Montreal Canadiens Trade Rumour: Teams Showing Interest in Victor Mete

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 02: Victor Mete Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 02: Victor Mete Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin added plenty of depth and talent to the roster at every position over the offseason.

He brought in Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Corey Perry, Michael Frolik, Joel Edmundson, Alexander Romanov and Jake Allen since the team lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2020 postseason.

That is quite an offseason, especially considering the only roster regular than left town was Max Domi. No slight on Domi, he’s a heck of a player, but when one NHL player leaves and seven arrive, it’s a good sign for the team.

More from Rumors

The only problem with all the added depth is it can make it difficult to keep everyone happy. Suddenly, someone who was playing second or third line minutes in the past, like Paul Byron, is on the fourth line. Jordan Weal went from the power play to the subway as he needed to head across the river to Laval to play for the Rocket.

Also, Victor Mete has played games on the top pairing with Shea Weber over the past three seasons, but can’t seem to find his way into the lineup this season.

Mete played 51 games for the Habs last season and scored four goals and 11 points. He suited up for all ten postseason games, adding a pair of assists while playing his off-side on the third defence pairing with Xavier Ouellet.

The 22 year old defenceman is a terrific skater and can move the puck up ice with ease. However, his strength and size work against him as he can be overpowered in the corners and in front of the net. Though he has all the tools of a puck-moving, offensive defenceman he hasn’t been able to get on the score sheet with regularity.

Still, he is just 22 so it’s not like he is past his prime or can’t get better. It takes some time for defenceman to get fully comfortable at the NHL level and Mete has the talent and skills to reach another level and become a valuable NHL defender.

The problem is, he is clearly the Canadiens 7th best defenceman right now and with the team playing so well it is difficult to get him in the lineup. The Habs added Edmundson and Romanov to the blue line in the offseason and this has pushed Mete right out of the lineup.

It’s not ideal to have a young defenceman sitting in the press box watching games and joining the team at practice. This has other teams sniffing around to gauge interest in a trade to acquire Mete, according to the insiders on Headlines during the second intermission on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet last night.

They didn’t go into great detail, but said teams are circling around and keeping an eye on Mete’s situation. The young defenceman has plenty of experience at the NHL level already but hasn’t played a game yet this season. He isn’t the ideal candidate to be an extra skater and other teams know it.

The problem is, while he has intriguing potential, he probably doesn’t have a lot of trade value. He only had 11 points in 51 games last season and has clearly lost his spot in the lineup this year. While it is still possible he develops into a top-four defenceman with some offensive upside, that is far from a guarantee.

So, what will other teams be willing to give up for a young, fast defenceman who might start to score points in the future, but might not? A player that has not developed physically enough to keep his spot in the top six for the Canadiens?

It’s hard to say but no one is giving up a first round pick for Mete. They probably don’t even want to part with a second rounder. Which leads to the conclusion that Mete is probably more valuable to just keep as an extra skater in case someone gets injured and misses time.

He has NHL experience and has played both sides of the ice. He certainly has his flaws but as a 7th defenceman he offers the team tremendous depth on the blue line.

Next. Player safety not concerned about keeping players safe. dark

It is a situation definitely worth keeping an eye on, but I can’t see Bergevin trading away a player for a draft pick after working so hard to acquire the depth they do have. This team looks like a contender and we just don’t see contending teams moving out NHL caliber defencemen in trades.