The Canadiens general manager doesn't seem concerned with the current lineup while fighting for a playoff spot.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, and the Montreal Canadiens currently sitting in a playoff spot, many fans are eager to see what moves general manager Marc Bergevin will make. Bergevin recently addressed that if a beneficial offer came, then he would take it, but he will most likely remain quiet due to cap reasons. The Habs are just below the maximum salary cap hit for the season and acquiring an important asset will require a current contract to be moved.
The Habs have been heavily linked to Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who carries a team-friendly contract, is solid defensively, and puts up points. Unfortunately, an Ekholm trade seems unlikely at this point.
A name that has come up often is Paul Byron, Habs alternate captain and former 20 goal scorer, who has just seven points in 30 games and carries a cap hit of over three million dollars per season. Last week, Byron was placed on waivers for the second time this season, but no other team picked him up, making it even more unlikely that a team would trade for him.
The cap issues will, unfortunately, bleed into the summer, as players such as Tomas Tatar, Philip Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Joel Armia, and other valuables are in need of new contracts. These players have also improved their games tremendously (Danault, Tatar, and Armia have all reached career highs since their last contract signing) and will justifiably ask for more money. With the cap crunch that the Canadians are in, it will be extremely hard to give each player a contract.
While Bergevin’s comments regarding the trade deadline have discouraged some fans, they don’t put any nails in the coffin. Bergevin is known to give false signs to the media, dating back to 2016 when he assured everyone that PK Subban will be a part of the Habs future for years to come, only to trade Subban a few moments later. Don’t be shocked if Bergevin pulls off an unexpected trade.