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Eric Staal Traded to Montreal Canadiens

The Buffalo Sabres have traded Eric Staal to the Montreal Canadiens for a third and fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

So much for Marc Bergevin not doing anything heading into the NHL Trade Deadline. The first “major” deadline trade of this season as April 12th approaches includes the team that said they would likely stay quiet because they had no money to add a player. A lot of GMs knew better and Bergevin proved them right.

Related: 14-Day Quarantine Period in Canada Reduced… Let the Trades Begin?

On Friday, the Montreal Canadiens acquired Eric Staal from the Buffalo Sabres for a third and fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Sabres will retain $1.625 million of Staal’s salary but more money moves are likely to come from the Canadiens. Staal had to formally waive to agree to the deal with the Habs. Montreal was among the 10 teams on his no-trade list.

The Canadiens had three third-round picks to choose from and most will say this was a smart deal to pick up a veteran centre like Staal. The hope is that it will make a difference as the Habs push to get back into the playoff conversation. One thing that many have noted is that Staal will need to undergo a quarantine after landing with the Canadiens, but that required time away was just reduced from 14 days to seven. That change may have had a factor in the decision to go after the 36-year-old.

Staal Needed Out

Based on his production this season, Staal might not be the thing that brings the Canadiens back to life, but for the veteran forward, he’s bound to show improvement over the three goals and ten points in 32 games he has with the lowly Sabres. He scored 19 goals and 47 points in just 66 games for the Minnesota Wild recently and he’d been playing well for that team. The expectation was that he could offer the Sabres more.

Unfortunately, no one has been good in Buffalo this year. Staal had been used as a bottom-six player with his average ice time of 15:34 on the year is the lowest in his entire career and the results have followed.

Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres NHL
Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres NHL

Pierre LeBrun reports Carolina and Buffalo did chat this week about a Staal trade but the ‘Canes, as with any potential rental, want to wait closer to the April 12 deadline to make those types of deals for a rental.

Next: Laine Likely to Ink Massive Extension With the Blue Jackets [Rumor]

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