Montreal Canadiens losing Ben Chiarot leaves a hole on defence

Ben Chiarot (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Ben Chiarot (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens lost defenceman Ben Chiarot this offseason after trading him at the deadline last year and letting him sign elsewhere. This will leave a large hole in the team’s defence core.

While the team has players who can step up into this role, it will be a significant loss for them. Without Ben Chiarot in the team’s defence core, the Montreal Canadiens will be forced to look elsewhere.

Chiarot signed a four-year, $19.75 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings organization for those who missed it. This comes after the team traded him to the Florida Panthers for a first-rounder and Ty Smilanic at the trade deadline last season.

While Steve Yzerman is looking to build a contender, adding Chiarot took a big part of the Canadiens’ 2021-22 defense core. Not to mention that the team shipped Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders on draft day in a trade, so the Habs defense core has undergone some changes.

The bottom line is that Chiarot will leave a hole in the team’s defense. Between what kind of a hole he leaves and what to expect from those who will replace him, many questions are left unanswered.

Losing Ben Chiarot is a tough loss for the Montreal Canadiens.

Even if the loss is not as fresh between a deadline deal and Chiarot finding a new home anyways in free agency, without Chiarot, there are going to be holes. After all, Chiarot logged 54 games with the Habs, adding seven goals and 11 assists for 18 total points before he was traded at the deadline.

He was a huge part of the Habs’ defence core in 2021-22 before being traded. He provided value on special teams and was one of the team’s assistant captains. He was a defenceman the team could rely on in almost all facets of the game.

Even as a guy who was not going to find the back of the net time and time again, he found his way onto the scoresheet from time to time. Beyond that, his true value showed in the defensive zone as a penalty killer or a strong defender overall.

The Canadiens have to be hoping that someone like David Savard or Joel Edmundsson can fill this role. These are the two candidates to fill in the hole being left by Chiarot. The entire defence core is in for a shock as the 2022-23 season comes into focus.

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Without Chiarot and some new faces, including some younger ones, in the mix, there will be an adjustment period. The Habs are hoping this year’s defence core can still find ways to get it done.