Montreal Canadiens: Holding Onto Veterans For Too Long Could Haunt The Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens Introduce Kent Hughes
Montreal Canadiens Introduce Kent Hughes / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Many have suggested that the Montreal Canadiens would be unwise to move on from veterans at this juncture.

The belief is that if too many long time NHL talents are moved, the young guys will suffer. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, it’s not as though anything is set in stone. But, to be noted, Kent Hughes has earned his keep with his swift trading.

His ability to move veterans at the right time, before they started to decline has been impeccable. Which is why it’s peculiar to argue the value of moving a player while the value is high. Tyler Toffoli and Ben Chiarot are two great examples.

For a team that has long been offensively anemic, there was no hesitation to move Toffoli and Arturri Lehkonen. But the Canadiens aren’t thin on the blueline, and they are likely to have Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher join the fold, at latest, by October. So trading from a position of strength, will allow the young blueliners to play crucial minutes.

Prior to Jordan Harris going down with an injury, he and Arber Xhekaj have split starts. And both players have proven worthy and able to play every night for Martin St. Louis. But with a crowded blueline, they have seen more of the pressbox than they should.

The idea or suggestion of moving Matheson didn’t go over well with the A Winning Habit readership. Similar to the one to get rid of ‘Big Play Dave’. But that doesn’t mean it’s a poor or boneheaded idea.

It would be silly to hold onto them, just like Hughes did with Josh Anderson and Jake Allen, for too long. Now they both have minimal value on the trade market and they haven’t done much to help the team. And they would be rich buyout options, which could have been avoided. 

Any way you cut it, holding onto players too close to their expiration date is a recipe for disaster. The young guys are the future, and somewhere in translation that appears to have been muddied up. But the sooner the core of the future gets their minutes, the better, since they will carry the torch, not the expiring veterans.