When the Montreal Canadiens placed Evgenii Dadonov on injured reserve yesterday, there were quite a few smirks going up around the hockey world. It was “kicking the can down the road” as Eric Engels of Sportsnet put it, opening up a roster spot by moving out a forward that wasn’t playing anyway. It avoided having to waive a player like Dadonov but doesn’t fix the root of the problem – Montreal has too many forwards.
Yesterday on TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun explained that the Canadiens have been trying to “create a trade market” by calling around to several teams in the league. One of those is the Washington Capitals, who lost Connor Brown to ACL surgery, but nothing is imminent between the two as the Capitals look at internal options first.
Each of those three, it should be noted, come with relatively hefty contracts. Dadonov carries a $5MM cap hit this season, Drouin a $5.5MM hit, and Hoffman is at $4.5MM through next season.
With Dadonov on injured reserve, the team is currently carrying 14 forwards. Of that group, only Brendan Gallagher and Hoffman are over the age of 30, and many are 25-and-under. The team is obviously focused on moving toward their youth and away from the older generation of players, but whether they will be able to actually pull off a trade remains to be seen.