Montreal Canadiens: Not Caving in to Victor Mete’s Trade Demand About to Pay Off

Feb 1, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Victor Mete. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Victor Mete. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Victor Mete has been frustrated this season and it resulted in him asking Marc Bergevin for a trade earlier this season.

Bergevin held firm, stating he will dictate when players are or are not traded and that he did not want to deal Mete.

Now, with Ben Chiarot out for the foreseeable future, having Mete on the roster is about to pay off.

The Canadiens added depth in the offseason, expecting to through injuries throughout the season. Unfortunately for Mete and Michael Frolik, but fortunately for the team as a whole, they have been remarkably healthy this season. As in, pretty much a full lineup has been ready to play every single night so far.

Joel Armia missed seven games with a concussion and Josh Anderson missed three games recently as well.

Until Chiarot missed Thursday night’s game, no defenceman missed even a single game with injury.

Finally, in the 26th game of the year, a blue liner was sidelined with an injury. Chiarot looks to have broken his hand in a fight with JT Miller of the Vancouver Canucks and this could mean he is out for a few weeks.

At last, this will open the door for Mete to play a few games in a row. Before the injury, Mete had played just five of the team’s 25 games and was just rotated in here and there on the third pairing to get out of the press box for a night.

Now, the 22 year old has a chance to show he should be given a longer look. He has a unique skill set on the Canadiens as a young, fast, skilled defenceman while many of the other defencemen like Shea Weber, Chiarot, Joel Edmundson and Brett Kulak could be described as veteran, physical, defensive defencemen.

Mete is just 22, but he does have plenty of NHL experience. He has played 177 games over the past three seasons, scoring four goals and 31 points in that time. He played all ten postseason games for the Canadiens last season and had two assists. He was also moved to the right side and played most of those minutes with Xavier Ouellet.

We will probably see Mete play that right side on the third pairing with Brett Kulak for the next few games while Alexander Romanov moves into the top four to play with Weber.

Mete has waited a long time for an opportunity this season and he needs to show off his puck carrying abilities and willingness to jump into the rush if he is going to show that he deserves to play more frequently when the lineup is healthy.

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Having a player like Mete waiting for an opportunity is good depth to have on the roster. Bergevin wasn’t willing to move on from that depth, and now it is up to Mete to prove to him, or other general managers around the league, that he deserves a chance to play regularly in the NHL.