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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Adam Boqvist would have added more youth and experience to the Canadiens

Some teams looking to ‘buy’ at the NHL trade deadline aren’t always contenders, but they are instead looking to tear everything down, or at least tear a few variables down that aren’t working. The Columbus Blue Jackets could be the next team to face a complete rebuild, so trading some young players was something they were looking to do at the deadline, and Adam Boqvist was one of those players. 

Note the ‘looking to buy’ quip from earlier, as it’s not unheard of for teams in Columbus’ situation to take on what’s left of a player’s contract if they are interested in ‘selling’ one of their own. This could have been the case with Tanner Pearson, whose contract expires following the season. 

For Boqvist, Columbus would have wanted more than just a player they would likely not opt to re-sign following the season, especially if they’re giving up a 23-year-old full of potential. But for a high-potential player like Boqvist, general manager Kent Hughes should have had no qualms with handing a draft pick or two, given his amount of draft capital. 

With another season left on his deal, Boqvist would have a full year to show that he deserved a long-term deal to stick around in Quebec. If not, then the Canadiens could have let him walk following the 2024-25 season, and try again elsewhere. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference, trade information provided by Cap Friendly)