Montreal was eliminated from the playoffs yesterday by the Philadelphia Flyers. This marks another year without the cup for the Canadiens who haven’t won since 1993.
The team managed to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games in the play-in round and battled the Flyers up until the last seconds of the sixth game of their series. Going into both matchups, absolutely nobody had them moving on, but they proved a lot of people wrong by playing so good against the quality opponents.
Montreal, who was the last team to get included in the play-in round, had a respectable run and plenty of positive points during the series. Both Jesperi Kotkaniemie and Nick Suzuki played ridiculously good and along with Phillipe Danault they’ll look to become the greatest center line the team’s had in decades. I’d also say that their defensive core looked tremendous throughout the whole series, especially their top three of Chiarot, Petry and Weber.
The team has a tremendous farm system and a lot of potential moving forwards with guys like Josh Brooks, Romanov and of course Cole Caufield coming up in the next few seasons.
That being said, at this point, I think the Montreal Canadiens are at a crucial point and are going to have to choose between trading their young assets for win now players or moving their older established guys to add to the young core.
In my opinion the Montreal Canadiens should trade their older players for established younger players and picks. I think Shea Weber and Carey Price both have to go.
Price, who had struggled in the seasons following his Hart and Vezina campaign in 2015, had a tremendous playoff showing. He arguably was the entire reason the Canadiens got past the Penguins. He was able to give his team a chance to win in every single game they played and showed why he was voted as the best goalie in the world by the NHLPA this season.
Any team who would want to contend in the coming years would love to add his services. I think team’s like Colorado, Carolina, Calgary and Edmonton are all places who would need such an elite player to join them.
His trade value’s currently at the highest it’s been since his 2015 campaign, even with him being 33. In a trade a team would have to send back multiple young players or picks to have a chance at acquiring his services. It should be very appealing for a team like Montreal to have the chance to add some big potential players to join their young core along side KK and Suzuki.
This scenario would be a win-win for both Montreal and Carey Price. Price isn’t getting any younger and all he’s missing in his trophy case is the Stanley Cup, a trophy he’s not going to win with Montreal any time soon. I say trade him to a cup contender to give him the chance to win a cup, a bit like Boston did for Ray Bourque by sending him to Colorado.
Caden Primeau, who has looked extremely good in the minors, is waiting to become their goalie of the future, why not solidify his spot as the team’s number one right now?
Shea Weber has been an absolute force on the blueline ever since he entered the league. While it may seem like he’s been in the league for an eternity now, Weber could provide solid help for a weak defensive core.
Now a lot of Montreal fans are going to wonder why I am suggesting trading their captain, but the fact is Weber might have a couple good years left and the Habs are in no position to win in the next couple years.
The Habs have a lot of promise on the back end in players like Romanov, Brooks, Norlinder and Harris. They should be able to replace their captain in the next few seasons.
Trading Weber would free up a significant amount of their cap space and would also give them a great return considering he’s a top two defensenman on most teams.
Making this move would also allow the Canadiens to give the captaincy to Branden Gallagher who I think deserves it. He’s been the heart and soul of the team for the past decade and his no quit attitude is what they need to surround their young players with.
The kids on the Montreal Canadiens have shown great promise and I think it’s time for them to move on from their old core and head towards youth. They should get the value they can while they still can.
I think they owe it to their players to give them a chance to win the Stanley Cup, especially Price.
Picture source : USAToday
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