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Will The Montreal Canadiens Shop a Forward for a Defenseman?

A week after acquiring Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames, the Montreal Canadiens might not be done dealing. There's speculation suggesting GM Kent Hughes could draw on his forward depth to bolster his defense.
Hoffman and Dvorak

A week after acquiring Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames, the Montreal Canadiens might not be done dealing. There's speculation suggesting general manager Kent Hughes could draw on his forward depth to bolster his defense.

Montreal Hockey Now's Marco D'Amico observed the Canadiens have 15 forwards under contract for 2022-23 with restricted free agent Kirby Dach left to sign. He observed Hughes recently expressed a desire to add a right-shot defenseman to his blueline corps. Canadiens executive vice president Jeff Gorton shared that view and didn't rule out his club doing something in the near future.

https://montrealhockeynow.com/2022/08/23/the-montreal-canadiens-will-need-to-fix-forward-logjam-soon/

D'Amico cited various NHL sources suggesting Christian Dvorak, Mike Hoffman and Joel Armia are drawing various degrees of interest in the trade market. Dvorak and Hoffman each carry a cap hit over $4.4 million while Armia's is $3.4 million. https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/canadiens

Dvorak could draw the most interest and fetch the best return. A solid defensive forward with decent offensive skills, the 26-year-old was acquired by the former Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin last summer at the cost of a first-round pick.

Hoffman, 32, is a former six-time 20-plus goal scorer but tends to be a one-dimensional winger. Armia is a big two-way forward but his performance can be streaky.

D'Amico noted that the Canadiens have $4.4 million in projected LTIR relief with Dach left to sign. They could attempt to ship Dvorak, Hoffman or Armia to another cap-strapped team in need of offense for a right-shot defenseman in a dollar-for-dollar move. They could also look at budget clubs like the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks for a potential deal. 

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