Yesterday, we looked at potential return from three key defensemen on the Montreal Canadiens. Today, we continue our series of fantasy trades for forwards. However, with a team in the midst of radical changes, there are just too many for one article. Let’s start with the offensive forwards, and we will look at utility forwards tomorrow, shall we?
According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Canadiens would like to keep Gallagher and Josh Anderson. It had been reported a while ago that they also liked Toffoli but the Flames made an offer that Kent Hughes couldn’t refuse. So with the right offer, I’m not convinced that the new Habs’ management wouldn’t consider unloading $6.5 million in salary.
For Gallagher, I went with the Los Angeles Kings. According to many insiders, the Kings were interested in bringing back Tyler Toffoli but as we know, the Calgary Flames won that race. Marc Bergevin loves Gallagher. Dustin Brown ($5.875M) is in the final year of his contract with a dwindling production. At 37 years old, he’s also getting long in the tooth. Need I remind you the chemistry between Gally and Phillip Danault?
|To LAK||To MTL|
|Brendan Gallagher – RW||Rasmus Kupari – C|
6’2″ 200 lbs
Draft: 2020 LAK, 1st rd, 20th pk
The young Finland-native center has been described by some scouts as a mix of Jesse Puljujärvi and Sebastian Aho. Very dangerous with the puck on his stick, he is said to always be threat offensively. He can also play the wing.
Perhaps it’s because he’s injured and we haven’t seen him much around the team lately, but we’re not hearing any rumours (from reputable NHL Insiders). That’s a little bit odd as Bergevin is the one who traded for him and he has not lived up to expectations. Some feel like he would thrive under Martin St-Louis, while others believe that he would benefit playing in a market not quite as demanding as Montreal.
What about a reunion with junior line mate Nathan MacKinnon? It seems like a natural, doesn’t it? The Avalanche is apparently looking at adding some secondary scoring and while rumours are that Claude Giroux ($8.275M) would like to join them, the cap may prevent that. Drouin’s $5.5 million with one year left after this one might be more appealing.
|To COL||To MTL|
|Jonathan Drouin – LW||Justin Barron – RD|
6’2″ 195 lbs
Draft: 2020 COL, 1st rd, 25th pk
The Avalanche is deep, very deep in good young defensemen. The Habs could even sweeten the pot here by keeping a bit of Drouin’s salary as it’s only for this season and next year. Barron has good size, outstanding skating skills and has the ability to make a strong first pass out of the defensive zone.
Just recently, Maxim Guerin received information that the Canadiens were trying to trade Hoffman to unload his $4.5 million contract which has two more years remaining after this season. He is fourth on the team with eight goals this season.
I’m looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins for Hoffman. They want to give it another go with the core that they have and behind Jake Guentzel, it’s rather thin on left-wing as Jason Zucker is having a tough season. Hoffman with Crosby or Malkin at center, and with the weapons they have on the power play, would be a very nice fit.
|To PIT||To MTL|
|Mike Hoffman – LW||Samuel Poulin – LW|
6’2″ 214 lbs
Draft: 2019 PIT, 1st rd, 21st pk
Son of former Canadiens Patrick Poulin, Sam Poulin has grit, determination and the size to succeed at the NHL level. He is very good at handling the puck with speed and is a complete power forward.
Stay tuned for the utility forward group. Lots of rumours around a few of them, and the return could surprise more than a few people.