The Montreal Canadiens, losers of four of their last five games including three at the hands of the Boston Bruins, are now 19-22-6 on the season and well out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman reports that GM Marc Bergevin is more active than normal trying to “get something going.”
Friedman lists only Carey Price, Shea Weber, Victor Mete and Jonathan Drouin as unlikely to be traded, making the rest of the roster ripe for speculation. Max Pacioretty has obviously been in the news quite a bit recently, something Alex Galchenyuk has dealt with for years. There are also lesser-known names like Paul Byron, Andrew Shaw and Brendan Gallagher who would all draw interest as well as expiring contracts for Tomas Plekanec, Jakub Jerabek and Antti Niemi.
Montreal has had a season to forget, but Friedman points out that everyone in the league can see what Colorado is doing this year. After putting up historically bad numbers in 2016-17, the Avalanche are now on a ten game winning streak and find themselves right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff run. Montreal knows first hand what that bounce-back can be, after struggling without an injured price in 2015-16 only to return to the playoffs a year later.
If anything, the Canadiens are more likely to reload than rebuild, as Price’s huge extension kicks in next season and there is plenty of other money tied up in Weber, Drouin, Jeff Petry and Karl Alzner. Even if they do move out some significant pieces, you can bet Montreal won’t be tearing down the whole thing.