3 trades the Canadiens missed out on at the NHL trade deadline

Despite helping themselves at the NHL trade deadline, the Montreal Canadiens could have been more active in ‘buying’ some young talent from other teams.

Montreal Canadiens v Florida Panthers
Montreal Canadiens v Florida Panthers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Jonatan Berggren could have come to Montreal for a bargain

The Canadiens could have made a deal with the Detroit Red Wings to bring in Jonatan Berggren, whose time in Detroit’s system could have easily ended at the deadline. General manager Steve Yzerman has made big trades in the past - such as collecting a couple of first-round picks at the previous deadline and making notable offseason acquisitions like Ville Husso (2022) and Alex DeBrincat (2023), so another big deadline would have been no surprise. 

However, Yzerman took an idle route at the deadline despite losing top forward Dylan Larkin. It also looks like Berggren will be with the big club for the foreseeable future, thanks to Larkin’s injury. Still, the 23-year-old hasn’t been overtly productive during his chances in the NHL and the Canadiens had an experienced forward in Joel Armia to move.

While Yzerman should be giving his younger players like Berggren another chance, flipping him for a more experienced player like Armia (with possibly other assets involved on both sides) at a time when his team is in contention would have made more sense. Berggren is running out of opportunities as it is, and Armia, though not a scorer, has been part of several hockey teams that have made deep playoff runs. 

Bringing sound help on the penalty kill, plus a respectable on-ice save percentage of 91.9 at 5-on-5, Armia would provide sound defense to Detroit’s lower lines. It’s something the ailing Red Wings need at the moment, and it’s also something they missed all season.