The Montreal Canadiens made headlines on Monday by announcing Nick Suzuki as their new captain with Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundson as his alternates. However, rumors soon arose suggesting Gallagher and Edmundson could become trade candidates.
Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette speculated there's “a very good chance” Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes will trade Gallagher if he rebounds from an injury-hampered 2021-22 performance. He thinks Hughes is probably already trying to move the 30-year-old winger to clear space for younger, affordable talent.
Cowan observed Gallagher has five seasons remaining on his six-year, $39-million contract. Cap Friendly indicates his average annual value is $6.5 million. He also carries a no-movement clause that prevents demotion to the minors plus a six-team no-trade list.
Hughes has made some surprising moves in his short tenure as Canadiens GM by shipping out expensive contracts belonging to Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. Nevertheless, it could prove challenging for him to find a taker for Gallagher given his age, injury history, and hefty annual cap hit.
Meanwhile, TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie reported there's a lot of interest in a defenseman such as Edmundson. He doesn't think the 29-year-old blueliner will be traded but believes he'll entice plenty of offers in the coming months.
A back injury sidelined the 6-foot-5, 224-pound Edmundson for most of last season. A healthy bounce-back performance on his part should bolster his trade value. He has an affordable $3.5 million cap hit through 2023-24 but also carries a 10-team no-trade clause.
Shopping Edmundson, however, could depend on the progress of their younger defensemen this season and his play.