Chris Tanev Trade Could Spark David Savard Trade Interest

Arizona Coyotes v Montreal Canadiens
Arizona Coyotes v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens could benefit from a solid return for David Savard now that the first rental chip has fallen, with the Chris Tanev trade.

Right defensemen who can shut down the opposition, play big minutes and provide leadership are hard to come by. For one of the most coveted positions, Tanev's recent trade to the Dallas Stars means one less option on the trade board. Savard has all the qualities that a team expecting a deep run for the Stanley Cup would covet.

With one more season after this year left on his contract worth $3.5 million per season, Savard is relatively cost-efficient. His penalty killing and shot blocking stand out as strengths in his game, and while he isn't fleet of foot, his positioning is near perfect. Whether he is a depth piece or relied on to play in a contender's top four, he will be effective.

It's hard to imagine that the Stars were the only team kicking tires on Tanev, so interested teams could pivot to Savard next. He won't run a power play or skate end-to-end, but he battles in the trenches, and for that his teammates love him. His one move is effective, but expect him to prevent more goals against than he scores.

Fortunately for the Habs, they have great defence depth, so they can take the blow of losing the veteran defenseman. Now, this is all with hopes that a team offers something that piques Kent Hughes's interest. Savard has been transparent about his wishes to stay in Montreal and Hughes is a fair general manager, it would take something significant.

Jordan Harris, Jayden Struble and Kaiden Guhle have all played on their off-side at times this year, so in a pinch, they could. Johnathan Kovacevic would be the lone right-shot defender on the blueline, but a few options are coming through the wings. Getting to the end of the season would be more than sufficient since Logan Mailloux or Justin Barron are likely to be ready next year.

I suggested trading Harris in the past, but I think he will provide more to the Canadiens on the ice than through trade. I mention Harris because aside from Savard and Mike Matheson, I felt he was an obvious choice to move. But maybe not, perhaps another season with Harris will showcase more of his capabilities, and even more so with Savard out of the picture.

Matt Dumba, Erik Johnson and Sean Walker present options, which could slow things, but you would have to think that adding a leader before the playoffs would be a want for most general managers. Savard is just that, and if you ask around the Canadiens locker room, he has been huge for the young blueliners in Montreal. A sure sign of a player's importance is how much the coaching staff trusts them, Martin St. Louis and Stephane Robidas certainly do Savard.