The Montreal Canadiens will likely be sellers at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, and they will move a number of pieces from their roster as the club retools. Don’t expect Josh Anderson to be among the names being sent away, not unless someone comes to the Canadiens will an offer that is out of this world.
On TSN’s Insider Trading segment, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that “the only way” that Anderson is traded is if another club “makes an offer that the Montreal Canadiens simply can’t refuse.” There has been talk in the past that maybe Anderson doesn’t fit the style of hockey the Canadiens are looking to use as their foundation moving forward and other speculation that a team like the New Jersey Devils were keenly interested in the player. Still, he’s not being shopped and the Canadiens want a massive return if they consider moving him.
Dreger cites Calgary is another team that looked at Anderson. Dreger notes that GM Brad Treliving “expressed interest in Josh Anderson,” but notes that the Canadiens would “prefer to keep” their power forward because he has a long-term contract that the team views as a solid investment. It’s an interesting situation unfolding as Anderson will attract interest from around the league and the Canadiens might be better served to get what they can for him, while they can. But, Dreger reports it’s been a king’s ransom or nothing for Anderson since day one.
Anderson has a $5.5 million salary cap hit until the 2026-27 season and it will be fascinating to see if the stance on him changes. Should he struggle, the Habs might look back at this and wonder if keeping him was the best decision. If he plays well, they might feel relieved they didn’t throw him out as they were moving out a number of other pieces. He’s got a bit of a reputation for injury issues, even though he’s been relatively healthy. There comes a point where those players can be harder to trade.
Anderson is on pace to score 23 goals and 31 points. How many teams think that kind of production is worth $5 million per season on a deal that still has term on it?
Next: The Maple Leafs Might Make Sense As a Tyler Bertuzzi Trade Fit
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