Montreal Canadiens: Trade Deadline Preview

Kent Hughes (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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Montreal Canadiens, Evgenii Dadonov
Oct 3, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Evgenii Dadonov. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a long list of players in Montreal that would’ve been considered trade pieces at the start of the year. Now, four months later, the list of players likely to be moved isn’t quite as long. Sure, the Canadiens would like to move a lot of these guys, but in order for that to happen, someone has to be willing to take them. Evgenii Dadonov is at the top of the list. At the start of the year, Dadonov was coming off a season where he scored 20 goals for the fourth time in five years. This year, he’s lit the lamp just four times total.

The Canadiens acquired Dadonov for Shea Weber…s contract and were likely looking for an opportunity to flip him at this year’s deadline. That’s still possible, but at this rate, it won’t be a needle-moving trade if it does happen. Instead, we’re likely looking at a mid to late-round pick return, which would still be a positive return while also being underwhelming based on what he could’ve fetched had he scored more. There was potential for so much more. Personally, I think on a playoff team, Dadonov could still be a solid contributor on the wing, but it’s a big gamble to give up valuable assets for a player with just four goals this season.

Another player in the category of, could go, could stay, is Jonathan Drouin. Drouin is in the last year of his contract, and we could see him get moved at a retained salary. But it doesn’t sound as though there is a ton of interest in him to this point. Some teams may be interested, but the return isn’t likely to excite anyone, even if that was the case. Drouin is heating up as of late, with 12 assists in his last 13 games, but with zero goals on the year, he’s most likely not catching the eye of GMs from around the league.

The list of tradeable players for the Habs just isn’t particularly long this year, in large part because of how young the squad is. With numerous rookies seeing playing time and the team continuing to rebuild, there are only so many players likely to be moved as it is. Not to mention, the Canadiens would still want a veteran presence in the locker room. It really doesn’t help that so few players are having a good year. So that really only leaves one player left.