Canadiens Ben Chiarot reinforces commercial value of Avalanche loss – .

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Canadiens Ben Chiarot reinforces commercial value of Avalanche loss – .


MONTREAL – The new executive vice-president of hockey operations for the Montreal Canadiens has many tough decisions to make, but there is no fence to sit on for this one.
Just a day after arriving in the new town, he was signed on for the next five years, and with just one vision of his new team under his belt, Jeff Gorton certainly already knows what to do with Ben Chiarot.

The six-foot-three, 234-pound defenseman has been Montreal’s most stable player this season, and he was their best in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche – producing his team’s only goal. , playing over 25 minutes and offering more evidence as to why he’s one of Gorton’s best trading tokens.

All Gorton has to do is pick up his phone when it rings and it’s going to ring a lot for this player.

Chiarot is a defenseman who will spark the interest of many playoff prospects and Stanley Cup contenders. The 30-year-old, who is in the midst of his prime, has averaged nearly 23 minutes per game, blocked 233 shots and thrown 283 hits since arriving in Montreal in 2019.

In 135 games with the Canadiens, he has proven himself to be more than just a home player by scoring 15 goals and 34 points, and he has shown a versatility that he believes is due to the confidence of former general manager Marc Bergevin and the team’s coaching staff. showed in him.

“(They) gave me a lot of time on the ice and gave me a lot of confidence as a player, and it was just something new for me in my career to have this type of opportunity, and I just tried to take advantage of it, ”said Chiarot. “And they really helped me become the player I am today, and the player I am today is very different from the one who came here and signed here a few years ago. “

Chiarot is also more seasoned, especially given the playoff experience he has gained over the past two summers.

It’s in those games that he’s shown he’s exactly the type of player you want when the going gets tough and the whistles are pocketed.

The Hamilton, Ont. Native doesn’t want to leave Montreal, but even he knows he’s set to leave this 6-17-2 team, which has less than a one percent chance of making it into those games. next spring.

“Every year you see guys whose contracts expire being traded, but for me it’s not something that I really have control over, to be honest,” Chiarot said a day before playing so much in Thursday’s game he has averaged over 32 playoff games. with Canadians. “I do my job and I go out and I play and the people who make these decisions make these decisions. It’s kind of wasted energy knowing that and thinking about all these different scenarios and assumptions. I just have to go out and do my job.

“It’s probably harder for the families than for the players because it’s kind of their life that is being uprooted. It’s part of the business. You see it every year, the guys whose contracts are about to expire are moved. “

Chiarot’s contract earns him $ 3.5 million this season and ends next summer.

Even if the Canadiens might go into a rebuild, he would be the kind of player they would like to keep. He’s a leader, someone Nick Suzuki and Ryan Poehling said they admire for his work ethic and professionalism.

But the Canadiens already have Jeff Petry and David Savard making almost $ 10 million a season between them until the summer of 2025, and Joel Edmundson is paid the same as Chiarot for bringing the same style of play into the game until the summer of 2025. 2024. They are 21- One-year-old Alexander Romanov is gaining more and more confidence and taking on more and more responsibility – as evidenced by his performance against Colorado on Thursday – and they have other young players to look forward to. which ones to make room for in the future.

It is a future that will be strengthened by the displacement of Chiarot.

Before the start of the season, he had to submit a list of 10 teams he could not be traded with. But that won’t affect Gorton’s ability to trade Chiarot – and do so for a substantial return.

We polled four NHL executives on Wednesday to ask them what that would look like, and each of them said a first-round pick should be won.

“Go through the list of D-men free agents and you won’t find many who bring as much villainy as he does,” said the former. “Watching him in the playoffs the last two years is a step backwards. It’s really boring to play against, and he’s a horse.

Another executive wrote: “Tampa was willing to give up the first ones for rentals you wouldn’t think of bringing them back in the past two years, but they clearly had good reason to believe it was worth it. There are a few teams this year who think they have a chance of winning and even better if they get a player like him, so it’s realistic that they’re willing to pay that price.

“He’ll get a first,” said the third. “If it’s not a first, a second won’t do it on its own. You would need a prospect or some other choice in there.

We shared this review with the fourth and he agreed, adding, “There has already been some talk in the market about Chiarot for weeks. “

That’s because the defender has stood out as one of the few bright spots in a team that has been going through dark days since the start of the season.

It’s still early. Gorton won’t need to act now, with the NHL trade deadline more than three months away.

But he doesn’t need to deliberate further on what to do with Chiarot.

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