The Montreal Canadiens are not even 12 hours into their latest trade and the team is already thinking about their next move. A report from Sportsnet’s Eric Engels states that defenseman Brandon Davidson could soon be on his way out of town. Habs GM Marc Bergevin is not just listening to offers for Davidson; he emailed the entire league informing the other 30 general managers of the blue liner’s availability. While the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Ian Cole is also known to be on the block right now, Davidson should come at a much lesser price and be much easier (and more timely) to move. The 26-year-old has been a frequent scratch this season and has just one point in 13 games. It wasn’t long ago that Davidson was thought to be an up-and-coming rearguard, playing major minutes for the 2015-16 Edmonton Oilers after a long stretch of solid AHL play. However, when he was shipped to Montreal for a rental in David Desharnais at last year’s trade deadline, it was clear his stock had dropped. Davidson could still be a valued depth addition for many teams, though. The Canadiens likely won’t have to shop him for very long.
- Following the difficult news about Derek Dorsett, Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning was very clear with the media today that he won’t be looking to trade for a replacement for the veteran grinder. Instead, Benning said that the situation “gives guys a chance to play more and step up.” The Canucks plan to fill Dorsett’s void internally, with the recently-promoted Nikolay Goldobin getting the first shot. After a hot start, Vancouver has been slipping of late and more than anything needs to put the puck in the net more often. Goldobin should be an offensive upgrade over Dorsett, but can he handle a big role?
- Following the Anaheim Ducks-New Jersey Devils blockbuster today, many in the hockey media are asking a predictable question: Why weren’t the Toronto Maple Leafs in on Sami Vatanen? It feels like the Leafs have been searching for a top-pair right-shot defenseman to play alongside Morgan Rielly for years now, yet couldn’t top an offer of Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi to get an elite righty puck-mover in Vatanen? Nazem Kadri is perhaps the closest comparable in the NHL to Henrique and, although three years older, Tyler Bozak compares favorably to Henrique as well. With a wealth of young talent in the AHL to boot, it seems unlikely that Lou Lamoriello and company couldn’t have outbid the Devils if they wanted to, so perhaps the better question is why didn’t they want to? In a relatively weak Atlantic Division, no one will be surprised if Toronto makes a run to the Eastern Conference Finals this year and maybe farther. If they don’t reach that goal, they may find themselves regretting missing the chance to strengthen the defense both this season and beyond.