Montreal Canadiens: Three Potential Joel Armia Trades

Oct 19, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia (40) during a third period face-off against San Jose Sharks at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joel Armia (40) during a third period face-off against San Jose Sharks at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
Nov 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Kevin Labanc against the Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Kevin Labanc against the Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are a team that is in the midst of a rebuild, much like the Canadiens. They are the only winless team in the league, having come out on the wrong end of all five games so far. They are the early favorite to finish last overall and have the best odds at the NHL Draft Lottery in the spring.

So, why would two rebuilding teams at the bottom end of the standings pull off a trade? A classic change of scenery type of deal would make sense here.

Armia is a good enough player to play at the NHL level. He has proven it for years, though his lack of offensive consistency has been problematic. He can be a frustrating player to cheer for as he shows off incredible hands and a great shot one night, but then goes ice cold offensively for weeks at a time, if not months.

One thing he always does well is play defensively. It would be difficult for him to shine on a really bad team, but the Sharks could see this as a potential buy low, sell higher later on type of trade. If they acquire Armia now, they could easily eat some of salary and trade him as a $1.7 million cap hit player for the final year of his deal. If he shows he can be a great penalty killer still, the Sharks could land a third round pick for him down the road.

But why would the Canadiens trade him to the Sharks? To clear cap space for the 2023-24 season. The Habs could trade Armia, who has no value at this time, for struggling winger Kevin Labanc. They could hope for a bounceback from Labanc, but really would just be happy to see him, and his $4.725 million contract, walk as a free agent in the summer of 2024.