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Montreal Canadiens Acquire Defenseman Jon Merrill from Red Wings

Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fifth-round pick and Hayden Verbeek.

Jon Merrill Red Wings 1

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings, in return for a fifth-round pick in 2021 and forward Hayden Verbeek. The deal comes down on Sunday afternoon, just hours after it was learned the franchise had placed Victor Mete on waivers. A pending unrestricted free agent, Merrill also comes with just a $925K cap hit. Detroit did not retain any salary in the deal.

Related: NHL Trade Talk Podcast: Episode 1: Deadline Deals Coming Together

Merrill, 29, has five assists in 36 games with the Red Wings this season. There hasn’t been much chatter about the player, but he’s quietly gone about his business as one of the NHL’s better stay-at-home blueliners. He’s good at stopping scoring chances and he was playing second-pair minutes for the Wings this year. He adds size and grit by with his 6’3′ 205lb frame. He’s also got a wealth of experience with 392 NHL games under his belt with 12G, 54A for 66PTS and 207PIM.

The Boston Bruins were also linked to Merrill, but Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is an action GM and made a move knowing he wanted to beef up his blue line ahead of Monday’s deadline.

Known as a really good teammate and playing well on a not-so good team, Merrill should offer the Canadiens some stability heading into this year’s playoffs.

After acquiring Jon Merrill, the Canadiens are now left with only $183k remaining in LTIR relief. If they are to acquire any additional players, they will first need to free up cap space, either through: LTIR placement, re-assignment or trading away players.

Hayden Verbeek is the nephew of former NHL forward Pat Verbeek, who happens to be the Red Wings assistant general manager.

More to come…

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