Joshua Roy, Jayden Struble Demotions Leave Montreal Canadiens With Little Roster Flexibility

Mar 5, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joshua Roy
Mar 5, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Joshua Roy / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens made a couple of trades just ahead of the trade deadline. They had until Friday afternoon to make any trades as teams positioned themselves for the postseason.

The Canadiens were able to pull off a couple of trades ahead of the deadline. Most notably they moved Jake Allen to the New Jersey Devils for a third round pick that could become a second round selection if he plays 40 games next season.

They also added an interesting young player when they acquired Jacob Perreault from the Anaheim Ducks for Jan Mysak. Perreault is a 21 year old former first round pick who has plenty of skill but has only produced okay numbers at the AHL level to date.

Hopefully a trade to the Canadiens, where his father Yanic played for a few seasons, will bring out the best in the newest member of the Laval Rocket. The trades were not the only transactions pulled off by the Habs on deadline day.

The Canadiens also sent down Joshua Roy and Jayden Struble to the Laval Rocket. At least on paper. They technically demoted both young players to the Laval Rocket before the trade deadline passed, and then called them both back up to the NHL roster immediately after.

The reason they did this was a player needs to be on an AHL roster when the trade deadline passes to be eligible for the Calder Cup Playoffs. Both of these players will continue to play for the Canadiens, but can help the Rocket in the playoffs if they get there.

That's great for the Rocket, but there is also a league rule where NHL teams are only allowed to make four call ups from the AHL after the trade deadline. Even though Roy and Struble never actually went down to Laval, they count as two call ups meaning the Canadiens can only recall two more players for the rest of the season.

That leaves them a roster of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two (only two finally) goaltenders. It would be nice if young players like Logan Mailloux or Sean Farrell could be brought up for a small taste of NHL action this season, but they can't just be called up for the sake of an audition.

The Canadiens need to hold on to these final few call ups in case of injury. There are some emergency recall rules if they don't have enough healthy players, but that requires placing players on injured reserve and losing them for longer periods of time.

It would be great if every young player on the Rocket got a small taste of the NHL this season, but calling players up will be on a need to do basis for the rest of the season for the Canadiens.