgeni Dadonov or Jonathan Drouin, who is into expiring contracts seems like the easiest solution because the Canadians have the flexibility to keep those contracts.

An NHL club can retain salary on up to three contracts at a time, and Canadians currently have all three retention slots available. If they feel like biting the bullet and holding 50% on Dadonov ($5M) or Drouin ($5.5M) now rather than until the close, they might make that move. The other point here is that for teams like the Capitals or the Canadiens that use LTIR, a trade now or later in the season doesn’t change their cap space because they don’t get additional space on LTIR like you normally do would if you would comply with the cap.

There is certainly potential for a move of this magnitude right now; so many teams are starting to get uneasy about their position in the standings.

With Washington playing .500 hockey lately; Rest assured they won’t wait too long now to fix their depth issues as reinforcements aren’t coming back for long.

Anaheim ducks

Sources have confirmed to Montreal Hockey Now that the Anaheim Ducks are looking to strike a deal.

At the Montreal Canadiens’ last home game, the Ducks sent three members of their organization, including the assistant general manager Rob DiMaio present.

The Ducks, even after losing Josh Mahura to Waivers and Jamie Drysdale to injury, still have too many bodies on defense while missing a shot on goal on the forward.

Cap space isn’t an issue for the Ducks either, as they currently have $14.5 million in cap space.

Veterans like Jonathan Drouin or Evgenii Dadonov who die Anaheim ducks nearly acquired last season might make sense for them to look for them to give them a boost offensively and gain some much-needed experience. However, Dadonov likely still has Anaheim on his no-trade list, so Drouin or even a Mike Hoffman might make more sense here.

General manager Pat Verbeek remains in dialogue and, like Kent Hughes, is actively trying to improve his club, according to NHL sources.

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