The Montreal Canadiens are coming up to a roster crunch given the face that Jacob de La Rose and Nicolas Deslauriers are both nearing a return from injury and during the TSN broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings game today, Bob McKenzie explained that GM Marc Bergevin is “open for business” when it comes to trading one of his depth forwards:
They’re getting into a bit of a crunch here where they’re going to have to move some bodies to the minors, and some of those guys require waivers. So I guess Bergevin is just testing the waters to see what interest there might be in some of his guys and could he get something instead of instead of losing someone potentially on waivers.
Even before de La Rose and Deslauriers come back the Canadiens find themselves with 14 forwards on the roster, and only star rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi is waiver-exempt. Unless they decide to send Kotkaniemi away to continue his development somewhere else, the team is already sitting players like Tomas Plekanec on a nightly basis. That’s not ideal, but the team also doesn’t have a lot of leverage with other clubs knowing they’ll have to put someone on waivers eventually.
If the team can get something for one of their depth forwards, it likely won’t be a big return. de La Rose and Nikita Scherbak, who can’t seem to find a way into the lineup either, are both high draft picks that haven’t quite worked out to this point. Still, a 22-year old first round pick that has only played 29 NHL games and produced well at the minor leagues has to have a little bit of value, if the Canadiens decide that Scherbak is the easiest one to deal away. The decision still probably doesn’t have to be made for a few days, but expect some movement in Montreal in the near future.