Another defenseman is on the move. The Montreal Canadiens have traded Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick and a conditional 2021 fourth-round pick. If Scandella re-signs or the Blues win two playoff rounds, the Canadiens will receive the fourth. Otherwise, they will only get the second. Montreal will also retain 50% of Scandella’s $4MM cap hit.
This kind of a return is huge for the Canadiens, given that they only paid a fourth-round pick to get Scandella in the first place. That move came just over a month ago, when the Buffalo Sabres moved the defenseman and flipped the return for Michael Frolik. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports that Montreal GM Marc Bergevin did try to extend the pending UFA, but Scandella wanted to wait until the end of the season to discuss any contract.
Even with Shea Weber returning tonight for the Canadiens, Montreal’s chances to make the playoffs this season are slim. After a promising start, injuries and inconsistency has plagued the team making any expiring contracts trade bait. Scandella could be just the first sent out of Montreal in the coming week.
For the Blues, they add a depth defenseman with plenty of experience on the penalty kill. As the team prepares to defend their championship, they needed another reliable option on the blueline after losing Jay Bouwmeester. Scandella is exactly that, especially in the limited role he’ll have to play in St. Louis.
The 29-year old Scandella has logged big minutes in the past for the Minnesota Wild, with all of his playoff experience also coming there between 2013-2017. With Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko and Justin Faulk soaking up minutes for the Blues, Scandella will be asked to give them a penalty kill boost and some hard action in the defensive zone.