Montreal Canadiens: Latest Rumors Proof Habs Rival Never Climbing Out Of Basement

Jan 23, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki
Jan 23, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens are working through a rebuild. There are the right ways to work through a rebuild and there are the wrong ways to do it.

The right way is to identify a young core and then add a few excellent veterans around them to end up with a great team. Like when the Chicago Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to go with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.

Hossa was 30 when he joined the Blackhawks but was coming off two exceptional postseason runs that resulted in Stanley Cup Final exits and had a lot of great hockey in front of him. The Pittsburgh Penguins added Bill Guerin when Sidney Crosby was young but he was a trade deadline rental that returned on a one year contract.

Bringing in veterans is key to a rebuild, but some teams, like the Edmonton Oilers forever, focus a little too much on the intangables and end up with long term contracts for players like Andrew Ference and Milan Lucic.

It sounds like the Ottawa Senators are leaning toward the Oilers path. According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Senators, who are well out of the playoff picture, are interested in acquiring Chris Tanev of the Calgary Flames.

Tanev is a hard working veteran who has been around for nearly 800 games played, blocks shots and does all the little things right. He would be a great player to have around on a rebuilding team to show the younger players the ropes.

The problem for the Senators is the acquisition cost. They are either going to have to give up way too much to acquire Tanev in a trade, giving up far too many future assets for a short term fix. Or, they will sign him as a free agent this summer and spend way too much money, like most free agents cost, for far too long.

Tanev will turn 35 early next season and is the type of player who can have his play drop off dramatically overnight. Kind of like we saw with Brendan Gallagher, Karl Alzner, Lucic etc. However he has played well enough this season to warrant a hefty cap hit for multiple seasons. It just comes with the enormous risk that he could turn into a liability any day.

The Senators have a lot of great young pieces in place. They just lost Josh Norris for most of last season and Shane Pinto for most of this season and it threw off everything they built. They already traded away a 7th overall pick for Alex DeBrincat who didn't want to play there and appear to be on the cusp of giving too much term and too many dollars to an aging defenseman.

These are the types of moves that keep a team stuck in a perpetual rebuilding state. As a Canadiens fan, I say go for it Senators.