With the Montreal Canadiens struggling considerably out of the gate with a 2-6-1 record, some have speculated that they could be a team that looks to make an early trade or two to shake things up. However, GM Marc Bergevin tried to put an end to that speculation at a press conference today, stating to reporters, including Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, that they won’t be making a move for the sake of merely doing a trade and that he feels the solution to their early struggles can be found by their current team.
Despite saying that, the speculation likely won’t stop, especially with the amount of cap space the team has to work with; they have the room to add another $7.7MM in salary at the moment per CapFriendly, an amount that will only increase by the day. Considering that the cap room doesn’t carry over to next season, they’ll be expected to make use of that room sooner than later.
More from Montreal:
- Bergevin also noted during his press conference that rookie defenseman Victor Mete will be staying with the team and burning the first year of his entry-level contract (via Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette). The 19-year-old has spent the majority of the season on the top pairing alongside Shea Weber and is averaging just shy of 20 minutes per game. As is the case with the other junior-aged players, the next threshold will be 40 games on the active roster (not necessarily played) that will result in Mete accruing one season towards eligibility for unrestricted free agency.
- In his latest 31 Thoughts column, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests that Montreal might be willing to move winger Andrew Shaw and retain part of his $3.9MM cap hit to do so. Shaw is in his second season with the team but is signed through 2021-22 which would likely complicate things as moving secondary players with that much term hasn’t happened particularly often in recent years. Through nine games this season, Shaw has two assists and has been surprisingly sharp at the faceoff dot, winning over 61% of his draws.