Meet the Sellers: the Montreal Canadiens

Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
Welcome back to a mini-series Tyler Yaremchuk and I are doing leading up to the trade deadline: Meet the Sellers. Earlier this week we looked at the Detroit Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Ottawa Senators.
Now here’s a team likely looking to see some assets. The Montreal Canadiens, like many others, have found themselves near the bottom of the league and entrenched in a race for Connor Bedard. They even have some players who have already been linked to the Edmonton Oilers.
They sit with a 20-27-4 record, 44 standings points, and eighth in the Atlantic Division. They’ve scored just 134 goals (29th) while allowing 189 (28th). They’ve got more holes than you could count and yet, there’s reason for them to create even more by selling at the deadline.
Here are four players who could be on the move.

Josh Anderson

RW, right-shot

Age: 28
Stats: 50 GP, 14 G, 6 A, 20 Pts
5×5 Analytics: 45.28 CF%, 45.71 GF%, 41.93 xGF%, 100.4 PDO.
Contract: Four years left, $5.5-million cap hit.
Zach Laing: Anderson’s been loosely linked to the Oilers for what seems like forever. He’s a strong power-forward who has a history of some good offensive production. He’s been bit by the injury bug here and there, and the Habs do seem to really value this player. It feels like anytime his name is brought up in trade rumours, it’s quickly shot down with Montreal saying they’d need an exorbitant ask. I don’t see the Oilers bringing that to the table.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Over the summer, there were plenty of rumours about the Oilers being interested in the big winger, but the Canadiens’ ask was just too high. The 28-year-old Anderson is having a decent season with 14 goals in 49 games but is that worth his $5.5 million cap hit? Not in my opinion. He has four more years on his deal and considering his injury history and tendency to be a streaky scorer, I wouldn’t want to touch that contract. If he was a rental in the final year of a contract, then I would actually like him, but I don’t want that term.

Jonathan Drouin

W, left-shot
Age: 27
Stats: 29 GP, 0 G, 12 A, 12 Pts
5×5 Analytics: 43.25 CF%, 31.82 GF%, 37.13 xGF%, 97.5 PDO.
Contract: UFA, $5.5-million cap hit
Zach Laing: What a fall from grace for a player who was once a top prospect. Drouin never lived up to expectations despite having a good three-season between 2016-17 and 2018-19 where he scored 52 goals and 152 points in 231 games. Since then, Drouin’s just never been able to stay healthy and his game has suffered. There’s nothing that would come of it for the Oilers down the stretch this season, but I’m sure someone will give him a shot as a reclamation project. Could it be the Oilers?
Tyler Yaremchuk: Drouin is a popular name, but it’s been a long-time since he’s been an effective player. He’s usually fighting through some sort of injury and hasn’t scored in 28 games this season. His $5.5 million cap hit will make it nearly impossible for the Habs to get anything for him. No need for the Oilers to even consider this.

Evgenii Dadonov

W, left-shot
Age: 33
Stats: 43 GP, 4 G, 10 A, 14 Pts
5×5 Analytics: 49.43 CF%, 43.59 GF%, 47.71 xGF%, 98.8 PDO.
Contract: Pending UFA, $5.5-million cap hit.
Zach Laing: This doesn’t feel like the kind on player the Oilers would be in on. His offensive game has taken a step back this year and he’s far from a physical player. He’s got some decent numbers as a two-way player, but at his cap his and inability to produce, this doesn’t feel like a fit.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Dadonov is having a miserable season with just four goals in 49 games. I don’t see a fit here at all. His cap hit is $5 million so even if the Habs kept half, it’d be hard for the Oilers to fit him in. They don’t need more streaky, under-sized, bottom-six wingers. Easy pass.

Joel Edmundson

Age: 29
Stats: 39 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts
5×5 Analytics: 43.88 CF%, 31.75 GF%, 42.05 xGF%, 93.6 PDO.
Contract: One year left, $3.5-million
Zach Laing: I won’t lie. I couldn’t be less interested in Joel Edmundson. He’s a big, strong defender, no doubt, but his numbers are horrendous. He’s consistently outscored on the ice and his GF%Rel is -19.8! The Oilers reportedly had some interest earlier in the year with the asking price including a first-round pick. Pass, pass, pass.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Edmunson has had his name thrown around the rumour mill all season and the Oilers are reportedly one of the teams that’s interested in him. He’s a defense-first defenseman who has one more year on a contract that carries a $3.5 million cap hit. With Nurse, Kulak, and Broberg all under contract for next season, there really isn’t much of a need for the Oilers to pay a premium to get a year and a half of Edmunson. There are defenders on the market who are pure rentals that can be just as effective as Edmunson and won’t cost as much because they don’t have the extra year on their deal. I dont hate Edmunson’s game, but I don’t think he’s clearly better than Kulak and I wouldn’t want to commit to another year of having him on the roster at his cap hit.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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