Montreal Canadiens: The Max Domi trade “rumours” make zero sense

The Montreal Canadiens could still be active despite a relatively quiet summer, but the rumours surrounding Max Domi and Patrik Laine don’t add up.

One thing August is notorious for is fake trade rumours. With the offseason lasting so long, sometimes you need something, anything, to get the interest going on social media. And as fate would have it, the very last day of August had something come out about the Montreal Canadiens – in particular, Max Domi and Patrik Laine – from a not so reliable source (take that as a hint).

HockeyBuzz’s Eklund awoke to let the hockey world know that the Habs are considering moving Domi to acquire Patrik Laine.

Laine is one of the many highly-skilled restricted free agents without a contract and probably the only one who looks to be considering a trade over an extension. He’s a lethal goal-scorer, but throwing an offer sheet at the Winnipeg Jets may yield the same result unless Marc Bergevin is prepared to go hard.

That could mean the four first-round pick compensation which is extremely risky. However, adding Lain is probably worth that risk, so much so that the Montreal Canadiens won’t ever have to worry about scoring goals again. The other intangibles in his game are another conversation.

This all fits. Elliotte Friedman expressed on Tim and Sid his belief that Bergevin may take advantage of the closing window teams have to be 10% over the cap ceiling. An offer sheet is one thing, but a trade would seem to be the safer option.

Keep in mind, the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets have made trades in the past. Bergevin has always established himself as a “do whatever you can” general manager, but some relationships are worth preserving.

Back to Laine-Domi, Eklund had this included in his post:

According to a source, “There has been much debate internally, but for the first time in this process there is a willingness to move Max Domi, and that will make these trade talks far more interesting. They are serious. ” 

This isn’t the first time Eklund has floated out a trade rumour, and his track record of them actually happening isn’t the greatest. Again, I can buy the Montreal Canadiens wanting to trade for Laine. What I can’t buy is that Domi is name going the other way.

Bergevin won the trade with the Arizona Coyotes as Domi stepped in and performed at the centre position. He had a career year in goals, assists, and overall points as well as establishing himself as a leader on the team. Why trade him after one season?

You could argue the Montreal Canadiens don’t want to get into a hefty contract negotiation with Domi, which is coming after this season, but they’d get that with Laine as well. Domi may not be the goal-scorer Laine is, however, he’s a more complete player and plays the more valuable position. Domi would address their centre ice depth after failing to get Kevin Hayes to resign, and Domi’s value is as high as it’s ever been, but still, it’s extremely hard to believe this is going on.

I don’t doubt that Bergevin has contacted Kevin Cheveldayoff about Laine at all this summer. If it were Jonathan Drouin in these talks, then it would be easier to believe. That said, Drouin’s trade value is nowhere close to Domi’s.

Given what Domi did for the Montreal Canadiens, I highly doubt these rumours are true. And even if they are, I doubt the trade takes place. In a post looking at who are the untouchables on the Montreal Canadiens, I named Max Domi as one of the forwards who are closest to being 100% safe from all trade and I stand by that.

Bergevin is a cold-blooded general manager at times, but it doesn’t make sense to move Domi at this point. Hopefully, this is another rumour that winds up being just white noise.