Without Galchenyuk and Desharnais, Habs Must Move

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The already tough Western road trip just got tougher. After figuring quite well against the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings and the St. Louis Blues, the Montreal Canadiens came back without two centres, including top points producer Alex Galchenyuk. The other one is fill-in veteran David Desharnais, who had replaced Galchenyuk on the top line in St. Louis.

The Montreal Canadiens released the following medical update on the two players:

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This news means, for the Canadiens, that Tomas Plekanec (2G, 7A, 9Pts) and Torrey Mitchell (5G, 2A, 7Pts) are the team’s top two producing centres! As we touched on recently, there is no doubt that team GM Marc Bergevin was looking for help at centre already, but what those long term injuries put a lot of pressure on him to pull the trigger on a deal.

Habs scouts out west

Aside from San Jose, where Bergevin spent a week prior to his team’s visit, the Canadiens had three people scouting the Edmonton Oilers last week. When you look at the Oilers, they have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl at centre, in addition to… Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. With 13 points in 28 games, the former first-overall pick is having a sub-par start to the season but he also comes with a $6 million cap hit until 2020-21.

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

There is no doubt that Bergevin was working on trades and has been for some time now. We know that he’s been looking for a defenseman, and likely a second line centre as well. Whether he was close or not with a team or two, who knows but the individuals involved, but the time has come. The last thing that Bergevin wants to do is the same mistake he made last year when Carey Price was injured, and wait too long to pull the trigger, or not pull it at all. At the risk of overpaying a bit, Bergevin cannot, this time around, not help his team during this difficult time. He can’t, in my opinion, take a way and see approach.

Movement with Ice Caps

The Canadiens announced that they had sent Charles Hudon and Mark Barberio back to the St. John’s Ice Caps and had called up winger Sven Andrighetto. This means that both Hudon and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu are ready to come back to action but considering that two centres went down, the news of Hudon being sent down is somewhat puzzling. Particularly when considering that the Ice Caps don’t play until Friday while the Canadiens have a game on Thursday at home against the New Jersey Devils.

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