The Montreal Canadiens were looking to be sellers at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline regardless of what happened to Cole Caufield. That said, the announcement by the Montreal Canadiens that Caufield is done for the remainder of the season and will require shoulder surgery only puts a stamp on the Habs’ plans to fall hard for Connor Bedard.
The Canadiens wrote on Saturday, “Caufield suffered a season-ending injury to his right shoulder and will undergo surgery in the near future. An update of his recovery period will be issued after the medical procedures.” The focus now shifts to the rest of the roster — or whatever is left of it.
With Montreal’s season all but ending at the same time Caufield’s did, names like Evgeni Dadonov, Sean Monahan, Joel Edmundson, Mike Hoffman, David Savard, Jonathan Drouin, and perhaps Josh Anderson will be pedaled heavily around the marketplace. Any player healthy enough to be dealt will be seriously considered by GM Kent Hughes and Montreal’s bid to land in last place and get the best odds to draft a generational talent like Bedard will be on in full force. And, the Canadiens will likely want to start that process as soon as possible.
Not only do the Canadiens have a bit of a way to go to catch bottom-feeders like Chicago, Anaheim, Columbus, and Arizona, but getting ahead of the other deadline deals only weakens the Canadiens’ roster. That’s a good thing, as long as the Habs aren’t giving players away that they could have otherwise gotten solid assets for if they’d waited.
For example, Hughes is asking for a lot to pry Edmundson from the Canadiens. But, how important is it that the Canadiens get a first, when they could guarantee a second-rounder, even with questions about Edmundson’s injury history? What about someone like Anderson? The Canadiens aren’t sure they want to deal him, but if a team comes calling with a decent offer and feels he’s a good fit, would the Canadiens now be more inclined to move him? Anderson is the type of player a team would want immediately. His impact on the roster would help a club move up the standings.
Canadiens’ Season Is a Disaster
The Canadiens’ list of injured players is growing as long as their healthy roster. If this isn’t a sign that this season is toast, nothing else will be. There are injury-plagued campaigns and then there’s whatever it is the Canadiens are going through. They’ve lost Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky in recent days for the year. This was after the team was missing Jake Allen, Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Armia, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Evans, Kaiden Ghule, Emil Heineman and Sean Monahan.
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