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Canadiens Trade Chiarot to Panthers for Picks, Prospect

The Montreal Canadiens have traded defenseman Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers for a pair of draft picks and prospect Tyler Smilanic.
Ben Chiarot

One of the top trade chips is officially off the board. 

After months of speculation, the Montreal Canadiens finally found a new home for Ben Chiarot, trading the hulking blueline to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, a fourth-round pick in 2022, and prospect Tyler Smilanic. 

According to TSN's Chris Johnston, the Canadiens are retaining 50 percent of Chiarot's $3.5 million cap hit for the remainder of the season. 

It's a steep price to pay. But the Panthers get their guy. 

Chiarot is an interesting player. The 30-year-old's underlying numbers are pretty rough across the board throughout his career, with Chiarot's teams surrendering 60 percent or more of the expected goals with him on the ice in six of his eight full NHL seasons.

But Chiarot does have one thing that teams, specifically those preparing for the postseason like the Panthers, value highly: A big body.

Case in point; Chiarot is a menace in front of the net. The guy is a nightmare in and around the crease, capable of clearing the slot with the best of them thanks to a heavy frame that seems suited quite well for the rigors of a deep playoff run. 

While he might not rack up gaudy offensive numbers or boast the analytical track record of others on this list, Chiarot's physicality and daunting presence made him a sought-after trade chip around the league, and ultimately convinced the Panthers to pay the price they did for him. 

As for the Canadiens, GM Kent Hughes has managed to add yet another pile of assets to the treasure chest he hopes will kickstart Montreal's aggressive rebuild, with the Canadiens now sitting with four first-rounds in the next two drafts, combined. 

It seems as if both teams accomplished what they set out with this trade. And that's what sports are all about: making everyone happy. 

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