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Canadiens Won’t Try to Replace Chiarot Before NHL Trade Deadline

Marc Bergevin says he won’t be looking to replace Ben Chiarot via trade before the NHL Trade Deadline.

Marc Bergevin Montreal Canadiens

When Ben Chiarot went down with a broken hand, many speculated that the Montreal Canadiens would immediately look to go shopping before the NHL Trade Deadline and try to acquire another defenseman through trade. After all, GM Marc Bergevin has essentially moved all of his chips in this season and Chiarot is a big loss that hurts the already struggling Canadiens’ chances of competing for the playoffs.

Related: Maple Leafs Willing to Move Top Prospect to Add Before Trade Deadline

But, according to the GM himself, he’s not going to be looking to fill the hole left by the defenseman’s absence, at least not externally.

Despite names like Mattias Ekholm being out there on the trade market, Bergevin has said that the Canadiens fully expect Chiarot to be back in time for the postseason. As such, trading for a bigger-ticket item doesn’t work since the Habs would then have to find a way to become cap compliant again when Chiarot is activated off of LTIR. At the same time, a player like Ekholm has another year left on his contract and he might not have been ideal fit anyways.

Speaking to the media today, including Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Bergevin confirmed that they are not looking for Chiarot’s replacement. The defenseman was given a six to eight-week timeline, but Bergevin believes it will be closer to six. Moving him to long-term injured reserve could open space now, but the Canadiens would have a lot of shuffling to do if they want to have him for the playoffs.

Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens
Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens May Make Minor Tweaks

Instead, the plan seems to be to add smaller pieces and improve marginally and use one of Victor Mete or Xavier Ouellet. It will be tight but the Canadiens look like they could use a boost. Beyond adding big salary, Bergevin’s track record over the past few months suggests he’s willing to do almost anything to give his team one good shot.

From there, anything can happen if the Canadiens get in. And, when they do, getting Chiarot back will be like their own mini trade deadline add. “We have to make the playoffs,” Bergevin in a Zoom media conference call. “I feel we have a team to make the playoffs and once we get in, I feel that anything is possible.”

Next: Blackhawks May Be Destination for “Bad Contracts” at Trade Deadline



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