The craziness has started and and Colorado Avalanche are right in the middle of it. They didn’t make one, but two trades already. In a cap-saving move, Joe Sakic sent 24 year-old center Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Nico Sturm, a 26 year-old pending UFA center. The Avalanche save around $1.3 million in the deal, opening speculations that Sakic isn’t done dealing.
Earlier in the day, the Anaheim Ducks traded veteran defenseman Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defense prospect Drew Helleson and a second-round pick in the 2023 draft. Helleson is a 20 year-old defenseman standing at 6-foot 3-inches and 190 lbs. He was selected in the second round (47th overall) by Colorado in 2019. In his third year at Boston College this season, he played 32 games in which he tallied four goals and 25 points.
Manson vs Chiarot
Some people, particularly fans who don’t follow Chiarot (obviously), started saying that this would set the market for the Canadiens’ defenseman, that Montreal should expect a similar return. Not so fast… NHL Insiders agree, while their style is similar, Manson is a notch below Big Ben in just about every aspect of the game.
And if we look at the last three seasons combined, the gap is even more noticeable. Chiarot has been a solid top-4 defenseman on the Canadiens and up until this season, he was on the top pair most games, alongside team captain Shea Weber. With Jeff Petry, Joel Edmundson and Weber, Chiarot was nicknamed one of the team’s four Clydesdales by then head coach Dominique Ducharme, all four being instrumental pieces in last season’s Stanley Cup run by Montreal.
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To add to the numbers, Chiarot is faster and more mobile. He can really skate for a big guy. Also, with teams counting pennies due to the cap situation, the difference plays in favour of the Canadiens. Some will say that Manson is right-handed, which comes at a premium. It is true. However, Chiarot has been playing on the right side and he has been just as efficient. So while it may be an advantage in favour of Manson, it is not as important, particularly that unlike Chiarot, the new Avalanche doesn’t play the power play.
The Canadiens are said to be asking for a first round pick and another asset. At this point, there is nothing pointing to Chiarot not being worth it. Particularly not when so many teams are trying hard to get him, creating a bidding war. I guess we’ll find out soon enough as trade deadline is merely days away…