After being hinted at for most of the morning, in order to become salary cap compliant for the upcoming season, the Vancouver Canucks have traded Tanner Pearson and a 2025 third-round draft pick to the Montreal Canadiens for goaltender Casey DeSmith.
After the trade, the Canucks will have freed up $1.45MM in cap space if no salary is retained, making compliance with the salary cap a much more manageable endeavor. Also, by acquiring DeSmith in the deal, as well, Vancouver has a much more capable backup netminder to put behind Thatcher Demko, something the team did not have last season.
From the standpoint of Montreal, they also worked out their own dilemma, no longer having three playable goalies on the roster to start the season. After acquiring DeSmith from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the same deal that would land Erik Karlsson in Pittsburgh, it had been rumored for weeks that the Canadiens would eventually look to move out DeSmith as well.
All-in-all, simply for their involvement in the Karlsson trade, Montreal has acquired Pearson, Gustav Lindstrom, Nathan Legare, a 2025 second-round pick, a 2025 third-round pick, and a conditional 2025-fourth round pick in exchange for Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick.
This is a solid trade haul for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens, but after finding a solution to one problem, another has been created entirely. Now with Pearson in the mix, the team already has a projected 12 forwards on the roster according to CapFriendly, with Cole Caufield, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Sean Monahan, still to return from injury. Even aside from those players, players such as Sean Farrell and Owen Beck also appear close to being NHL-ready.
At any rate, both teams solved issues for the time being with this particular trade and should alleviate some concerns heading into training camp.
Darren Dreger of TSN was the first to report Pearson was heading to Montreal.
Chris Johnston of TSN was the first to report no salary had been retained by the Canucks.
Dreger was the first to announce the trade details.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff was the first to report the full trade details.