Montreal Canadiens: Is A Defenseman Being Shopped By Kent Hughes?

Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens
Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

With the Montreal Canadiens recent moves on the blueline, many questions begin to take shape.

Justin Barron got sent down to the Laval Rocket, and Arber Xhekaj got called up to the Montreal Canadiens. What this means is that the Habs have Jordan Harris, Jayden Struble, Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle and Mike Matheson - who are all left-shot defensemen, in the lineup. The right side, in comparison, has just David Savard and Johnathan Kovacevic.

For the Habs matchup with the Senators, Xhekaj slots in for Barron, who has been struggling mightily the past month. Harris will sit and Kovacevic will get the nod in the lineup. The top four remain the same, Guhle with Matheson and Savard with Struble.

It seems that there may a pending trade in the works or on the horizon, otherwise why is Harris, who has played well sitting. The defence wasn't playing their best hockey, but Barron was the only defender who was stumbling. Aside from him, the other five defenseman were playing relatively well.

Could The Habs Be Working On A Trade?

I have spoken at length about the Habs biggest strength - their left defence, it is very impressive. I would have to argue that there are certainly teams calling, asking for not just Xhekaj, but a few others. Matheson has ran the Canadiens powerplay, Harris is steady as they come, and even Savard has Stanley Cup playoff prowess.

I would have to think that Guhle and Struble are essentially untouchables at the NHL level. Everybody else is open game, and there is good reason for that. Logan Mailloux is a sponge, and seems to get better with each passing game. Xhekaj has been his defensive partner for the last month and he loves what Mailloux brings to the club.

Lane Hutson isn't very far away from donning a Canadiens sweater, which adds another lefty to the brigade. Although he is a bit different because he is probably one of the best defence prospects not playing in the NHL. It won't happen overnight, but Hutson will help transform the Canadiens' powerplay while being a weapon at 5-on-5.

Adam Engstrom, another left-shot defenseman in the Habs repertoire, could come over to Laval right now, and make an argument as their best player. He has so much poise with the puck and his dynamic skating fuels a brilliant two-way game. Defensively he is stout, and he has been relied upon a ton in the Swedish Hockey League.

David Reinbacher is another case of a player who isn't very far from making an audition on the Canadiens blueline. His team has struggled, and it has put his play under a microscope. Some have scoffed at plays that Reinbacher makes, suggesting that we shouldn't get excited over simple defensive reads. He is going to be a good one, so fret not.

Bogdan Konyushkov is likely another year or two away, but the likelihood of him adapting to the North American ice, and being a key piece, is very high. The 20-year-old is captain of his KHL team, and the kid continues to play with maturity and poise beyond his years. Konyushkov is one of the best players on his team, and underrating him would be unwise, he has defied what a fifth-round selection can be.

I think it would be wise to start doing some shopping right now. The Habs have great trade assets and with the opportunity to add draft capital or another high-end prospect via trade, Hughes would be wise to listen. I trust that he will make the best decision, Kirby Dach was a good one and Hughes knows how to get the best value out of every piece that he trades.

Hold on to your socks, I'm not sure what Kent is cooking - but his trade resumé speaks for itself. Kovacevic, Savard, Matheson and Harris all should be given consideration. If the price is right, it makes the most sense to pounce on a great deal right away.