With the news that forward Brendan Gallagher is out for weeks with a broken thumb, there’s some chatter coming out of Montreal that this could open the door for the Canadiens to make an additional move before the April 12th NHL Trade Deadline. At the very least, it’s worth watching the status updates on the skilled and tenacious forward over the next six days.
Key to this being possible is that Gallagher’s injury needs to be serious enough that it keeps him out of the remainder of the NHL regular season. If that’s the case, his cap hit of $3.75 million can go on LTIR for the Canadiens and then, if it comes back on the books during the playoffs, it’s a non factor. In other words, the Canadiens could add Gallagher’s value in salary during the regular season and get Gallagher’s $3.75 million back in the playoffs. They could add a significant piece before the deadline without messing up their cap structure.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was a guest on TSN690 out of Montreal on Tuesday and noted this was something that will interesting to watch out of Montreal. If it turns out that Gallagher won’t be back until the postseason, one of the names to watch is Nick Foligno out of Columbus, he says. While Foligno’s cap hit is higher and he has some control over where he goes in any trade, if the Blue Jackets retain a little salary, this is an doable deal.
Even if Foligno is not the guy the Canadiens look at, Gallagher’s cap hit coming off the books opens up some options for GM Marc Bergevin, who effectively has been telling everyone he’s done making deals because he’s got no cap room to do anything else.
How Likely Is Another Canadiens Move?
The thing about Bergevin is, you can’t really trust what he says. He said he was done and the next day acquired Eric Staal from Buffalo. Staal happened to score the overtime winning goal in his first game as a Canadien on Monday. If there’s an opportunity that presents itself for the Habs, you have to bet that Bergevin is looking at it.
Keep a close eye on the health updates for Gallagher. For that matter, watch closely the status of goaltender Carey Price, who is also dealing with an injury and will not travel with the team to Toronto. If either is out until the playoffs, this changes a lot of the Montreal Canadiens.
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