As per multiple reports on Saturday night, Victor Mete has made it known that he’d like to be traded by the Montreal Canadiens. His agent confirmed the news, but Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has denied the reports and says the team isn’t interested in moving their depth defender.
I had the pleasure of watching Victor Mete during the 2016 Memorial Cup in Red Deer, Alberta. He was a small but crafty defenseman that could have been mistaken for a forward most shifts. His London Knights team was stacked — especially offensively. The eventual championship team that season included Matthew Tkachuk, Mitch Marner, Robert Thomas, and a young Evan Bouchard.
Mete’s performance during that run was enough to convince the Montreal Canadiens to select him in the fourth round, 100th overall (2016). Mete then played another season in London and then jumped into the Canadiens lineup in 2017-18.
He would go on to play 171 NHL games for Montreal over the following three seasons and collected a respectable four goals along with 27 assists in the process. I know that some readers don’t buy into the plus/minus metric, but he was also a +27, and never posted a dash (minus) during those three campaigns.
In other words, Mete seemed to be trending in the right direction. Apparently not according to Canadiens head coach Claude Julien. Case in point, Mete has not dressed for a single game of the 2020-21 season. A statement.
The Mete Trade Request
In response, Mete, and agent Darren Ferris, have apparently requested a trade. It’s important to note that though Ferris confirmed Mete’s desire to be moved, Bergevin tells Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports that the Canadiens have not yet received an official trade request from Mete or his agent. Further to that, Bergevin relayed to Pierre LeBrun that the reports of a trade request are “not true and not trading him.”
It makes sense that the Canadiens wouldn’t want to move Mete. Even though he’s not gotten into the lineup, it’s become quite clear that injuries have taken a toll on a number of other teams and the Canadiens are one injury away from needing Mete to take on a regular role. Moving him decreases the depth the team has worked hard to build.
All that said, if things do eventually come to a head, Mete should fetch a decent return and be able to help another team looking for some punch off the blue line. Should he get an opportunity, it would be advisable to establish a defensive role before trying to be the offensive juggernaut.
It is hard to argue with Julien’s decision to play 21-year-old Alex Romanov over Mete. Both players are listed as left shot/right defenseman, but the young Russian seems to have quickly captured the hearts of Habs staff and fans alike.
With nearly 180 NHL games under his belt, the 22-year-old Mete’s career is far from over and GM Marc Bergevin should have several suitors to choose from.
Stay tuned accordingly!
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