The Anaheim Ducks Have Named Their Zegras Price for the Montreal Canadiens

Rumors have been swirling for what seems like forever linking Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks to the Montreal Canadiens. A high skill forward like Zegras could fit in well into the Habs top-6, but is the price too steep? The Canadiens will have to give up high value in order to get him, most likely including a high profile, young defender.
Anaheim Ducks  v Vancouver Canucks
Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks / Ethan Cairns/GettyImages
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Trading For Zegras

Okay, so I have been a Montreal Canadiens fan for a little while now. I was born after their last Stanley Cup, but I've been around long enough to find some patterns with the Montreal Canadiens, especially after their last Stanley Cup win.

P. K. Subban
Nashville Predators v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Simply put: The Montreal Canadiens cannot score. In 1999, the Montreal Canadiens donated the Rocket Richard Trophy to be given out to the leading goal scorer in the regular season. No Montreal Canadien has ever won the trophy.

The Art Ross Trophy is given to the player with the most regular season points. The last time a Hab won the trophy was Guy Lafleur, in 1978. Alexei Kovalev scored 84 points in the 2007-08 season, and was the last Canadien to (barely) score a point-per-game, and the only person even close was Nick Suzuki this year. No Canadien has scored 40 goals since Vincent Damphousse in 1993-94.

The Montreal Canadiens of the late 1990s and the 2000s were a team of goaltending and defence. Does anyone think that the Montreal Canadiens would have gotten as far as they had in 2010 if not for Jaroslav Halak? Or what about 2014 and Carey Price? Or the four horsemen and Carey Price in 2021?

The Montreal Canadiens have recently struggled to create offense, and that hasn't 100% been fixed yet. I love Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach, but none of them have reached that next level to become an elite threat. Caufield has gotten more and more goals each season, and could be poised for a breakout, but it hasn't quite happened yet.

Nick Suzuki is a great 2-way centre, but hasn't broken a point-per-game yet, and Kirby Dach has all the skill in the world, but lost the whole last season, and Juraj Slafkovsky is too young to tell how high his ceiling is yet.

Trevor Zegras hasn't quite reached his high potential yet, maxing out at 23 goals and 65 points in 2022-23, but is an incredibly skilled offensive player. Important to note that the Ducks were terrible that year. He also missed a big chunk of last season with a broken ankle and was quite obviously not happy with his situation.

And if the Montreal Canadiens can deal from an area of strength, it is the defense. The blueline is getting really, really cramped, and there will have to be some names that will have to be moved.

Outside of older defenders Mike Matheson and David Savard, the Habs have Kaiden Guhle, David Reinbacher, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj, Justin Barron, Jayden Struble, Logan Mailloux and Lane Hutson. That is already too many defenders for an NHL roster, and there will be others.

Outside of Lane Hutson (who to me is untouchable), Reinbacher and Guhle are the biggest draws on that list. Reinbacher was just selected 5th overall, and all projections see him as a long time, extremely reliable defender. And Guhle has already been on Montreal's top pairing and has been at least solid.

If there was any position that Montreal could give up a strength to cover a weakness, it would be giving up a defender for a highly skilled, young offensive player.