Montreal Canadiens trade should be a model for the Vancouver Canucks

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Montreal Canadiens trade should be a model for the Vancouver Canucks


There are still two weeks to go before the trade deadline, but the Canadiens have started the ball rolling and the Canucks should take that into account.

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The Montreal Canadiens fired the first salvo ahead of the NHL trade deadline and the move is a model of what the Vancouver Canucks are set to do with enthusiasm over the next two weeks.

On Friday, the Habs picked up veteran center Eric Staal from the Buffalo Sabers for a pair of draft picks. Amazing what you can do when you have a stock of it.

Montreal’s general manager, Marc Bergevin, is in a win-immediate mode. This is clear. And by picking up Staal, he adds a nice piece of depth to his lineup.

(He’ll also likely be able to bring in first-rate forward Cole Caufield after his University of Wisconsin side were upset on Friday and knocked out of the NCAA playoffs, but that’s another story for another media.)

The choices are what matters here. Draft picks can, of course, be used to add players to the NHL Draft. But they can also be used to make moves further down the line.

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Montreal is an example of how you can turn picks into currency: They reversed their own third and fifth round picks in this year’s draft for Staal because they already had two more picks in each of those rounds.

They have Chicago’s third-round pick in a 2019 trade that sent Andrew Shaw to the Blackhawks, as well as Washington’s third-round pick which is the culmination of a few trades that started with the Canadiens’ return of Nico Deslauriers. in Anaheim in 2019. Ottawa and Philadelphia fifth-round picks, resumed in trade last season.

The Canucks have several players who could bring back draft picks at the deadline: Center Brandon Sutter is already interested in the Edmonton Oilers, while one has to think defenseman Alex Edler would still spark some interest in a trade, even if it should be. convinced to renounce his non-circulation clause.

Jim Benning may have said he would like to re-sign Tanner Pearson, but no call was even made to its representation by the general manager of the Canucks. Pearson, who is still in a walking boot but feels optimistic about his progress after injuring his ankle against Ottawa just over a week ago, a source told Postmedia News, would be a good fit. choice for the third row of any team.

All of that to say that with the Canucks now out of the playoff hunt, they should look to the long haul.

Regardless of who is in charge as GM next season, this team will need some help on the blue line in the long run: Edler is no spring chicken, and while Jack Rathbone seems to have a future, you need more than one guy to refresh your defense body when it also includes 30s like Jordie Benn and Travis Hamonic.

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If you were to acquire one or three draft picks in the coming weeks, you could use those picks ahead of Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft this summer to find a defenseman another team will have to leave exposed. Like, say, Devon Toews in Colorado, who most likely could be left exposed because the Avalanche will have to protect Erik Johnson (he has a no-move clause, forcing his protection), Sam Girard and Cale Makar.

Or one of Jake Bean, Brady Skjei, Haydn Fleury or Brett Pesce, three of whom will need to be left exposed assuming Carolina uses two of their three defender protection slots on Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin.

You can bet Colorado and Carolina would be interested in at least getting a draft pick for a defenseman they would otherwise lose to Seattle for nothing.

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