Montreal Canadiens: L'Affaire Kotkaniemi-Dvorak - What If The Habs Kept The Picks?

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits
2018 NHL Draft - Portraits / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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There is also still the matter of the 2024 second-round pick that the Canadiens sent out to the Coyotes in the Dvorak trade. With the Canadiens mired in the bottom half of the league, that pick could also prove very valuable. Currently, it would be in the 40-50 range and belongs to the Winnipeg Jets after having passed from Arizona to Los Angeles in the Sean Durzi trade and then from the Kings to the Jets in the Pierre-Luc Dubois deal.

In addition to waiting for that domino to fall, we still don’t know if Hughes can extract anything for Dvorak in the coming year, and only then will we have the entire transaction to review. That said, it’s definitely trending in the wrong direction, and I can’t say that I expect Dvorak to turn it around.

It should also be noted that Kotkaniemi has been a useful player in Carolina. He is not exactly setting the world on fire, so I don’t think the decision to not match the Hurricanes offer was necessarily a bad one. The reactionary move to overpay for Dvorak, though, definitely was, and that’s the one that stings.

At the end of the day, it’s not really a matter of whether the picks are more valuable than Dvorak because I believe they are; it’s how much more. While that’s impossible to quantify because of the crapshoot nature of the draft process, the additional assets and cap space certainly could have given Hughes even more flexibility to build out his roster of the future.

The tale of the Kotkaniemi-Dvorak debacle has been a predictable one, and while it may still have a few chapters left, I’m not expecting many plot twists. The real intrigue lies in what could have been behind door number 2, but unfortunately, that story will never be written.